Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Malkin matches the record

There aren't too many 89-year-old records left in the NHL record book, but Penguins' freshman Evgeni Malkin just tied one with his sixth goal in just his sixth NHL game tonight in Los Angeles.

Heading into tonight's game, the super rookie from Magnitogorsk was on pace for 78 goals and 140 points this season.


UPDATE The Penguins pull this one out in overtime on a four-on-three power play, and — surprise, surprise — it's Mr. Malkin potting the winner.

Including the two goals he managed tonight, Malkin has seven goals and four assists in six games — which, minus the four games he missed to start the year, is a 91-goal, 143-point pace.

UPDATE As an aside: Boy, do the Kings need a break. Coach Marc Crawford and company really are talent poor up front, but this team battled hard against Pittsburgh, throwing 27 shots Marc-Andre Fleury's way and playing a pretty sound game defensively.

You could see the frustration boil over on the overtime winner, when Sergei Gonchar's shot from the point struck defenceman Brent Sopel in the shin pad, plopping right down in front of Malkin who easily sailed it past netminder Dan Cloutier. Sopel splintered his composite into a million pieces, and his fellow former Canuck in goal could only look to the heavens in frustration.

Los Angeles has played 15 games — more than any other NHL team — and managed 11 points, but are second last in goals scored per game. After getting out to a decent 2-1-0 start to the year, the Kings have won just two of their last 12 games.

All that despite being one of the league's best teams (6th) in shots allowed.


At 5:56 a.m., November 02, 2006, Blogger The Puck Stops Here said...

This "record" goes back to the first NHL season ever 1917/18. The guys that set it were not truly rookies, they were in mid-career but had not played NHL before because it didn't exist. Further, scoring was much higher in those days. This Malkin run is more impressive butr it is only 6 games and six games does not make a career.

At 9:48 a.m., November 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kings signed Cloutier to a contract extention at the beginning of the year, a move that may prove to have been a costly, cap-crimping error. Dude has precisely one win, with a goals against average of 3.48 and a miserable 0.874 save percentage. How much longer can Crawford justify rolling this guy out there? He's got to ride Garon for a while to get his team back in the hunt.

At 1:53 a.m., November 03, 2006, Blogger Doogie said...

True, the 1917-18 records should really be discounted, except for true first-year pros, since most of those guys were imported from the NHA, the same-but-different predecessor. But, really, the first six-game goal-scoring streak to start an NHL career is still noteworthy. He could flame out like Brian Boucher after his five-shutout streak, but it looks a hell of a lot less likely.

At 4:06 p.m., November 04, 2006, Anonymous deacon blue said...

What made the overtime win for Pittsburgh really hard to take was that the officials absolutely blew it on the penalty-call on Mattias Norstrom. Replays showed the Penguin player trip his own self up, but because Matti was close by, they called tripping.
I, too, don't get the decisions playing Cloutier. He's let in at least one soft goal every game. Garon is far from perfect, but he's usually solid. And the D plays much better in front of him.


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