|Author: Igor Kukurin (Football/Hockey Newspaper)|
Translated By: Sergei Balashov
|Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins): Dynamo Were Up by Two and Still Afraid of Us|
|2006 Russian Super League|
Evgeni Malkin answering questions at the NHL Entry Draft after being selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo is a RussianProspects exclusive)
By Igor Kakurin (Ves Hokkei newspaper)
Translated by Sergei Balashov of RusHockey.com
‘It’s very pleasant and quite unexpected for me,’ – the league’s top scorer was truly glad to be named the best player of October, - ‘it’s important for me what people think of me and people say about my game. When I get that kind of recognition from the Super League teams’ coaches, who are clearly the most important people in hockey, it doubles my pleasure.
Q: Not all the coaches named you the best player, but the majority of them did with the overwhelming majority, almost all of them, listing you as one of their 3 nominees.
Malkin: Who did Dave King name the best player?
Q: He named you. He said he had to be objective and put you on the first place even though you’re on for his team.
Malkin: What about Krikunov?
Q: He named Malkin the best player as well. He said it would be fair despite that fact that you gave lots of trouble to him and his team, which is Dynamo Moscow.
Malkin: Yeah we battled for 6, and not for 3 points in these two games. It’s very pleasant for me to get that kind of recognition from the coach of our adversaries, especially since he’s the coach of the national team. I’m doing my best.
Q: These two games between Magnitka and Dynamo became the most important event of October and of the whole first round. And you were clearly the hero of this event. All of the three goals that were scored in the heartbreaking game in Moscow were yours.
Malkin: Just two of them.
Q: The first goal was scored by Nurtdinov when he picked up your rebound.
Malkin: Okay, you’re right. But I don’t want to place my own effort above that of our other players. Remember the second goal against Dynamo in Moscow. We pulled our goalie with less than a minute remaining. Everyone was battling for the puck in front of Dynamo’s goal. I think I was lucky when the puck somehow got to me and I put it in the net. I was in the right place at the right time; I was quicker than others I guess.
Q: Not just quicker. You were heading there on purpose, you were pushing to get there.
Malkin: Well yeah then I was slightly pushing to get there. I had to be there because we had to score. But you should thank me for that goal and for that win as much as any other player on the team, whether it’s our goalie or a checking line defenseman. We are a team.
Q: However a strange thing happened there. Malkin was credited with the goal and he was called for roughing right off the bat. The time of the both events in the minutes is 59:30.
Malkin: I think the ref had to send us both to the box, me and Sushinski. But I don’t deny my responsibility for leaving the team shorthanded for the rest of the third period and the start of the overtime. I couldn’t contain myself and not answer Sushinski. I got what I deserved.
Q: What exactly happened there? Do you think that Sushinski wasn’t right in that situation?
Malkin: You know we were just struggling. Sushinski battled to the very end. I scored, the puck was in the net and the red lights were turned on, then he hit me with his stick. He was hurt, maybe angry or mad at me. Maybe he was wrong but he was driven by his passion, just like me.
Q: What did you feel like when it happened? With just a few seconds left when your goalie is pulled and all you need is just a goal and you get this goal right there.
Malkin: I was happy, but this happiness wasn’t complete until we scored in the overtime.
Q: You were trailing by two goals in the next game at home. In a game of such a high importance and mounting tensions such a start can discourage anyone, but
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