I will speak it into existence, I swear.
Malkin played in just 68 games, battling injury and a small suspension, finishing with 21 goals and 51 assists for 72 points. He had a -25 rating while averaging 18:48 on the ice per night. He maintained a 50.3% Corsi For on the ice and blocked 33 shots with 54 registered hits. It was a down season for him but who doesn’t have a dip season every once in a while?
Malkin spoke with Rob Rossi of The Athletic during the offseason about what he struggled with on and off this season. He talks about some of the mental challenges he went through during a rough season. Dealing with isolation both with the distance between his family and him, as well as being in a country where he feels like an outsider took a toll on Malkin.
If you haven’t read this yet, please do because it’s such a deep article and I’ve read it 6-times.
Malkin says he has his sights clear on winning another Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh:
“My desire is to win a fourth Cup. It’s, like, not many Russians with four Cups. I would be (the) only one. This is my target right now.” (x)
Malkin knows he can get himself back to his fullest potential and I believe he can do it this season.
Sometimes, we get so overwhelmed in life that we lose our heads for a bit, I know I’ve been there a lot this year. It happens to everyone. You just have to step back and look at things from the outside looking in, remember what you were even chasing in the first place. Malkin took that time this summer to remember what matters most to him and what he has to do to get back to a place where he can help the Penguins win a 4th Cup.
This season is going to be a 180 from the Malkin we saw last year. I think after this off-season to refocus on what is to come next, he’ll be able to pick up the pieces and rebuild himself. He had 98 points in 2017-2018 and I think Geno will be able to get himself back to that higher range.
One of the reasons Malkin is one of my favorite players is because he’s relentless. On the ice he’s decimating opponents or battling for a goal, he refuses to give up. I’m excited to see that Angry Geno back on the ice, lighting up the lamp and guys who piss him off.
We’re almost to hockey season. It’s a new season with a clean slate. Magical things are going to happen.
Featured Image: Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire