Big Lead Sports Bar

4/16/2007

Taking Malkin to Task

SI.com's Michael Farber suggests that you might see Evgeni Malkin on a milk carton soon. Some selected quotes from his dressing-down of the probable Rookie of the Year:
"Sure, like Sasquatch, there have been some Malkin sightings -- he set-up Crosby on Pittsburgh's final goal, a nifty give-and-go with a little more than five minutes remaining -- but they generally have come when he's been in the penalty box."
"Malkin was oatmeal soft on the first Senators goal when Peter Schaefer stripped him of the puck with a check that wouldn't have broken glass, leading seconds later to a rebound go-ahead goal for Mike Comrie."
Malkin has 0 goals, 4 assists, and 8 penalty minutes in the first three playoff games. No, he hasn't been Crosby, scoring a goal in each game, but he has made some minor contributions. Given his stature in the game at such a young age, Malkin has high expectations on his shoulders. With everything he's gone through, I could have bought excuses that Malkin would have had a tougher year than he did. All things considered, 33 goals, 52 assists, and 85 points in 78 games was pretty remarkable, especially in light of the injuries he suffered to start the year. He's proven that he's a mentally strong young man.
That being said, Malkin is counted on to contribute much more offense to the team than what he's contributed thus far. The Penguins wouldn't be in the position where they are without Malkin. However, if he doesn't step up his production, the Pens simply won't last too long in this postseason appearance.
You can't suggest cutting his time; Malkin needs to play through this. It's a classic case of "dance with the one that brought you". The Penguins need Evgeni to find his dancing shoes, and soon.

3 comments:

russell lucas said...

What sucks is that the penalty he took in game two and the tripping call he took yesterday were marginal calls. And while Farber thinks he's whining about taking those penalties, I'd love to hear what he's actually saying. It's probably incomprehensible.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I think Malkin's probably running on fumes at this point in the season.

Playing his first NHL season, plus with all the shit he went through over in Russia probably took it's toll on the kid, and we're seeing it now.

Seriously, he was busy playing for his Russian team when he made that escape and the guy really hasn't had any off time since.

Sean said...

Louis - I was about to write the same thing. I think Malkin is tired and that may also be part of the reason why he is committing the penalties.

Has anyone seen Erik Christensen this series?