Ragebear Geno and the ref swooping in to skate him away.
- In Olympic Sochi Evgeni Malkin is looking at you from every corner.
- He advertizes phones, washes his hair, stars in videos where he completely destroys his opponents. He is one of the best hockey players on the planet and he helped us win at the World Championship. Now you can add, "And he didn't help us at the Olympics." But what's your problem with Geno? Did he start playing badly?
- After the game when our team lost to Finland and stopped competing at the Olympics, Malkin ran past the journalists without stopping, his face angry. You could tell what he was thinking. Malkin's parents were anxious as well, taking pills against high blood pressure on the stands of the arena in Sochi.
- But on the eve of the Olympics we visited New York City, where the Penguins played against the Islanders. Evgeni Malkin was showing his very best hockey. And his coach was Dan Bylsma who in Sochi coached the US national team.
- Who is going to be your roommate in the Olympic village?
- Evgeni: They'll choose a roommate for me out of the guys I talk to the most, like Anton Belov or Kolya Kulemin. We'll also have to see who'll want to end up with me. There aren't a lot of guys like that. They say I'm very mean! (laughs)
- Is there a big friendship between you and Sasha Ovechkin? You used to fight each other on the ice.
- Evgeni: We'll arrive in Sochi and will probably have to room together again. That's our luck!
- You get many points in the NHL. You've just scored the winning goal.
- Evgeni: It's because the Penguins always score 5 to 6 goals. But we also let the puck in a lot. We make our luck with the offense. Like Brazil's system with soccer.
- This system allowed Malkin to win the Stanley Cup in 2009. Not a lot of Russian hockey players managed to do that. Meanwhile in Sochi the national team played defense and as a result got fifth place and 1-3 from the Fins in the quarter finals.
- In the summer you extended your contract with Pittsburgh for 8 more years, although you received offers to play in Russia. Do you want to start and end your career in the NHL playing for the same team?
- Evgeni: I'm not a person who looks for something else when he has a good thing going. I like the Penguins, we've won the Stanley Cup, played in the Final. We've made the playoffs every year in the 7 years I've been playing here. That's an unforgettable experience. We're always striving for the Stanley Cup. I've won some personal awards, you can't forget that. That's why I'm not planning to change teams. I'd like to stay here. The team's management likes me. Crosby, Fleury, Letang extended their contracts. We've got a good team.
- Are you a conservative person by nature?
- Evgeni: Yes, I don't like change. But I've chosen a team, not a city or a lifestyle. Because I know that we can win several Stanley Cups. There are lots of examples of guys who changed teams and their careers suffered. If my life circumstances change or if I want adventures or to live near the ocean, I'll always be able to ask for a trade. But now I don't have a family so I can adapt well anywhere.
- By the way, when are you going to start a family?
- Evgeni: After the Olympics I’m going to start thinking seriously about kids.
- Do you have a schedule?
- Evgeni: It's all in God’s hands, whatever fortune brings. You can't foresee these things. But I am thinking about it, I do want kids now.
- And who’s the wife?
- Evgeni: You can make a baby without a wife (laughs).
- Not so long ago the film Legend #17 came out. Did it hook you?
- Evgeni: I'm happy they made a movie about Valeri Kharlamov. I was born in 1986, so I didn't have a chance to see this extraordinary man play. But I watched videos of his plays a lot. My dad told me that Kharlamov was the best hockey player in the world. I know that the Canadian Clarke broke his ankle on purpose during the 1972 Summit Series.
- In the fall of 2011 Pittsburgh played against Washington. Is it true that you asked the NHL to dedicate this game to the players of Lokomotiv who died in a plane crash?
- Evgeni: I remember my youth... When I made the roster of Metallurg in Magnitogorsk, I couldn’t score for a long time. The first goal I scored in Russia was against Lokomotiv. It happened in Arena-2000. That team was one of the best in the whole country. I have the nicest memories of the hockey players, of Yaroslavl and the fans. Nowadays I wear a Lokomotiv memorial bracelet which I will never take off. It's unbearably sad that we won't see these guys ever again. May they rest in peace. I think every Russian hockey player would've said the same thing. Me, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, a lot of others asked for donations, organized auctions and did everything to help the families of the deceased.
