It isn't long, but it is too the point:
No one gets their collective panties in a bunch like Geno Nation.
After the Penguins' 4-3 loss at Toronto Saturday, I tweeted than Evgeni Malkin took some ill-advised penalties, and that Geno still needs production to consistently match artistry.
Reasonable opinions, especially since Malkin’s two penalties both ended up in the net behind Brent Johnson.
You’d have thought I crucified Malkin.
But just to make sure, Geno Nation nailed their hero to the cross anyway. Martyrdom, thy number is 71.
Here’s the bottom line with Malkin: He hasn’t been the same player since 2009, and despite the epiphany he supposedly experienced while rehabilitating his knee, I don’t see a new and improved Malkin. I see the same player we’ve seen the last two seasons.
That player is very good. But like Michel Therrien used to stress, Malkin’s talent merits being in the NHL’s top five scorers. Period.
True, injury has again intervened. It takes a while to recover from knee surgery.
But I still see some of the same flaws. Too much stickhandling. Not enough shooting. The occasional petulance. The only clear improvement is on faceoffs.
Give Malkin time? OK. How much time? Malkin has not been a consistently dominant player since 2009.
When does that guy show up again? That’s all I want to know.
"I don’t see a new and improved Malkin. I see the same player we’ve seen the last two seasons."