Head Coach Mike Johnston is visiting Evgeni Malkin in Moscow. It is the case of a new head coach touching base with one of his superstar players. The gesture is nice and that is all it is, a gesture. This meeting is not going to make or break Evgeni Malkin’s season, the Penguins season, or Mike Johnston’s season. To say otherwise is irresponsible or worse yet agenda driven.
"Malkin never has done anything but play, and playtime is over because the Penguins need more from their other future Hall of Fame center."
This is an actual take from somebody who has covered the Penguins on a daily basis for years. It is alarming to me that people who watch the team closely could possibly come to the conclusion that it is Malkin who needs to do more to prop this team up.
Malkin isn’t some kind of “fragile flower” or “enigmatic Russian”. He is one of the reasons the Penguins have been propped up with terrible forward depth the past few years.
Remember when Malkin was going to “sulk” his way through the rest of the season because of “Olympic failure”? He finished the year with 28 points in 27 games.
Malkin had 1.20 points per game this past season which was good for 2nd overall in the NHL, behind only the Penguins other superstar center who checked in at 1.30 points per game.
Although if you want to get technical I suppose Malkin is slacking behind his 1.22 points per game average for his career, the points per game average that has him ranked 11th overall in the history of the NHL.
Amongst players who made it to the second round of the playoffs or further Malkin was 2nd overall in points per game in the playoffs this past season with 1.08 points per game. Only Ryan Getzlaf at 1.25 was better.
Like it or lump it possession stats matter and when it comes to shooting attempt percentage in close game states Malkin sat at a gaudy 54.1% in 2013-14.
Using sensationalism and expecting more out of star players is the easy way out. It is sexy, it attracts web hits and moves papers. It isn’t as interesting as pointing out the real issues of a hockey team….
Isn’t Rossi supposedly writing Geno’s biography? Based on crap like his linked column, why the heck would Geno trust him to do that?!