- Your twitter has been a revelation. You've already got 382 thousand followers. What was the best thing you've ever tweeted?
- Evgeni: Everything I tweet is great. Friends encouraged me to get on Twitter. At first I thought it was a social networking site like Facebook or Odnoklassniki which I've gotten tired of. But it's completely different. Each post is only 140 characters long. It's pretty useful for reading the news when you are on the bus with the team.
- Do you prefer blondes or brunettes?
- Evgeni: Blondes. I get a stronger emotional reaction to women with light hair. That's just how I was born. Brunettes are really great, but blondes are number one.
- What quality do you value most in a woman?
- Evgeni: She has to support me in everything. In hockey and in life. During bad times and good times.
- Do you know how to cook?
- Evgeni: I once made pierogi live in front of a camera. That video was uploaded to the internet. People say it's become pretty popular. The whole world was laughing at us, like it was a parody show. I have to cook something more difficult now. I've got experience, I can cut cabbage and roll the dough. Now we're gonna roast a duck!
- What are the things you miss, when you leave the rink in the US? Do you miss a girlfriend, your friends, your parents, a loaf of Russian bread?
- Evgeni: I think I've got everything so far. But I do miss having lots of friends around. I don't mean to go out with, but to play pool and tennis against. One or two guys come to the States, but it's not enough. I want my whole house to be full of friends.
- When you come to Russia, what's the one thing that helps you relax? Ilya says he can't live without the Sandunovskie Baths.
- Evgeni: That's exactly what I was gonna say! Sanduny is the first place I'll be going to from the airport.
- Why did you move to Moscow? How do people in Magnitogorsk look at the guy from the capital city?
- Evgeni: I often go home and spend a couple of weeks there. But I want to live in a big city. It's easier to train because my coach flies out to Moscow for me. I don't mean there's more entertainment here, but... more events you can go to for self-development. The capital is the capital. Everyone wants to live in Moscow. The quality of life is higher there. You don't have to fly everywhere. In order to get from Magnitogorsk to St. Petersburgh in the summer you have to go to Moscow first. Or drive to Yekaterinburg. There are no direct flights. For me Magnitogorsk is the most beautiful and beloved place on earth. How do I spend time there? I relax, spend time with my friends. We go to the movies, play pool, go on picnics near the lake. Sometimes we go fishing. But I never catch anything. Maybe there is no fish there at all? Or am I just that bad at it?
- Being one of the coolest hockey players in the world, how do you stay so normal? You aren't a diva at all.
- Evgeni: I have to thank my parents for raising me right. They still give me advice on how to behave myself in life. I used to behave kind of like a diva when I first started playing for Magnitogorsk and earning lots of money. But people immediately took me down a notch. And I realized money isn't everything and thinking you're better than everyone else would only bring trouble. I started looking at life and hockey differently, I just grew up.
- At the Olympics we met Natalia Mikhailovna and Vladimir Anatolievich Malkin.
- Natalia: We’ve come to Zhenya’s third Olympics already. Although everything’s closed here. We only talk to our son on the phone. “How are you?” “Everything’s fine, mom.” He doesn’t talk much.
- He doesn’t tell you his secrets?
- Natalia: Sometimes he says, “I’ll call you tomorrow” and then calls us from the US a month later. In the past it hurt my feelings, I even used to cry, “Have you completely forgotten us?” “No, no, everything’s fine… Wait, I thought I called you recently?!” Now I’ve gotten used to it. Because people are different. And the important thing is we can watch him play. But sometimes we would even find out important news about our son from friends or see it on tv.
- How did Zhenya end up playing hockey?
