Kukla's Korner

Entries with the tag: evgeni malkin

How Will Tavares Compare?

In his first NHL game, John Tavares scored a goal and put up a secondary assist on a Mark Streit goal. For what it’s worth, those two points beat out the first games of Sidney Crosby (one assist), Patrick Kane (scoreless), and Evgeni Malkin (one goal). Of course, those guys turned out to be ok players (though not necessarily the best car passengers), and history has given us plenty of brilliant starts that tailed off into oblivion.

Then there’s the slow starters: Steven Stamkos took a half-season and a mullet-less coach to get going while Eric Staal and Joe Thornton had pretty unspectacular rookie years. Where will Tavares end up? Let’s look at how Crosby, Kane, Malkin, and Alex Ovechkin did in their first ten games.

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Filed in: NHL, | Mike Chen's Hockey Blog | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, evgeni+malkin, john+tavares, patrick+kane, sidney+crosby, steven+stamkos

Picking Conn Smythe

If the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup tonight (and if you’re going by history, that if comes with about 90% certainty because of home ice), I think we’re all in agreement about giving the Conn Smythe to Chris Osgood. He’s been surprisingly steady, and other than Game 4 against Columbus, hasn’t really had a bad game that I can think of.

On the other hand, should the Penguins beat the odds and win, everyone’s handing the Conn Smythe over to Evgeni Malkin.

Now hold on a second. While Malkin was, to use a Pierre McGuire term, a monster during the Carolina series and has been very strong against the Red Wings, am I the only one who remembers that it took about two series for him to really get going?

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Filed in: | Mike Chen's Hockey Blog | Permalink
  Tags: chris+osgood, conn+smythe, evgeni+malkin, sidney+crosby

Everyone Hates Sid

What’s it like to be Sidney Crosby? Here’s a guy who, at 18 years old, already had most of the hockey world hating him—and he hadn’t done anything yet. Of course, that probably was the problem, as the NHL deemed him The Next One prior to him playing a single NHL game.

We all know what happened after that. He had a great rookie season only to be overshadowed by Alexander Ovechkin, then went on to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP in his second season. By then, people had finally stopped blindly bashing Crosby and recognized how good he really was. In his third season, an injury took Crosby out of any awards but he was the strongest Penguin on a team that charged to within two wins of the Stanley Cup.

This year? He’s had an embarrassing fight, some nagging injuries, and the Crosby backlash seems to be in full force from pretty much everywhere (except for, shockingly, Don Cherry). In most hockey circles, discussion of the Penguins’ fortunes seems to focus more on Evgeni Malkin, and whenever Crosby is actually brought up, it’s often accompanied by the phrase “He’s not even the best player on the team.”

In the whole “Who’s the best player in the NHL?” argument, there are talks of Malkin’s scoring-race lead or Alexander Ovechkin’s supercharged goalscoring and enthusiasm. Crosby, however, seems to have slipped by the wayside in everything except NHL marketing pieces.

The strange thing is that facts dispute any naysayer dismissal of Crosby as one of the NHL’s best, if not the best. His points-per-game since he entered the league is better than Malkin or Ovechkin (though not by far); for this season, his points-per-game following Sunday’s three-assist performance over the Boston Bruins is neck-and-neck with Malkin—and both Penguins are just a hair above Ovechkin.

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Filed in: NHL, | Mike Chen's Hockey Blog | Permalink
  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, evgeni+malkin, sidney+crosby

Investing with Gretzky and Messier

During the total system meltdown of the US financial system, you may have noticed an increase in commercials talking about the value of gold. Well, about 20 years ago, a few hockey players and a Hollywood hanger-on had the foresight to invest in this market. They just didn’t get anything out of it.

Tom Arnold—yes, that Tom Arnold—was on the Howard Stern show today and among many other stories (including how he found a passed-out Britney Spears on his apartment building’s stairs during her shaved-head days) was a discussion of his investment in a gold mine with a few friends. Friends who happened to be NHL Hall of Famers.

This ain’t a metaphor for a hot new company or anything like that, it was a literal gold mine. A gold mine, as in a big hole in the ground where people hope to unearth precious metals. He said the logic was that they would purchase the land then unearth $100 million worth of gold. Sounds like a solid plan, right?

Fellows, you better stick with making guarantees on pivotal Game 7s or setting up plays from behind the net.

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Filed in: NHL, | Mike Chen's Hockey Blog | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin, mark+messier, sidney+crosby, wayne+gretzky

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