We knew this was coming. But we hoped it was another few years down the road.
The Pittsburgh media have put in motion the beginning of the end of Evgeni Malkin with the Penguins.
Like Ron Cook last week,
Rob Rossi has jumped into the bash-Malkin discussion. Sadly, the seeds for this Rossi article were planted way back in the early-to-mid-'90s, when journalists began having personal vendettas against foreign hockey players because they wouldn't grant interviews or were just generally standoffish toward the media.
Pittsburgh media, renowned for being some of the most prejudiced and back-stabbing in the country, are slowing turning the tide against Evgeni Malkin. It's shocking and disgusting. But it was to be expected.
The title of Rob Rossi's Sunday column, "Malkin paid like Crosby, needs to play like him,"
sucks you in, making you think that the article will be about Malkin's current slump, some fancy stat comparisons between Sid and Geno, and how the Penguins might fare if Malkin doesn't start showing his brilliance on a nightly basis.
And actually, Rossi touches upon this stuff...for maybe 8 sentences. The rest of the article is Rossi giving Sidney Crosby the journalistic equivalent of a reach-around, applauding Sid for handling the Canadian media with deftness while chastising Malkin for not doing the same. And it is almost maddening to think that this happens BECAUSE Malkin is in a slump. While setting the pace for the Penguins during the regular season AND the playoffs last year, the media wasn't saying a word. Watching this Malkin kid come into his own while learning the finer points of the English language was arguably the story of the year for every Pens fan. The media knew this and churned out feel-good story after feel-good story about Malkin.
After the jump, it's time to assess Rossi's column...and read his whinefest about Malkin not falling over himself to give the media what they want, consequently turning journalists and their egos against him.
And this is anything but a bash-Crosby piece coming from us.
If the day comes when Penguins fans are split into Malkin and Crosby camps, it's all over.
Rob Rossi doesn't even try to hide his prejudice against Evgeni Malkin.
Here is his bio from the Trib.
Definition of unprofessional.
After the jump, we explore Rossi's "article."