I know I don’t write about the Penguins very much, and usually, unless something really noteworthy or meaningful or hilarious happens or is said (I make many goal), I tend not to really pick up writing about them until playoff hockey nears.
This is because there are SO MANY hockey games during the season, that writing about every one of them would turn this into the Pensblog and no one can ever hope to compete with the Pensblog when it comes to Pittsburgh hockey. Those guys are the kings and I am their lowly wench.
I promise you that just because I am not writing regularly about the Pens, I am watching the hockey games. In fact, I watched the recent replay of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, just so I could mock Marian Hossa some more.
I do however want to point out this column the P-G’s Ron Cook wrote today, calling out Evgeni Malkin for “sulking” about his recent slump:
It’s hard to say what is more troubling as the scuffling Penguins fight to get their season back on track — Evgeni Malkin’s lengthy goal-scoring slump or the lame way he appears to be dealing with it.
I’m thinking lame all the way.
Ron Cook goes on to detail how Malkin should buck up and plow through his slump rather than letting it affect his game any more than it already has.
Nothing wrong there.
But then, Ron Cook goes … [gulp] … THERE!
Malkin should be beyond that. He is no kid. He’s 23. This is his fourth NHL season. He is a scoring champion, a Stanley Cup champion and a Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoffs MVP. He shouldn’t still need Gonchar to hold his hand through the tough times. It’s enough to make you wonder what will happen to him if the Penguins don’t do a new contract with Gonchar and allow him to leave as a free agent after the season.
Can you say Jaromir Jagr?
Oh. No. He di’int.
You know the sad ending to the Jagr era with the Penguins. An extraordinary player, he was so moody and sulked so much that he talked of “dying alive” late in his time here. He asked to be traded more than once before former general manager Craig Patrick finally granted his wish before the 2001-02 season.
I’m not ready to suggest that Malkin is going to be another Jagr…
Me English not so good, but, did you not just suggest that very thing by typing Jaromir Jagr’s name in the column, Ron?
Yes, Ron. Yes, you did in fact just suggest it.
Let’s ask Webster, though, just to be sure:
sug·gest (sg-jst, s-jst)tr.v.
“To make evident indirectly; intimate or imply”
Yep, circle gets the square.
Sure, Geno’s slumping. Like a drunk against the jukebox. (Aside: I don’t get to go out to clubs or bars much anymore. They DO still have jukeboxes, don’t they? GET OFF MY LAWN.)
Sure, he’s only scored three goals in twelve games.
Sure, he’s having a hard time dealing with it.
It happens. He’s only 23. And thus far, at least publicly, he’s saying all the right things about it. He’s not making excuses and he admits he needs to figure out how to fix what’s wrong.
But this slump, and his issues in dealing with this slump do not erase his contributions to the team, and they do not erase the fact that he loves Pittsburgh, and they do not erase the fact that he has more hockey talent in his left dimple than most NHL players have in their entire bodies. And this slump or his behavior during it should in no way earn him a public comparison to Jaromir I’m dying alive Jagr.
Geno is a genius on hockey skates, and I can pretty much guaran-effin-tee it that when he pulls out of this slump, and he will, he’s going to do it with so much KABLOOEY! that Ron Cook is going to rue the day he ever put Evgeni Malkin and Jaromir Jagr’s names in the same paragraph.
Dear Evgeni, we still love you. Please, let tonight be the night you figure your shit out so that the next time you see Ron Cook you can be all, “Бооуач, Бтсч!”