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An Important Trip To Moscow For Mike Johnston

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Evgeni Malkin finally is ready to listen, so new Penguins coach Mike Johnston better say all the right words. The season could be at stake.

Johnston leaves this weekend for Moscow, where he will spend four days with his most important player.

Win over Malkin, and Johnston would take the biggest step toward turning the Penguins back into Stanley Cup contenders. Leaving Moscow without Malkin's support would prove disastrous.

The Penguins are captain Sidney Crosby's franchise, but they must become Malkin's team.

This is no knock on Crosby, the face of hockey in North America. He just can't do what Malkin can for the Penguins' dressing room dynamic. Crosby's calling is bigger, no matter what management might think. His responsibility is to help the Penguins win and the game grow.

Malkin never has done anything but play, and playtime is over because the Penguins need more from their other future Hall of Fame center.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink



This guy sounds pretty over the top, though, seems true what he’s saying. I’m glad the Wings don’t have anyone they have to “win” over, ahem! Cough Franzen Cough!

smile Uhg… Summer is soooo boring. Season can’t come quick enough.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 07/24/14 at 07:54 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Shouldnt it be the other way around?  Shouldnt Malkin have to impress Johnston with his skill, work ethic and attention to detail so that he gets the ice time he wants?

If this story has any merit to it, I believe the Pens just discovered the root of their lack-of-cup-success problem.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 07/24/14 at 08:53 AM ET


Shouldnt it be the other way around?


One of the best players in the league should not have to impress a first-year NHL coach?


Posted by Garth on 07/24/14 at 09:33 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Shouldnt Malkin have to impress Johnston with his skill, work ethic and attention to detail so that he gets the ice time he wants?

If Johnston isn’t already impressed he’s an idiot.

As a Winterhawks fan let me assure you he isn’t an idiot.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 07/24/14 at 10:11 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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