gigz51 wrote:Ok, I'm reading a lot of ridiculous responses that are beyond absurd (namely the ones shouting "TROLL!!!!" as opposed to discussing why). I enjoyed reading the grades.
Malkin got a D. Yes I disagree with this, but I see where that's coming from. Malkin has a whole lot of potential and skill, but his lack of strength at times, hinders his ability. How can one person look like a work horse some shifts and send the opposing team bouncing off of him, then get knocked off his skates by the breeze caused by someone leaving the igloo for a smoke break the rest of the game? How much was he hindered by not speaking English? Again, he knew he'd be on an NHL team before long, why not start learning? You can claim that he is good in clutch situations, but why isn't he just as good in non clutch situations? Those can be just as important. Why does he only seem to step it up when the game is in jeopardy? What would happen if Malkin played when they were up by 2 the same way he played if they're down by 1 in the closing minutes?
Whitney's been far from special. Same old same old. He's not using his size, pinches too often, gets caught out of place a lot. But he doesn't take nearly the abuse on here that, say, Orpik does. Why? Whitney puts up points. So he's judging him based off of a defensive standpoint instead of the points. There's a lot more to hockey than points.
people here are more like Crash than they realize. The fixate on stats alone without taking into consideration the whole player. As you mentioned, Malkin had 3 years to start learning English & he didn't...contrast that to Mario who started taking English lessons when he knew he was coming to an American team. Strike two is his inconsistent play all season. Yes, he has talent, but does he have heart & drive? It appears to me that if the Head Coach calls him out a few times in the media & has to have come-to-Jesus meetings with him, it suggests a lack of drive & underachivement.
The only concern I have with Malkin is what we've seen with AO (to a lesser extent), Zherdev, and Kovalchuk (and what has been Kovalev's problem for a career). The Russian superstars have this adaptation issue where they all thing they are the best players and deserve special treatment. I think Malking has a HUGE benefit playing BEHIND Crosby. It's hard to believe you're the best when the best is sitting next to you every night. But I think a lot of MT's crack down is to prevent this from happening.
But overall, he had a great season. It could have been better, but it also could have been a lot worse (remember that him playing this year was still in question for a while).
So I would give Malking a B because there was room for improvement, but any time you can put over 80 points up, you're doing a good job. He, like Whitney, needs to learn that there is hitting in the NHL and you have to take hits occasionally. I was almost embarassed when the Ottowa radio guys mentioned how Malkin bailed on a breakout when he was about to get hit last night.
NOW he has the chance to define himself. He can go down the path of the problematic Russian superstars and train half-heartedly this off season OR he can get in the gym with Sid every day.