Short of hitting the 1,200-point plateau in the National Hockey League (NHL), Evgeni Malkin still manages to surprise his teammates and opponents with his consistency and tenacity.
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At 36, the Pittsburgh Penguins center has nothing left to prove. His three Stanley Cups and numerous individual awards speak for themselves. “Geno” still manages to be one of the most dominant attackers in the world almost 17 years after his debut on the Bettman Circuit.
Sidney Crosby, his longtime Pens companion and one of three active NHL players with 1,200+ points, believes it takes a lot of consistency to reach that plateau.
“To get there you have to accumulate a lot of points every year and never let go, esteemed number 87, in an interview with NHL.com. [Malkin] he also suffered multiple long-term injuries, so his total could be even more impressive.
“I think it just goes to show what a player he’s been over the years. Despite its age, it still produces at an excellent rate.”
In fact, the native of Magnitogorsk does not seem to let the years catch up with him. He has 19 goals and 50 points in 49 games this season.
“Sometimes I’m like, ‘My God, how is it possible to stop this guy?’ exclaimed General Manager Ron Hextall. His contribution on the ice is difficult to replace.
“He’s one of the elite in the league,” said head coach Mike Sullivan. I see him as a motivated hockey player. He’s by no means a perfect athlete, but he still has the ability to dominate encounters. “Geno” was one of our most consistent players. He doesn’t take nights off.”
A star in the shadow
Though arguably one of the greatest skaters of his generation, Malkin has always found himself in Crosby’s shadow in Pittsburgh. Despite his Calder, Conn Smythe, Art Ross (twice), Hart and Ted Lindsay trophies, he has always been considered an outstanding – if not the best – No. 2 in the NHL. He was also removed from the 100 Greatest Players in NHL History in 2017.
The same story in his native Russia. Malkin was drafted right after Alexander Ovechkin in 2004 and is still underrated according to the Washington Capitals captain.
“He’s at the top [parmi les joueurs russes]He praised “Ovi”. It’s hard to say who is the greatest and second greatest player, but he’s certainly one of the best. He’s had an incredible career.”
Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov considers Malkin one of his biggest inspirations.
“Geno is one of my favorite players,” he concluded. He always works hard on the ice. He forces you to match his intensity in order to compete with him. You watch him do it and you just want to emulate his style of play.