Boston – – Evgeni Malkin has played over 1,000 NHL games. He has 1,180 points in 1,017 games. Recently the Russian veteran passed Sergei Fedorov for the second most points for a Russian-born player. What’s missing from his tremendous resume? A Winter Classic moment. Sidney Crosby had his in 2008, but Malkin is still looking for one. Could this be the year?
“When we were growing up we played outside. Almost every day I would play after school. We had a couple of rinks outside, but this generation, in his case (pointing to his son sitting beside him), it’s a great life. They have everything,” Malkin pondered. “I hope he understands how lucky he is to play outside. It’s not easy to explain that to him. It’s a great experience for him. It’s his first time. He’s a good skater. I hope he plays hockey someday.”
The Penguins need the two points more than the Boston Bruins. The Metro Division will be tight all season.
“It’s our job. Coach said before practice today. We need a good practice today. It’s more fun, with family and the New Year. Together we had fun but today it’s back to work. We lost our last three games. We need these two points,” Malkin explained.
Malkin talked about how both teams will face the same conditions including some wind that could see the teams changing ice positions mid-period if the NHL decides so, and there is no actual home-ice advantage other than the cheers of the fans. There are no dead spots in the boards.
“It’s the same for both teams,” Malkin added.
Mike Sullivan has certainly made sure his players are ready for this game. I could see that. Anybody could see that.
“Play a simple game. We’ve played five times. It’s fun, but it’s not easy,” said Malkin.
The Penguins and Bruins have a lot of experience. The puck will drop at 2ish, as I expect there to be a slight delay based on sun glare. There have been some in the past few days, and it won’t shock me at all if Mother Nature decides to put her stamp on this game.
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