We all knew that Evgeni Malkin was good, but for some reason while many other players were being praised this year for having great seasons, Malkin’s name was pretty much ignored. Until now! Three more points last night against the Capitals (including the OT winner) helped the Pens win their 6th in a row. If you weren’t talking about Malkin before (and I’m not talking about taking shots in his underwear) , you have to start now. Here are six more reasons why you should.
1) Points per game- Malkin is averaging 1.41 points per game. If he keeps up this pace he will finish with his highest points per game average of his career. The only person in the NHL this season with a higher PPG average is Sidney Crosby, but he played just 8 games.
2) Game played- In November Malkin missed 2 games with a lower body injury, then 5 more games with hurt knee. His total this year sits at 41 games played yet he still leads the league in scoring. He has played less games than everyone else in the top 24. The last player to win the scoring race despite missing at least 7 games: Peter Forsberg in 2002-03.
3) Goals- Malkin has scored 26 goals in 41 games for an average of 0.63 goals per game (his highest in one season was 0.57 in 2007-08). If he keeps up this pace and plays the remainder of the season without injury, he will match his career high with 47 goals.
4) Art Ross- Piling up points in nothing new to Malkin. He won the Art Ross Trophy in 2008-09. If he can hang on to win again, he would become just the 12th player in history win the award more than once. He would equal Bobby Orr, Boom Boom Geoffrion and Dickie Moore, not bad company.
5) He is without Sid- Malkin has stepped up in Crosby’s absence. Since Sid left the Pens line-up on December 5th, Malkin’s totals: 20 Games played, 17 goals, 17 assists, 34 points. Wow.
6) Game winning goals- Last night’s overtime winner was number 7 on the season, that already matches his career high and puts him only one back of the league lead (Johan Franzen has 8).
If he keeps up everything I mentioned above, there will be another person mentioning Malkin at the end of the season, the presenter of the Hart Trophy.
Let’s head to the Links
Could Toews miss the All Star Game to rest up his hand? (Pro Hockey Talk)
Puck Daddy takes a look at the battle between Evander Kane and some Winnipeg fans (Did Kane Dine and dash???)
Speaking of our pal Wysh, he got into a twitter fight with…Lee Stempniak’s brother??? (Pension Plan Puppets)
Ducks Double Rainbow Situation? I didn’t know what it meant either till i read about it on Anaheim Calling
There is no easing into the week for Shanaban (The Pens Blog)
In case you missed it on the weekend, here is the Ference suspension video (NHL)
Chris Pronger’s wife talks about what its been like dealing with Chris’ concussion…wait a minute….I thought family members were off limits? Oh just in Toronto, got it. (SB nation)
Taylor Hall says he didn;t mean to call out his head coach (Edmonton Journal)
and I know this was on Saturday, but its still funny