Here’s a question that may anger Evgeni Malkin fans: Has there ever been a more useless 13-game points streak than the one Malkin has going?
Malkin has eight goals and 14 assists over that span, but he’s minus-7 with six minus games. Plus/minus can be very deceiving, true, but the Penguins are just 6-7 in those 13 games. THAT doesn’t deceive.
There are spurts when Malkin just refuses to pass. His backchecking has been lax. He commits penalties of petulance far too often. Witness Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss to Nashville: Malkin idiotically took four minutes for roughing at the close of the first period, gifting the Predators a power-play goal. His stupid interference penalty late in the third period nearly cost the Penguins the loser point they ultimately got. Malkin has been selfish and childish
Somebody needs to tell this kid what time it is. It’s up to the coaching staff to appoint a bad cop and get Malkin’s attitude in the right place when the Penguins’ schedule resumes.
Some days Malkin looks like Valery Kharlamov, other days the bastard son of Jaromir Jagr and Alexei Kovalev. The latter is not a compliment.
THEY F’D UP THE TONIGHT SHOW, TOO
This coming Sunday, the United States plays Canada in the showpiece game of the preliminary round of the Olympics hockey competition, at least as far as North America is concerned. The game airs at 7:40 p.m. Eastern time…
…on MSNBC. That’s right, MSNBC. The Olympics’ ancillary network.
If the NHL is going to shut down for two weeks, it should have a guarantee from NBC that the marquee hockey games will be on NBC where casual viewers tuning in to watch whatever that night’s Olympics programming might be can get a glimpse of elite-level hockey and, hopefully, get hooked.
Hardcore hockey fans will find the game. But that’s not the idea behind NHL participation in the Olympics. The idea is to win new fans. USA-Canada on MSNBC doesn’t provide that chance.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM (105.9).