Evgeni Malkin Might Never Reach His Full Potential


Evgeni Malkin is widely known as one of the premier players in the NHL. It is clearly shown by his plethora of awards he wins (almost) annually. Three times in his brief career Malkin has surpassed 100 points and he has scored over 30 goals four times. That is not even talking about his trophies, two Art Ross trophies, a Calder Memorial trophy, a Conn Smythe trophy, a Hart Memorial Trophy, a Ted Lindsay award and is now a four time All-Star.

There is no questioning Evgeni Malkin’s talent or skill level. If he did not play for the Pittsburgh Penguins I have no doubt Evgeni Malkin would be the number one center on almost any other team in the league. It is not just in the NHL he excels either, he is just as decorated in his international play for team Russia.

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However, Evgeni Malkin is one of the more interesting superstars in all of sports. He is an amazing talent, a treat to watch every night but yet he rarely talks and is quite humble.

I do not believe he has hit his peak, statistically or physically. The great thing Evgeni Malkin has, is a superstar teammate in Sidney Crosby, but it can also be a bad thing. Evgeni Malkin is a player who can over the league when he deems necessary and at other times defers to a “let Crosby do it” style of play.

This is not to say he is not deserving of his contract or he is lazy. It is that we are seeing the downside of Malkin playing on the Pittsburgh Penguins. With so much talent around him Evgeni Malkin does not need to play at a MVP level every season and there are times where it shows.

Jan 13, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) at the face-off circle against the Minnesota Wild during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Some people would simply say that Malkin is a streaky player, but that really is not it. He has proven that he can carry the Penguins for an entire season and play at the very high level for a full 82 game season.

Playing on the Penguins has (obviously) helped Evgeni Malkin to be more successful than he probably would be on any other team. However, removed from this situation I think we would see a more consistent and even more deadly player.

As a hockey fan, it is a shame to never know what Malkin truly can do as he sits in Sidney Crosby’s shadow.