When the books are closed on the careers of Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin, we’ll have witnessed two of the greatest Russian players in hockey history competing in the same era. (According to Russian media, Malkin being the greatest of all-time.) Not just competing for awards and point totals, but directly against each other in the same conference.
Obviously, Malkin has had the better of this (now-friendly) rivalry. The Pittsburgh Penguins have three Stanley Cups, and Malkin won the Conn Smythe in one of those runs. All three times, the Penguins have eliminated the Capitals en route to those Stanley Cups.
One might then proffer that the Penguins and Evgeni Malkin are a primary reason that Alex Ovechkin hasn’t won a Stanley Cup or ever even played for a conference championship.
Malkin, however, believes it’s just a big ‘ole heaping pile of bad luck that’s visited Ovechkin and the Capitals.
“I was a little bit luckier than Ovi, that’s why I won those Cups. He has everything ahead of him. I wish him to win the Cup,” said Malkin this week (via Sports Express), bringing the Stanley Cup to Russia where it met its cousin the Gagarin Cup for the first time:
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) July 27, 2017
“I understand that Alexander really wants to win the Stanley Cup, everything is ahead of him. He has a great team, but they are always a little short, some trifles. It’s a sport, the strongest win here, maybe we were a little lucky. I got into a good team. But, again, Sanya remains a great player, who won the world championships, has many individual trophies. I wish him to win the Stanley Cup.”
Again, one wonders the logistics of this Ovechkin Stanley Cup win when it would seemingly come at the expense of Malkin’s own team, but hey, when you already have three rings by your 30th birthday, it might be OK to let the other guy win. What’s more Russian than sharing the wealth?
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