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Better Know a Penguin: Evgeni Malkin

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Evgeni Malkin is the Robin to Sidney Crosby's Batman or is Malkin, Batman and Crosby, Robin? No matter how you slice it, Malkin is one of the best in the game and is a true difference maker out on the ice. When evaluating the Penguins it is very tough to pinpoint an area where they must be stopped. So many dynamic players and none more dynamic than Malkin.

Should the Sharks play him physically to get him off of his game? Worked for the Flyers a few years ago but that series looks to be more of the exception than the rule. Shutting down at least one of these vaunted lines will be needed, it'll be a definite uphill battle. Who do you think the Sharks should put up against Malkin and Co.?

Name: Evgeni Malkin

Number/Position: #71 / Center

Born: July 31, 1986

Birthplace: Magnitogorsk, Russia

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 195

Shoots: Left

Drafted: 1st Round (second overall pick) by Pittsburgh in 2004

Assets

Is as highly skilled as anyone in the NHL when on his game. Has the ability to keep the puck on a string and sift through defenders. Is a monster talent that can play any forward position. Elevates his game when it matters most. Racks up points at will.

Flaws

Can struggle on face-offs. Isn't as dominant when he plays either wing position, since he is denied the puck more often along the wall. Takes bad penalties and is a little careless with the puck in all three zones. Isn't as effective in a more defensive system.

Career Potential

Elite playmaker and scoring talent.

(Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via The Hockey News player page)

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