Has Evgeni Malkin Maxed out for the Penguins, or Is This Just the Start?

July 31st, 2012 by Steve Silverman Leave a reply »
Flat-out talent.

When it comes to all-around ability, Evgeni Malkin does not have to take a backseat to any player in the NHL.

Perhaps fellow Russian Pavel Datsyuk is a better defensive player and regularly can create more "Oh Wow" moments when stick handling, but Malkin may be the most dynamic offensive player in the game.

Malkin dominated for the Penguins last year, and he won the league's Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer in the NHL. He also came away with the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player. With Sidney Crosby sidelined for much of the season with concussion-related health issues, Malkin stepped up his game and took the team on his shoulders.

Malkin scored 50 goals and 59 assists for the Penguins. As Malkin stepped up his game, other Penguins stepped forward as well. Most notably James Neal, who added a career-high 40 goals and 41 assists.

In addition to putting big numbers up for the Penguins, Malkin seemed to play with more emotion and fervor than he has ever demonstrated before.

Head coach Dan Bylsma said Malkin wanted to help his short-handed team and was prepared.  "It was ...

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