- Vladimir: I took him skating for the first time when he was three years old, and he joined a team when he was five. It was obvious he had a natural talent. He did all the training exercises better than anyone else. He was an example to others. He realized right away that hockey was his thing. For a couple of years he even refused to go to bed without his hockey stick. I’m not kidding. One time he even fell asleep wearing a hockey mask. Someone let him borrow it for a moment and the next thing I know Zhenya’s fallen asleep in it. We took it off him and he didn’t even stir. When he was 10, he broke his leg right before he was supposed to go to summer camp. I said to the coach, “What is he gonna do there?” But my son still went there and ended up playing soccer. He passed, ran on his crutches and was ready to receive a pass back. The coach was shocked, “You have to see it to believe it!” Zhenya even played tennis on crutches. When he returned back from the camp, the children’s championship had started in Magnitogorsk. People asked me, “Why aren’t you going to watch hockey?” “Why should I? My son isn’t playing.” “Your Zhen’ka is killing it there!” He wanted to be on the ice so badly that he asked a friend to cut off the cast from his leg which hadn’t healed yet. I ran to the stadium and my son is skating there, limping a little. And he was still named best forward! There was a rink a block away from us. Guys who prepared the ice locked the store room. Me and Zhenya pried it open to skate with the lights on. I could easily do it myself, but Zhenya asked, “Dad, I’m gonna come with you. I wanna see you break that box.” (laughs) That rink was the place where Zhenya learned how to play. Nowadays it’s a parking lot.
- How would you describe your son’s character?
- Vladimir: He hates losing, no matter if it’s hockey or table tennis. He gets really angry when he can’t manage to do something. He’s a born leader. Even American journalists are surprised, “He likes to wiggle out of the situation. If he loses, he starts saying, “Oh, my leg hurts, my back hurts…” He always finds an excuse. That’s how much he hates losing!
- Did he have time to go to school?
- Natalia: If you have to, then you have to. He hasn’t ever been like, “I don’t want to, I’m not gonna do it.” My son had time for everything. But when he became a little older, school wasn’t his first priority anymore. All of his time was taken up by training and games. A couple of years ago Zhenya started taking lessons in Russian and literature in Moscow. He was studying pretty hard. Afterwards we could see that he was talking much more confidently in interviews. I was asked once, “Did your children have a happy childhood?” It seemed like there was sport and nothing else. Well, would it have been better if my child had lain on the couch all day, or hung out in basements, or started smoking and drinking? Is that supposed to be a happy childhood? You just have to love your children and pay attention to them. We gave our soul to Zhenya and his brother Denis, who also played hockey.
- What people especially like about Zhenya is his kindness.
- Natalia: That’s true. When my son started playing, a girl who didn’t have an arm contacted him. Zhenya bought her a prosthetic arm and helped her financially. He gives money every year to an orphanage in Magnitogorsk. When he comes home, he buys lots of toys and goes to visit the kids. He is always happy to help. But he doesn’t like talking about it because he’s very humble.
- What was the most difficult moment in your youngest son’s career?
- Natalia: His departure to the US. We were very worried. Soon after Zhenya left, he injured his collarbone in Pittsburgh. And what about the time he suffered a torn ACL? His recovery period took more than half a year.
- In Pittsburgh people still remember your borscht.
- Natalia: When my son scored a hat trick in the playoffs, he was asked, “Where do you get your strength?” “My mom came and made me borscht.” After that everyone in the US was talking about it. There was even one place in Pittsburgh where they offered “Malkin’s mom’s borscht” on the menu. I checked it out and it was beets, cabbage and sour cream, and it was served as a main course. That’s not what we do!
20140307: geno looking a little lost prior to the shootout.
03042014: robert bortuzzo leaves the ice bloody and angry
it’s impossible not to like henrik lundqvist
once after his daughter was born he was so tired and stressed that when he went out to walk the dog he only went as far as the building elevator before he felt like something was missing so he looked down and he forgot to attach the leash to his dog
he was standing there with just a leash
Idk why but something about Geno playing the trumpet makes me v happy.
Just another day in the hood
six word autobiography: “fuck goddamnit i fucked up so bad”
guys i specifically made that sentence seven words long so someone could comment “but thats seven words” and i could say “fuck i did it again i fucked up” so we could all have a good laugh but no one said it. yall fucked up. i fucked up because i assumed yall wouldnt fuck up. everythings fucked up