International Ice Hockey Federation

Teamwork motivates Malkin

Teamwork motivates Malkin

Russian star shrugs off personal form

Published 10.05.2015 12:13 GMT+2 | Author Andy Potts
Teamwork motivates Malkin
OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 9: Russia's Yevgeni Malkin #11 stickhandles the puck away from Belarus' Ilya Shinkevich #8 during preliminary round action at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)
After scoring against Belarus and snapping an 18-game streak without hitting the net, Yevgeni Malkin insists that personal stats mean little.

Russian forward Yevgeni Malkin is apparently a subscriber to the popular belief that there are three degrees of falsehood: lies, damned lies and statistics.

The #11 scored his first goal of the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to wrap up his country’s 7-0 thrashing of Belarus on Saturday, ending a blank streak of 18 games for club and country dating back to March 6 and Pittsburgh’s 5-2 win at Anaheim

After finding the net once again, though, he insisted that individual player sequences meant little to him, telling the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia website: “To be honest I don’t really worry about looking at my stats. What good would it do us if I scored two in every game, but we conceded four? I’d have a great scoring sequence but we wouldn’t be getting results. These figures are only really interesting for statisticians and number crunchers.”

Prior to the Belarus game Malkin had admitted that he was constantly reminded of his long goalless run and that it did sometimes play on his mind. But he also said he was comfortable with his performance, and that of his line-mates, after collecting two assists in the win over Denmark. “It’s hockey, sometimes you get on these runs,” he said. “But we saw a lot of the puck, there was a lot of movement and I’m positive looking forward.”

After that Denmark game, which Russia won 5-2 despite an unimpressive performance, Malkin admitted that the team hadn’t really fulfilled the demands of the coaching staff. And despite the crushing win over Belarus – a performance that saw head coach Oleg Znarok saying that Russia had found its true game for the first time in Ostrava – the Penguins’ forward remained cautious.

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“I wouldn’t break the team down into separate lines,” he said. “Our task is still to play to the system that our coaches have created and not go out as individuals. If we do that, the team works as a single unit.”

Russia returns to action on this evening against Slovakia, looking to break up a three-way logjam at the top of Group B. The team currently heads Finland and the USA on goal difference thanks to yesterday’s big win, but all three have 12 points with two games left to play and the United States have the advantage of having beaten both Finland and Russia.

The Slovaks, meanwhile, are looking to snap a two-game losing streak and revive their hopes of making the play-off ahead of Belarus.


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