Monday, May 12, 2008

Bad Ass Hockey Wackos

I got to watch parts of the Pens/Philly game over the weekend (game 1). And I was thinking to myself the whole time - I'd rather have Malkin than Crosby. Crosby is smooth, talented, crafty, tougher-than-he-looks, and makes big plays.......but. But Malkin is, as the title indicates, a BAHW. He's insane, dangerous, and scares the living crap out of me. When it comes to the playoffs, I've got to choose the BAHW.

The point that drove this home was Malkin's full swing slap shot from TEN FEET in front of Martin Biron. Who shoots slapshots from that close? Almost every single other player in history would have gone for the dink or deke, but Malkin wound up like Al McInnis and fired it as hard as he could right at Biron. It was one of the greatest playoff moves I've ever seen and here is why:
1) He scored
2) He scared the living be-jeezus out of Biron

He owns Biron right now. Absolutely, I don't care how mentally tough Biron thinks he is, but Malkin owns him. It was such a perfect playoff message to send. Malkin's slapshot said: We both know I'm better than you, but I'm going to repeatedly remind you of that fact. Over and over. Every time down the ice. Until you skate off crying after 5 games hoping we never see each other again.

There are only a few guys that seem to have this gene, and they are rarely, if ever, actually the most talented guy on the ice.* In Colorado, Sakic was the best hockey player, but I'd take Forsberg every day of the week and twice on Sunday if we had to play one playoff game. In Detroit, it's the difference between Lidstrom and Konstantinov. In their first Cup run, it was Konstantinov that absolutely ate Lindros alive, and then stood there smiling like some crazed Hun from the steppes. He wasn't just good, he kind of scared you. Ron Hextall in the mid-80's might have been one of these guys.

So Crosby is great - and if I were starting a franchise today I'd go with him. But if I needed to win one playoff game tonight - it's Malkin. We can shove him back in a cage after the game and toss him raw meat until the next time he's needed.

(* If anyone brings up Claude Lemieux or Mike Ricci - you are officially disinvited from ever visiting this website again. Those two are NOT what I'm talking about. They were certainly not talented, and I said "crazy", not "dirty". I am scared of Malkin, but I'd love to have him on my team. I am disgusted by Lemieux and Ricci, and want them nowhere near my team.)

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