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Ovechkin thinks Malkin just needs to relax

Nov 20, 2013, 4:56 PM EDT

Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Alexander Ovechkin has some advice for fellow countryman Evgeni Malkin — just keep working hard and the goals will start going in.

And whatever you do, don’t worry what people are saying.

Malkin, who scored 50 goals for Pittsburgh in 2011-12, is currently mired in a much-talked-about, 14-game goal drought. His Penguins are in Washington to play Ovechkin’s Capitals tonight (on NBCSN).

“When you [don’t] score goals, when you [don’t] make assists, when your name is [not] on the score [sheet], of course, everybody think like you’re bad,” Ovechkin said, per CSN Washington. “But sometimes you don’t have a great game but you get a point and everybody think you play well.

“Of course, it matters [what people think]. When I was a little kid, my first couple years, I know nobody here. I just read the front pages and the news and I was crazy about it.

“But right now, to be honest with you, I don’t care what the people say, what the media say. Of course, I read this kind of stuff, but most of the time I read it and forget it in a couple seconds.”

To be fair to Malkin, it’s not like his name is completely invisible on the scoresheet. He does have 12 assists in the 14 games he’s failed to put a puck in the net, and his 17 assists on the season rank fourth overall in the NHL, behind only Joe Thornton (20), Nicklas Backstrom (19), and Henrik Sedin (18). That’s not bad company right there.

But Malkin is more than a passer, and it needs to be noted he’s only registered 14 shots in his last eight games combined.

Or maybe it doesn’t need to be noted?

“He just have to relax and forget about it,” said Ovechkin.

  1. sjsharks66 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    I have been telling my tv the same thing when I am watching the Pens play. He is playing so fast and anxious, it is not working. He tends to pass when he has a clear shot also. He just needs to calm down and shoot the puck.

    • claudegirwho - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      The only thing he is doing wrong is shooting more then passing. His average for shots a game are way down otherwise that though he looks fine.

  2. steelers88 - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I think when the puck finally goes in for Malkin even if it’s a lucky goal the floodgates might open.

  3. restohpens - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    sjsharks66 nailed it, shoots from the outside with a d man in his face and passes from center ice with no one around. Drives me nuts. I think he’ll turn it around soon but it is painful to watch his line mates force feed him pucks.

    Maybe he can ask Ovie for some lessons in Sochi.

  4. missthemexpos - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    All he needs is a text from Mike Richards!

  5. 950003cups - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    How original of Ovechkin. I’m trying to remember where I heard this before…

    Oh right, it was today!

    “A Text From Mike Richards Helped Claud Giroux Settle Down”

    “It wasn’t going right, and I got a nice text from Mike Richards. … I think he gave me a boost to relax and play the game,” Giroux told on Tuesday prior to playing the Ottawa Senators at Wells Fargo Center. “It’s a great game. There’s a reason why we play in the NHL. It’s because we know what we’re doing. It’s just about going back to basics, going out there, have fun, play the game.”

    • alexnewca - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      And your point is…?

  6. jhaegs - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Surprised Ovi didn’t say: “Abandon all defensive effort and cherry pick in the neutral zone.” That’s how you score goals!

    I guess the two ugliest players in the league were bound to find each other at some point. :)

    • ibieiniid - Nov 21, 2013 at 8:21 AM

      minus the “cherry pick” part, i say lol. he’s often IN the defensive zone, just not doing his job.

      and Chara takes exception to not being included in your list.

  7. jhaegs - Nov 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Chara might take the 10 steps (for him) from Boston to STL, and crush me. My only hope would be to offer him a Baby Ruth or some Rocky Road ice cream. While he’s distracted with that, I’d get a step ladder and punch him… in the balls. :)

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