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Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin skating on the ice against the Vegas Golden Knights
Photo credit: Pittsburgh Penguins - NHL

Penguins Star Not Happy with Current Performance says Head Coach Mike Sullivan

Published January 22, 2024 at 11:33
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The Penguins star Evgeni Malkin was not happy about how he played against the Golden Knights, especially in the third period where it all fell apart for the Pens.

When asked about it, he did not mix words. Malkin is not one to sugar coat his game or how he is feeling about his play.

«It was a tough loss, a not-great third period. It wasn't my best game,» said Malkin. «It's a new day, a new practice. We had a good meeting today and practice. My focus is on tomorrow and the next game.»




Even with a decent season on paper and an assist in the Golden Knights loss, Malkin's play can sometimes be described as inconsistent. It was his two plays that directly led to the Golden Knights 2 goals in the third that brought them back into the game.

«He's such an important player for us and so talented offensively. Some of the inconsistencies in his game are more without the puck and trying to do too much,» coach Mike Sullivan said. «I think he's trying to do too much instead of just doing his job and allowing his teammates to do their s Sometimes, he tries to take it upon himself, and when he tries to do too much, that's when we get caught in between.»

The Malkin line has had it's ups and downs this year. Reilly Smith went cold before getting injuried, with just 1 goal in 30 games. The bright spot has been Drew O'Connor and his play moving from the 3rd line up into a top 6 role. As for Malkin, he is not pulling his weight like Crosby, and he knows it.

«(My game) has been up and down. One game is good, like when I played in Philadelphia. Yesterday wasn't good,» Malkin said. «I need to play better in every game. I want to stay at the same level every game, not like one game good, three games bad. I'm trying my best. I don't feel great after last night. I rested today, and we'll see what's going on tomorrow.»

Here is a clip of Malkin talking about his game candidly.


Neither Head Coach Mike Sullivan or Malkin himself mentioned age in the discussion. Malkin is 37 and sometimes age can slowly creepy up on you. His gallop through center ice has slowed and his powerplay work as a unit is just 13%.

Mike Sullivan added about Malkin;

«I know he's a well-intentioned guy. I think the most important thing in our message to him has been, ‘Don't try to do too much. Just do your job.' And when he does that, I think he's a very effective tool for us."

As mentioned, Malkin is his own toughest critic. He will not hold back on how he feels whether people and fans agree with him or not. Maybe it is a mid-season slump, but even Malkin knows, the team will need him to perform consistently to make the playoffs.

As Read On: Pittsburgh Hockey Now - PENGUINSEvgeni Malkin Not Happy With His Game; Mike Sullivan Explains
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January 22   |   192 answers
Penguins Star Not Happy with Current Performance says Head Coach Mike Sullivan

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