May 15, 2014, 12:39 PM EDT
Just two days after the Penguins were eliminated by the Rangers in Game 7 of their second-round series, the team’s two biggest stars have made up their minds regarding international competition.
Malkin’s decision to join Team Russia isn’t surprising, as a number of players that suited up for the squad that disappointed at the Winter Olympics have returned to make amends at the Worlds — Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Anton Belov, Nikolai Kulemin and Artem Anisimov, to name a few.
It’s also not surprising that Crosby’s elected to stay in North America. Canada’s contingent at the Worlds contains no players from the gold medal-winning Olympic squad and Crosby is coming off a year in which he played a significant amount of hockey: 80 regular-season games, six in Sochi and 13 in the postseason. It’s the most Crosby has played in four years.
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