Evgeni Malkin isn’t quite over the 2014 Winter Games. It’s tough to blame him. After all, the Russian national team just put on an awful performance in front of a hometown crowd in Sochi. Vladimir Putin was in attendance for the meltdown against Finland in the semifinal, and what was supposed to be Russia’s revitalization as a hockey superpower turned into a disaster.
That loss against the Finns is hardly a week old, so no one can blame “Geno” for struggling to deal with the devastating loss.
He spoke to Rob Rossi of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about how he was feeling after getting back out onto the ice with the Pittsburgh Penguins:
I’m glad to come back (and) see the guys… They help me a lot. I remember (at the 2010 Vancouver Games) we lost, and now it’s more worse (because) we played at home. Of course it’s tough. (I) need a little bit more time.
Malkin has been one of the top players in the world since breaking into the NHL, and that isn’t likely to change following the Olympic downfall. If anything, it might further motivate the All-World forward to push the Penguins to the next level. The only thing that could be worse than falling short in the Olympics would be following that up with a short and lackluster playoff run.
It might take Malkin a few games to get going, but don’t expect him to be in the dumps for too long.