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Niskanen on Malkin: ‘You could tell he was just about to bust out’

Dec 1, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT

Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

Evgeni Malkin‘s monstrous play in the month of November may have caught some by surprise, but not his teammates.

As Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes, some of his Penguins cohorts knew a big breakout was on the way.

“You could tell he was just about to bust out earlier in the season,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “He’s just working so hard. It was a matter of time. He just has that ability to take over.”

Take over is exactly what Malkin did against the Florida Panthers on Saturday night as he had a goal and three assists in their 5-1 win.

In the month of November, he had four goals and 21 assists in 15 games. Almost two points per game for the month? Yeah, that’s a breakout all right. After netting just 10 points in October, he’s now just one point behind teammate Sidney Crosby in the points race.

  1. whosennext - Dec 1, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Another thing the fans do not understand, he has not had his normal line until November either. Look at James Neal stats as well, 8 goals and 8 assists. 16 points. And since October, Sidney Crosby has fallen off the radar as well. Having his line getting bumps and bruises has not helped. My take is this, if they are winning and Crosby line is caring the load and Malkin’s line is not, who cares, and when Malkin’s line is caring the load and Crosby’s is not who cares. The real test will come playoff time and both Crosby and Malkin need to come through, as well as MAF. Go Pens.

    • mariagjones - Dec 1, 2013 at 3:12 PM

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  2. steelers88 - Dec 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    I don’t get why people were surprised that Malkin had a great November. He got Neal back and that is a big deal. I feel the Penguins have the defense this year to win the cup. The key is however they need to have everyone healthy for the cup run. Hopefully they will be back healthy before the Playoffs. Crosby, Malkin, and Fleury all need to show up. If all this happens the Penguins will win the cup. They defiantly have a great shot at this year.

    • c9castine - Dec 1, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      Who is surprised? I wouldnt takr yhe artical literally. Two.time.scoring.champ
      .ni surprise.here

    • flyerspsu - Dec 1, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      rather confident for a team that hasnt made the finals since 09 and a goalie whos choked terribly in the playoffs the last couple years

      the penguins lack the 2 most important things come playoff time, defense and goaltending, they arguably the most talented team in the league but right now they arent really built for the playoffs

      • theageofquarrel - Dec 1, 2013 at 5:28 PM

        Says the fan of a team that hasn’t won a Cup in almost 40 year

  3. c9castine - Dec 1, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Crosby fell of the radar? He leads the scoring race.

    Malkin is pretty dominant right now with his size skating and puck abilities he is no doubt a candidate for me best playet in the world at all times

    • whammy71 - Dec 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      Well…..Sid was on a pace for 164 points…..he is now on pace for 105. Not falling off the radar, but he definitely is falling back to the pack.

      But to me – it doesn’t matter. I root for the logo….not the name on the back of the jersey.

  4. steelers88 - Dec 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    When Malkin is dominant like this he almost looks like Mario Lemiuex.

  5. lowenni - Dec 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    When Malkin is on his game there is not a more unstoppable player on the planet. He may not be the most complete player, but offensively, he has the tools to change the course of a game like no other.

  6. lowenni - Dec 1, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    When Malkin is on his game there is not a more unstoppable player on the planet. He may not be the most complete player, but offensively, he has the tools to change the course of a game like no other. His size and skating ability are better than Ovechkin’s (and I’m a Caps fan) and his skill I think rivals Crosby’s when Malkin fully utilizes it. There isn’t a more exciting player to watch at his best.

  7. joewilliesshnoz - Dec 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Typical play from a soviet player, they turn their game on and off like a water faucet.

    • sfbookreviews - Dec 1, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      Judging by your sweeping and quite ignorant generalization, you obviously haven’t seen Malkin play much. Even when he was “struggling” he was on his game, other than too often choosing to pass instead of shooting the puck. He just wasn’t getting the bounces and having half a dozen no-name wingers filling in for Neal didn’t help since they couldn’t finish the great setups he was handing them.

  8. steelers88 - Dec 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Flyerspu.
    How do you figure the Penguins are lacking goaltending and defense? The Penguins arguably have the deepest defense in the NHL this year. Fleury is the best I’ve seen him play in his entire career. Last time I checked the Penguins defense ranked 7th in the NHL which is pretty good.

  9. pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 1, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Steelers88 Fleurys season isn’t judged until the playoffs…his playoff struggles overshadow his regular season performance

  10. steelers88 - Dec 1, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    I understand that. He needs to defiantly improve in the Playoffs.

  11. ash0war - Dec 1, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    Geno has played great all season!

  12. ash0war - Dec 1, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Geno and Sid has played great all season!

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