Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/23/06 at 11:51 PM ET
One season after the Penguins finished last in the Atlantic Division for the fourth consecutive time, they are 10-7-3 (2 points out of first place) with a roster of fledglings who have drawn comparisons to the Edmonton Oilers when Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier were their young stars. Sidney Crosby, the 19-year-old center, does commercials in English and French, leads the N.H.L. All-Star fan balloting in the Eastern Conference and creates passing lanes in tight spaces. Evgeni Malkin, a 20-year-old center, has 10 goals and 10 assists. A federal district court ruling last week allowed him to keep playing for the Penguins after his former team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, in southwestern Russia, initiated legal action against him, claiming it still had Malkin under contract. “Some cities never get a superstar,” Johnston said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “We’ve got a couple of them.”read on
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