Lots of people have been proclaiming Evgeni Malkin to be the best player in the world for most of the season. While he couldn’t will the Penguins deeper into the playoffs, he’s doing just fine for Russia at the World Championships.
Malkin netted a hat trick against Finland today to help Russia to a 6-2 win and a spot in the gold medal game tomorrow. Malkin’s three-goal performance is enough to help the rest of the world to take notice of how dominant of a player he’s been this year and his Russian teammates are more than happy to have him on their run for a gold medal. Oh by the way, Alex Ovechkin had a goal as well.
Russia will face either Slovakia or Czech Republic in the championship game tomorrow. Now soak in some crude YouTube highlights of Malkin’s performance today.
Video: Chris Kreider doesn’t just fight Cody Eakin, he hits him with his helmet
So, yeah, plenty of reason for this to be a rowdy affair.
Kreider is delivering in particular, with the most memorable moment being his strange fight with Eakin, which you can see above. SBNation’s Pat Iversen points out that Kreider probably should have been ejected for hitting Eakin with a piece of his equipment, a violation of Rule 53.
As many know, Kreider has even more of a reputation for “interacting” with goalies, as he did once again with Antti Niemi:
We’ll need to wait and see, but with his offensive skills and overall importance in mind (average just under 23 minutes a game this season, more or less in line with his breakthrough year in 2015-16), the Maple Leafs are crossing their fingers that this isn’t anything major.
WATCH LIVE: Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche
Colorado is clearly ranked last in the league, whether they believe they have some assets in the likes of Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog or not. Perhaps there will be a few scouts on hand to see how such potential Avs trade targets perform against a contending team?
When healthy, he’s been a 20-goal, 40+ point player for Buffalo lately, so he was missed. The team tweeted out Ryan O'Reilly‘s comments about Ennis’ return mere hours ago, so you get the impression that it was a surprise for many: