It didn’t take long for the Pittsburgh Penguins, specifically, Evgeni Malkin, to start making excuses after going down 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Islanders.
With a 3-1 win in game two, the New York Islanders hold a 2-0 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins, go back home needing to take both home games to bring the series even.
The Islanders were able to frustrate the Penguins and capitalize on their mistakes to take the series lead to 2-0. Typically, when teams lose as the Penguins did, they’ll turn their criticism inwards and focus on the issues that they can actually fix.
But rather than take full accountability for their play, the Pittsburgh Penguins, specifically Evgeni Malkin decided to bring the quality of the ice into the discussion. The excuses have begun.
Better Ice At Home
Speaking to media after the game, star center Evgeni Malkin made it clear that the ice at the Nassau Coliseum was not great. As if that has anything to do with his undisciplined and poor play in game two.
"“I hope at home we have better ice and I can use my stick,” Malkin said."
To be fair to Malkin, the ice didn’t seem great. Pucks were bouncing and players were catching edges, but the New York Islanders didn’t seem to have any issues with the ice. Over the two games at the Nassau Coliseum, they’ve been able to score goals and create chances.
The New York Islanders are faced with the same issues the Penguins are faced with and they didn’t seem to have any problems with the ice.
There’s no other reason for him to bring up the ice except to complain about how in some way, it affected the way the Penguins played and thus the outcome.
In that same piece, Malkin was right to point out that he has to be better. He was too easily knocked off his game by Leo Komarov getting in his face and Cal Clutterbuck getting physical. Making comments on the ice isn’t a way to get better.
Malkin needs to leave the excuses for the Penguins failures to fans in comment sections. The New York Islanders are up 2-0 in the series, not because of the ice, but because of a focused strategy that included knocking Evgeni Malkin off his game. And its worked, flawlessly.