Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/20/10 at 11:55 AM ET
from Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Evgeni Malkin, solo artist?
That is how he has looked for most of Russia’s first two games, and through no apparent fault of his own: Malkin has skated feverishly since the first faceoff, at times bowling through teammates and opponents alike to win loose pucks. But there has been no more than scant indication that he is clicking with linemates Ilya Kovalchuk and Maxim Afinogenov.
On one level, that should be little surprise despite the compelling assembly of names: Kovalchuk’s passing is not a strong suit, certainly not compared to his shooting, and many of his shots have been blocked. He has been the target of most of Malkin’s passes, with little reciprocation. Afinogenov always has been known more for his speed than hands, and there has been little chemistry….
One possibility could be to move Pavel Datsyuk, who looks just as isolated on the top line with Washington teammates Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, with Malkin.
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