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Old
10-17-2010, 04:53 PM
  #51
SidGenoMario
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Since when is Zhenya a nickname for Malkin?

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10-17-2010, 04:59 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
Since when is Zhenya a nickname for Malkin?
Pretty sure it's a Russian nickname for Eugene. If I remember correctly, Zhenya:Evgeni as Sasha:Alexander.

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10-17-2010, 05:14 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by mich View Post
Pretty sure it's a Russian nickname for Eugene. If I remember correctly, Zhenya:Evgeni as Sasha:Alexander.
That makes as much sense as a dick flavored lollipop

I was curious of that too though, so...thanks!

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10-17-2010, 05:28 PM
  #54
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Malkin's going to be fine 5-on-5. There's an adjustment period to playing a new position with new linemates and new defensemen in transition.

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10-17-2010, 05:34 PM
  #55
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Malkin looks alright so far this year, because he's so damn good that even at his worst he's still going to go out there and create and work magic with the puck.

However, he still resembles the Malkin from last year much more than the 07-08-09 Malkin. That Malkin was an absolute freak; this one is still good but not on that same level of dominance.

One thing I have noticed is that he seems less willing to assert himself physically. Malkin is a big dude and he used to brush off defenders like bugs, and use his burst to blow past guys. Now he is far too content to try and finesse everything and do too much stick handling. He's tending to peel off rather than attack the net.

I have no idea why, but I suspect that some of these theories are probably pretty close. It probably is a psychological thing. I think the OP and others are right to be concerned.

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10-17-2010, 05:39 PM
  #56
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I just don't like Malkin at wing. Never have, and i can't see that changing in the future. He just seems more bottled up at wing, and if anything as a center having to come back deep in the middle of the ice helps him pick up speed as he goes back down the ice.

That said, talk about him being immature and pouting seem to be unfounded...i just don't see it at all. You have to remember that despite being around for a while Malkin and Fleury are still only 24 and 25. Many of the more "mature" players (datsyuk, zetterberg, alfredsson) didn't even become good until their late 20s. Crosby's maturity has spoiled us, because his type of dedication and focus is unheard of for such a young guy.

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Old
10-17-2010, 05:50 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
It's such a ridiculous stereotype, but it's really tough to argue against when you see it time and again with some of these guys.

I beg some of you to go back to the Cup run like I mentioned yesterday. Rewatch some of those games if you can, particularly game 3 against Washington, the hat trick game against Carolina, and games 4 and 6 against Detroit.

Besides getting to enjoy some memories, you'll see that when Geno wants, he is better than Sid and it doesn't matter who he plays with.

What you'll also realize is that the line combos were as ****ed as they are now, especially when we dressed 7 D after Gonch got hurt. The only difference is we won the Cup back then, so people are under the impression that TOI was better distributed, which is nonsense. With your own eyes you'll see Geno with Satan and Fedetenko in game 3 against Corolina and dominate. Dupuis and Feds in game 6 versus Detroit and dominate. Each goal in the hat trick game against Carolina was with different linemates.

My point if you actually read this far? Geno didn't give a flying **** who he was playing with, because at that time he believed he was the best player in the world, and he acted like it. He'd gallop up the middle, streak down the left side, fly down the right, winger/center designation be damned. It was his game, his puck and he was only letting the others participate.

I hated Bill Guerin more than anything, but Sid went out there last year and scored 50 goals and 100 points again while carrying him and a broken down Kunitz on his back for much of the year, including round 1 against the Sens. It's up to Geno, who's at least paid as an equal, to do the same.
And what was Geno doing the year before with Fedotenko and Sykora while Sid was spearing other guys in the nuts until they got him some wingers. Not that simple . . .

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10-17-2010, 05:51 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Coach John McGuirk View Post
I don't think Malkin is playing poorly. He's not racking up the points, but he's not playing like Fedotenko out there.

He needs to shoot more, shoot everybody.
Uh, he's like top 3 in the league in shots . . .

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Old
10-17-2010, 05:52 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Sidney the Kidney View Post
Didn't Geno play the wing at the Olympics or World championships, with Datsyuk at center? He didn't look awkward or out of his element then, so I don't know why he would now.

Now obviously he doesn't have a centerman as good as Datsyuk playing with him, but if we're simply talking about how comfortable or adjusted he is at the wing, I don't see why his play at the Olympics doesn't translate to with us.
Different system . . .

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10-17-2010, 05:54 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Crozbar View Post
Malkin needs better coaching a different system. Even with that said, I think he has not been too bad so far this year; but the guy is such a morale player, if he doesn't start finding the back of the net soon along with being consistently paired with players he can be confident in, he is going to have another down year. He probably will end up be traded down the line (not this season of course) in that case -- and all in favor of Jordan Staal, a player who has maybe half the potential.

