Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar have been close ever since Gonchar took the young forward under his wing in Pittsburgh, so it must be special for them to play together again in the KHL. Now they can share monthly awards under the same heading.
The Metallurg Magnitogorsk teammates nabbed two of the four monthly awards handed out by the overseas league. Malkin was named best forward and Gonchar grabbed top defenseman honors for December.
Geno truly had a December to remember, clocking a dizzying 25 points in nine games while registering a +15 rating. The Pittsburgh Penguins star is now second in league scoring with 59 points in 35 games.
His former Penguins teammate was strong in his own right, notching a goal and 10 assists for 11 points in the same nine games. Gonchar’s not too far from a point-per-game pace, collecting 28 in 35 KHL contests this season.
To round out the league’s other awards, former Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Karri Ramo earned best netminder and another goalie (Alexander Sharychenkov) won rookie of the month.