Malkin smart not to talk about injury
Evgeni Malkin is hardly healthy and super smart for not talking about it, and that's no joke.
Several teammates believe he might possess the highest IQ among them. There are stories of his first-try pickup of various card games — not blackjack or poker, but a more challenging one such as hearts.
Malkin would rather break down the finer points of bridge, and he could in several languages, than discuss a sore left knee that forced him from the Penguins lineup for a second time Saturday night at Columbus.
His habit is to not speak to the media after game-day morning practices, and he was fast to de-gear and head for medical treatment yesterday. The knee, upon which he has worn a thin brace for almost a month, is bothering him more than any outsider knows.
Don't expect him to use this injury as an excuse for scoring only one goal since netting a hat trick at Atlanta on Nov. 13.
Injuries just aren't worthwhile talking points with Malkin. The closest he has ever come to using one as an excuse was saying he didn't "feel good" during the 2008 Stanley Cup Final. Of course, he was playing with bruised ribs over the final weeks of that postseason — but a former teammate shared that information.
Malkin has yet to confirm, and this reporter believes he knows why.
Malkin is sharp enough to know that Europeans who talk honestly about the impact of injuries on their performance don't often get the benefit of the doubt from some North American media and fans.
Many things have been said and written about Malkin over the years. Not enough has been made of his ability to read the play off the ice. He has done so during these recent struggles (five goals in 18 games) by maintaining a sense of quick-witted humor.
Consider his Monday morning at Madison Square Garden. He and left wing Matt Cooke were among the first players off the ice after a morning practice, and Malkin overheard a conversation with Cooke about the NFL's apparent crackdown on tackling.
"You played football?" Malkin said to Cooke, who nodded.
It was suggested that practically ever male born in North America once tried his hand at football.
"You played football?" Malkin said to this reporter, who nodded.
"What," Malkin continued, "you played water boy?"
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.
- Timing drives former KHL star Plotnikov
- Penguins notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Sestito ready to fight for job on Penguins
- Penguins’ ‘new practice rink’ a multi-faceted sight to see
- Crosby’s off-ice life hardly reflects that of a superstar
- Penguins defenseman Oleksy brings nasty streak, toughness