If he ever were to be moved, hopefully it is to somewhere where he will get a chance to shine as the potential 1# center in the league he could be.

(Preferably in the Western conference).
This. Whenever people say "well, look what he did in the finals", the three biggest assisting factors are gone: Fitzie isn't running the forwards, the system is chanced, and Max isn't doing his poor man's Malone impersonation.

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Old
10-17-2010, 05:55 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by ChrisKunitzIsMyBoy View Post
I think many of us think Malkin = Jagr.

I don't view it that way at all. I don't think Malkin gives two ***** about being THE GUY, he just does what his coach tells him to do and is okay with it.
And if it puts him in less of a position to succeed or makes him uncomfortable on the ice, then he keeps his mouth shut . . . I suppose he learned that one 3 years ago against Detroit with the left point on the PP things . . .

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10-17-2010, 05:57 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
If we're going to isolate any problem with him, its' the fact that the supporting cast sucks for the most part.

But like I stated before, the guy played a WING hybrid during his Conn Smythe run. When you play up high in the defensive zone, YOU'RE the one leading the rush while the backcheckers are behind you on any turnover. You can argue that as a center playing down low and dirty in the defensive zone, you now have 5 defenders to go through on any turnover because the deeper you are, the easier it is for the defenders to back off and clog things up once they lose possession.

If people want to play Devil's advocate for the handful of games at wing this year, then fine. The fact is, injured or not, he played center all of last season and just wasn't himself.

I'll name you one example this year where it's a clear cut case of the kid's head just being up in the clouds sometimes, no matter if he has the wall on the PP or is playing center 5 on 5: His penalty shot against the Leafs. The second he picked the puck up and started skating sloooowly and zigging and zagging, everyone knew that HE knew he wasn't going to score.

All valid coaching criticisms aside, your 8.7M dollar, generational player shouldn't be moping and having zero confidence in himself when he's being given a clear cut breakaway from center ice. No matter what else is going on. There's no excuse for that.
Again, different system . . . different assistant . . . the "two years ago . . . blah, blah" doesn't pass the smell test.

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10-17-2010, 05:59 PM
  #63
Florentino Ariza
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Oh please. Malkin puck bunnies are the worst; they'll defend the guy like he's their first love. He is moody. He is expected to be earning his 8.7 million dollar paycheck. But I think his lack of points right now has nothing to do with what position he's playing or what positions he's being point in by the coaching staff. He's having a tough time right now but the goals and assist will come.

And for all the *****ing about what position he's playing and how Sid gets treated better and wah wah wah, Letestu has been pretty effective as a center

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Old
10-17-2010, 06:00 PM
  #64
KIRK
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Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
I really, really hate that stuff about Therrien getting the most out of Malkin. Aside from the unverifiable "Bylsma benefited from Therrien's structure and being the anti-Therrien", it is the biggest croc of pigeon **** you can imagine.

I remember Geno being put on the left point once Hossa came in, under Therrien mind you, so there goes that myth.

Geno also pulled a vanishing act after game 2 against the Flyers in '08, and it lasted beyond the Final. I understand he wasn't feeling well, but it is what it is. This was also under Therrien.

And my favorite is the 2 or 3 month stretch under Therrien - when Sid got hurt. Really? Your best player goes down, Staal finishes the season with 12 goals, and it was some stroke of genius that Geno become Therrien's go-to guy? Wow, what a novel concept. Your best player goes down (Sid), so you let your second best player (Geno) get all the reps
I say this as someone who hated Michel Therrien . . .

1. Where did he put Malkin to open the following season on the PP with Gonchar and Whitney out? Here's a hint . . . it wasn't the left point.

2. As good as Geno was with Sid out, he was as good if not better the following year before the wheels came off on the Therrien era. Sid was back, you may recall . . .

But, please, continue to revise history at will . . .

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Old
10-17-2010, 06:01 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by Florentino Ariza View Post
Oh please. Malkin puck bunnies are the worst; they'll defend the guy like he's their first love. He is moody. He is expected to be earning his 8.7 million dollar paycheck. But I think his lack of points right now has nothing to do with what position he's playing or what positions he's being point in by the coaching staff. He's having a tough time right now but the goals and assist will come.

And for all the *****ing about what position he's playing and how Sid gets treated better and wah wah wah, Letestu has been pretty effective as a center
Well, I must confess, that's a pretty good reason to play Malkin on the wing.

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Old
10-17-2010, 06:03 PM
  #66
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That makes as much sense as a dick flavored lollipop

I was curious of that too though, so...thanks!
Russian's a weird language. They're also really into nicknames. It's a Slavic thing that they kinda take to extremes.

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Old
10-17-2010, 06:03 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post
Malkin's going to be fine 5-on-5. There's an adjustment period to playing a new position with new linemates and new defensemen in transition.
CW, I don't disagree that he'll be "fine". The problem is that you can't afford to pay 8.7M per season for "fine". The problem is that, when you look at what Malkin contributes out there, based on how he is used, I think you can improve your team in terms of what the players you'd get in a trade for Malkin can do out there.

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10-17-2010, 06:08 PM
  #68
Silas Robertson
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
And if it puts him in less of a position to succeed or makes him uncomfortable on the ice, then he keeps his mouth shut . . . I suppose he learned that one 3 years ago against Detroit with the left point on the PP things . . .
Nowhere in those 10 posts in a row you just made explain (the multi-quote function is there for a reason)why, exactly, you feel he won't be able to excel on the wing. Nobody who claims Geno's doomed on the wing has. Still waiting.

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10-17-2010, 06:13 PM
  #69
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KIRK, allow me to introduce you to the multi-quote function.

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Old
10-17-2010, 06:26 PM
  #70
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1. In theory, there's nothing wrong with playing Malkin on the RW. There's nothing to prevent him, by virtue of playing in that position, from having as many opportunities to get the puck and gallop through the neutral zone. In practice, however, the Pens are using a different system that they used during the Cup run. Wingers get fewer opportunities to lug the puck up ice. Instead, they tend to be all the way up ice, a little flat footed, and used for give and go's to hit a center streaking up ice with a pass. So, have I seen Malkin galloping in games? Absolutely. Has he had the same number of opportunities to do that? I think not. Does that compromise his effectiveness as an offensive player? I think so. Now, in theory, you could empower Malkin to get more opportunities to get the puck with speed with some coaching adjustments. In practice, you won't, for reasons everyone should gather at this point.

2. The powerplay has been covered ad nauseum. I can't think of anyone here who doesn't think that he's a decoy at best, and a poorly positioned one at that.

3. On the psychological, I think one thing that people miss here is that Malkin often performs based on the coaching staff's stated and implied expectations. If you expect him to be one of the top three players in the league and use him in a way that reinforces that expectation (i.e., you put him into position to make plays), then he performs. If you expect him to be Wutjek Wolski and use him as such, then that's what you get (I use Wolski as a metaphor in honor of Tony Granato, who's presence on the Pens coaching staff and role as assistant in charge of the forwards has been one of the worst things for Malkin's career).

End of the day, here's what I see in Malkin. I see a progression from Dave King to Michel Therrien designed to turn Malkin into the most dominant two way center in hockey, a Pavel Datsyuk defensively who brought to the table shades of Mario's offensive game.

On the day Michel Therrien was fired, that's just about the player Malkin had become. Defensively, he was a takeaway artist, a guy you'd be happy to put out there on the PK or in the last minute of a game. Offensively, he didn't just put up points. He'd go out there and control the flow of the game in a way that I've only seen Mario and Jagr do it.

Revisionist historians here will say that Malkin took off the day Bylsma took over. In fact, for the last 20 games of the regular season, he was a noticeably less effective player who almost lost the scoring title in the last week of the season. Then, he was meh in the series against Philly and ugly in two games against Washington.

What happened then were two things: One, he got Max Talbot on his wing, and Talbot picked the perfect time to do a Ryan Malone impersonation. Two, he started getting a lot more minutes. The confidence came back. The adrenaline was there. And, he rode it for 16 games to a Conn Smythe.

Then, Tom Fitzgerald went back to the press box. In came Tony Granato. Unlike Fitzie and Therrien before him, he didn't take the 1A/1B approach when it came to Sid and Geno. He took a 1/2 approach. Of course, injuries played a toll, but what stood out to me in terms of how this coaching staff viewed Malkin was game 5 against Montreal:

After a season in which Geno had a Ukranian on one of his wings, he opened game 5 with Talbot and Dupuis on his wings. He played two absolute monster periods of hockey. He got heavy minutes. He was a force again. And, then, the coaching staff decided that Sid was having a rough night with Guerin, so they decided to swap Guerin and Dupuis. Malkin wasn't heard from again . . .

So, for me, herein lies the problem right now with Malkin: You're not paying him 8.7M per year to be great on Staal's wing and otherwise meh. If that's the case, then why not trade him for a pair of young wingers and really stock this club for years?

End of the day, Malkin is not going to be a 8.7M per year player playing for this coaching staff. They don't see him as one, they don't use him as one, and he doesn't perform as one. Sugarcoat it however you like: Something has to give, whether it's Malkin, the coaching staff, or the Pens' cup chances.

