Avalanche Season In Review: Denis Malgin, Flash in The Pan or Mainstay?
With the season for the Colorado Avalanche complete, it’s time to take a look back at the individual players and how they performed.
Next up is Denis Malgin.
Let’s take a look at his stats from after the Avalanche acquired him.
When the Avalanche traded Dryden Hunt for Denis Malgin back in December, no one really thought much of it. The two players couldn’t be more different, as Hunt was a heavy, grinding forward while Malgin brought some flash to the lineup.
Malgin stepped in immediately and the same issues they plagued him in Toronto and Florida were still there. Basically, he couldn’t score. He was creating chances in his limited ice-time, but nothing was going in the net. A shoulder injury took him out of the lineup for a few weeks, and when he returned, things started falling his way.
While Malgin is far from a perfect player, when he was on the ice, good things generally happened for Colorado. His possession numbers were very good (3rd best for any Avalanche forward), and the team out-chanced and outscored the opposition considerably with him on the ice. He was acquired when the bottom six was full of grinders and AHL players, so his skill was a welcome addition.
Over the final 30 games, he scored 11 goals. Those 11 goals were remarkably valuable, because no one else in the bottom six was scoring. His beauty against Calgary was one of the nicer goals the Avalanche scored this season. Stylistically, he fit in with how the Avalanche like to play (when all things come together). He’s a possession player who will hold onto the puck to make a play. Sometimes, maybe a little too long. Inconsistent, but that’s why he’s bounced around a bit. At times, he was required to step into the top six, which didn’t always go so well, but was one of the few bottom six players willing and able to make a play.
Unfortunately, in the postseason, he disappeared. He was a non-factor and got himself into trouble too many times with his willingness to hold onto the puck. That led to him losing the trust of the staff, as he only played more than 10 minutes in one game. Not exactly the best note to go out on.
Season Grade – B+
Malgin has his flaws, but he scored at a 20 goal pace once the Avalanche acquired him. It’s hard to have too many issues with that. The question is now – is he a flash in the pan or will he be a mainstay in the lineup next year? He’s a restricted free agent this summer, so the Avalanche can retain his rights, but whether or not he’s a consistent part of the lineup is another question. He shot 16.67% with Colorado, which is well above his career average. I don’t believe you can expect that again. There’s a lot of skill there, but maybe not the perfect fit in the bottom six. A bottom six that the Avalanche will likely look to rebuild this summer.