Star center Malkin 'glad' to be back on ice with Penguins after Olympics
Evgeni Malkin did not do much at the Winter Olympics.
He played hockey, dined with his parents, attended a few figure skating events and watched on TV as some Russians won medals.
“I'm glad to come back (and) see the guys,” Malkin said Wednesday after his second post-Olympics practice with the Penguins at Consol Energy Center. “They help me a lot.”
Malkin conceded he was not completely over Team Russia's failure to medal in men's ice hockey at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. He revealed few details about his Olympics experience, which friends and Penguins teammates were told was not enjoyable.
Not helping Russia to its first hockey gold medal is at the center of Malkin's disappointment.
“I remember (at the 2010 Vancouver Games) we lost, and now it's more worse (because) we played at home,” Malkin said. “Of course it's tough. (I) need a little bit more time.”
Malkin returned to practice Tuesday and met with Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. No stranger to Olympic disappointment after Team USA failed to medal, Bylsma spoke to Malkin about their respective needs to refocus on trying to win the Stanley Cup that has eluded the Penguins since 2009.
Malkin led that postseason in scoring and was named playoff MVP.
He appears to be inspired by Russia's failure in Sochi, Penguins teammates said.
“I think he'll only be down a couple of days,” right winger James Neal said of his regular center. “He looks angry more than anything.
“Geno came back upset, obviously. He also looks confident, and we've seen what he can do when he's feeling confident.”
Malkin began the NHL season with only 10 points in his opening 13 games. He has produced 48 points in his past 34 games — a 1.41 points-per-game pace that is not far off his MVP 2011-12 season ratio (1.45).
Malkin had looked forward to playing for Russia at the Games. However, he finished with only a goal and two assists, no points in the final four games, and his third Olympics ended without a medal.
Malkin and fellow Russian star Alex Ovechkin took issue with their national club's roster composition, coaching and how they were used. Both felt there was a divide between Russians in the NHL and that country's Kontinental Hockey League.
Malkin took a diplomatic approach to Russia's problems Wednesday.
“I know everyone on (the) team played hard, 100 percent,” Malkin said. “We just (did) not play together.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins forwards struggle in loss to Avalanche
- Penguins notebook: Crosby says he would play goal if needed
- Crosby, Malkin chase scoring title amid defense-minded league
- Penguins need trade-deadline acquisitions to bring toughness
- Penguins notebook: Team exercising caution with Ehrhoff’s return from concussion
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins
- Crosby fights, Penguins lose to Blue Jackets
- Trade for Winnik gives Penguins competition among bottom six
- Starkey: Penguins still forging identity
- Starkey: Penguins not mortgaging future
- Penguins’ Kunitz makes a dream come true