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KIRK, allow me to introduce you to the multi-quote function.
You mean this . . .

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10-17-2010, 06:29 PM
  #71
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What Malkin learned 3 years ago was to keep his mouth shut in public. He was right to be ashamed. If he has a problem playing left point, he shouldn't tell white lies to Bylsma.

We can't ignore Malkin's role in this. Part of the reason Bylsma doesn't count on Malkin in important situations is that Malkin has become a very undisciplined player since two years ago. He doesn't think defense, and it has led to a goal against more than once.

I do agree with the idea that a lot whether Malkin stays here is up to him. If he is doing everything he can to play his game, and it isn't working at wing, we go from there. He hasn't consistently played his game in a very long time. The moping and refusal to improve weaknesses must stop. He is a leader now.

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10-17-2010, 06:33 PM
  #72
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You mean this . . .
Haha, yep...

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10-17-2010, 06:41 PM
  #73
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Malkin has been one of our best forwards this year. Last nights game was the first game that Crosby outplayed him and now everyone is all over him. His even strength production will be fine once Staal gets back and creates a bit of space for him.

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10-17-2010, 06:50 PM
  #74
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Originally Posted by GOGOgadgetGuinos View Post
Nowhere in those 10 posts in a row you just made explain (the multi-quote function is there for a reason)why, exactly, you feel he won't be able to excel on the wing. Nobody who claims Geno's doomed on the wing has. Still waiting.
Forget it, they don't have an answer. They just say they will never like it, doesn't work, different system, makes them sick to their stomach or it bottles him up!!

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10-17-2010, 06:57 PM
  #75
Silas Robertson
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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
1. In theory, there's nothing wrong with playing Malkin on the RW. There's nothing to prevent him, by virtue of playing in that position, from having as many opportunities to get the puck and gallop through the neutral zone. In practice, however, the Pens are using a different system that they used during the Cup run. Wingers get fewer opportunities to lug the puck up ice. Instead, they tend to be all the way up ice, a little flat footed, and used for give and go's to hit a center streaking up ice with a pass. So, have I seen Malkin galloping in games? Absolutely. Has he had the same number of opportunities to do that? I think not. Does that compromise his effectiveness as an offensive player? I think so. Now, in theory, you could empower Malkin to get more opportunities to get the puck with speed with some coaching adjustments. In practice, you won't, for reasons everyone should gather at this point.
There we go. Your gripe is that the coaching staff is not utilizing his assets properly on the wing. I agree with that sentiment for the most part. I also believe that after 6 games, we can't draw the conclusion that DB won't look at the situation and alter Malkin's responsibilities on that line to fix that (Not saying there's a whole lot of evidence saying that he will, however).

I'm going to give both parties the chance to prove that it can succeed. There's no doubt there's a way to incorporate Malkin's best offensive abilities as a center ("galloping" through the center of the ice as you call it, his uncanny vision, and creativity) with his theoretical strengths on the wing (not having to take faceoffs, creating turnovers up top that lead to odd-man rushes, his shot, being in a good position to receive breakout passes). The question remains, will the coaching staff be able to maximize this.

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On the day Michel Therrien was fired, that's just about the player Malkin had become. Defensively, he was a takeaway artist, a guy you'd be happy to put out there on the PK or in the last minute of a game. Offensively, he didn't just put up points. He'd go out there and control the flow of the game in a way that I've only seen Mario and Jagr do it.
I really don't believe that the reason Malkin was so offensively dominant was because of MT. Give him a full, healthy season with his current linemates, his confidence up, and a bit more flexibility on the ice, he's going to be a top 3 forward in this league again. No doubt in my mind.

I still think Geno's one of the best takeaway guys in the league. I've been contending that this is a positive to him being on the wing, in fact.

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Originally Posted by KIRK View Post
So, for me, herein lies the problem right now with Malkin: You're not paying him 8.7M per year to be great on Staal's wing and otherwise meh. If that's the case, then why not trade him for a pair of young wingers and really stock this club for years?

End of the day, Malkin is not going to be a 8.7M per year player playing for this coaching staff. They don't see him as one, they don't use him as one, and he doesn't perform as one. Sugarcoat it however you like: Something has to give, whether it's Malkin, the coaching staff, or the Pens' cup chances.
I just cut out everything I agree with or am indifferent to. I think everyone can see the issue on the PP, and I'm not going to concern myself with what happened 2 years ago.

To the underlined part: I'm just not ready to subscribe to that claim. It's obvious that some strategic things need to be changed in order to make it all work, but I believe that this coaching staff can be smart enough to make those changes. If not, by all means something does need to give. However, 6 games into this new experiment, you simply can't claim that it's doomed before we can see everything that it can be.

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