Evgeni Malkin spent his summer haunted at home in Russia.

“Last year (was) very important for us but we (did) not win again” Malkin said after one of the Penguins' final training-camp practices. “I think a lot. My head is always thinking about a loss. I think about my game.

“It (was) a little bit tough all summer.”

Understandably his thoughts turned to numbers:

76: The number of millions of dollars (before taxes) guaranteed to come his way on the eight-year extension he signed in July.

4: The number of Junes that have passed without him touching the Stanley Cup.

0: The number of points he had produced in a four-game playoff loss to Boston with a return to the Cup Final on the line.

“It's my job to score” Malkin said. “We lost. I (did) not score.

“It's tough.”

It's a bruise that has not healed.