Winter Games Athletes
Malkin has won on just about every possible level as a hockey player, guiding the Penguins to the Stanley Cup and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2009, winning the Hart Trophy in 2012 and leading Russia to a gold medal at the 2012 World Championships. Despite all those accomplishments, the Russian star has yet to even win an Olympic medal as he heads to his third Winter Games. It’s hard to put the blame on Malkin for his country’s Olympic flameouts, as he’s provided five goals and seven assists in 11 games on the international game’s biggest stage, but Russia finished fourth in Turin in 2006 and a disastrous sixth in Vancouver in 2010. The expectations will be considerably higher in Sochi, and Malkin will likely play a big part in Russia’s chances of winding up with a medal. The pressure will definitely be on Malkin’s line to produce, particularly considering there’s a good chance he’ll wind up centering a line with longtime rival Alex Ovechkin on one of his wings. He can’t play much better in Sochi than he did for Russia in the 2012 Worlds, where he provided an astounding 11 goals and eight assists while posting a plus-16 rating as his country won all 10 of its games by at least two goals. Malkin has been extremely effective in Pittsburgh again this season, recording 18 goals and 40 assists despite missing 11 contests with a nagging lower-body injury.