Welcome to Stats ‘N’ At, a weekly feature that takes a deep dive into the numbers that define our city's sports scene.
The notion that a player as accomplished as Evgeni Malkin lacks confidence may seem mind-boggling. He's a three-time All-Star and Stanley Cup champion. A two-time Art Ross Trophy winner, and a Hart Memorial Trophy winner. Through age 31, Malkin ranks in the top 50 all-time in points, and the top 20 in adjusted points (which accounts for the league-wide offensive environment in which a player competed). Just writing that paragraph is enough to make me want to puff out my chest.
And yet, Malkin admits he's down on his game as of late, lacking the swagger he exudes when slashing past defenders, racking up points, and rattling off the boards and roaring in celebration. And it's true: Malkin is turning in one of the worst seasons of his 13-year, Hall of Fame-bound career. He hasn't suddenly fallen off a cliff, but Geno has plenty of room for improvement as the Penguins make a playoff push.