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Gonchar likes Malkin's maturity

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09:07 AM ET 11.26 | Ottawa defenseman Sergei Gonchar and Penguins center Evgeni Malkin have been close for years. Malkin was Gonchar's tenant for part of the time that Gonchar played with the Penguins. The two also use the same summer training facility in Moscow. This year, Gonchar knew Malkin was rehabilitating from knee surgery during the offseason, but he also noticed that his former teammate was working out with more purpose. Despite being slowed early by soreness in the knee, Malkin has had a strong first quarter this season. He had 18 points in 15 games before facing the Senators Friday night at Consol Energy Center. "To me, it seems like he is making that next step," Gonchar said. "He's maturing. He is more serious about his job. He was really pushing [in the summer]. "Another thing is, he didn't have as successful a season as everybody expected him to have [before the injury in 2010-11], and he obviously was hoping he would play better. "It seems like that maturity and that next step is coming in, and, because of it, he is doing better -- not only on the ice but also preparing off the ice."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Evgeni Malkin, Icon SMI Evgeni Malkin, Icon SMI
November 26, 2011  09:09 AM ET

Baba Booey!

November 26, 2011  09:10 AM ET

Let's Go Pens!!

November 26, 2011  09:20 AM ET

I had seen stories to this effect since the preseason. He looks stronger and he is really hustling out there. I think he realized he was at a cross road and he could work and take the next step up or just phone in and start whining like others have done. Nice to see he decided to up his work ethic. Of course this probably means the Pens won't be able to resign him, but it will be nice watching him while the time lasts.

November 26, 2011  09:21 AM ET

Maybe DWI doesn't have to worry anymore about his sprained vageno.

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November 26, 2011  11:18 AM ET

Good for Malkin and Kessel hitting maturity...How much longer until Ovechkin hits puberty?

November 26, 2011  11:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I had seen stories to this effect since the preseason. He looks stronger and he is really hustling out there. I think he realized he was at a cross road and he could work and take the next step up or just phone in and start whining like others have done. Nice to see he decided to up his work ethic. Of course this probably means the Pens won't be able to resign him, but it will be nice watching him while the time lasts.

When''s his deal up...I thought they had signed him to a long term deal before?

November 26, 2011  11:23 AM ET

Just because I love this stat...
47 Dion Phaneuf TOR D 23 3 15 18 +2 8 1 9 10 8 6 12 .78
48 Kris Letang PIT D 21 2 16 18 +3 7 1 10 8 10 3 15 .86
49 Jordan Staal PIT C 21 11 6 17 +6 12 2 3 7 10 3 14 .81
50 Vincent Lecavalier TBL C 21 10 7 17 +4 12 0 5 11 6 6 11 .81
51 Marian Gaborik NYR R 19 10 7 17 +4 13 0 4 9 8 1 16 .89
52 Corey Perry ANA R 22 9 8 17 -9 7 0 10 9 8 6 11 .77
53 Max Pacioretty MTL L 23 9 8 17 +1 14 0 3 13 4 3 14 .74
54 Alex Ovechkin WSH L 21 8 9 17 -3 10 0 7 8 9 5 12 .81
55 Rick Nash

November 26, 2011  02:34 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Good for Malkin and Kessel hitting maturity...How much longer until Ovechkin hits puberty?

Ha Ha!

November 26, 2011  03:13 PM ET

Has Kessel found out the meaning of Back-check yet?

November 26, 2011  04:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

When''s his deal up...I thought they had signed him to a long term deal before?

He still has a couple more years on his deal, but at that point he'll probably be gone.

November 26, 2011  05:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Good for Malkin and Kessel hitting maturity...How much longer until Ovechkin hits puberty?

HAAA!

They need to fix whatever it is in Washington quick! I get the defense first attitude, but wonder if it works for all teams, and all players?

I don't see why Ovie can't run around like a freight train while he's still got it, or before a big injury takes him out. I would think that with all these offensive weapons they would be able to steal games with Vokoun in goal......guess not!

I hope Malkin gets it going again at the pace he did just 3-4 years ago!

November 26, 2011  05:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Just because I love this stat...47 Dion Phaneuf TOR D 23 3 15 18 +2 8 1 9 10 8 6 12 .7848 Kris Letang PIT D 21 2 16 18 +3 7 1 10 8 10 3 15 .8649 Jordan Staal PIT C 21 11 6 17 +6 12 2 3 7 10 3 14 .8150 Vincent Lecavalier TBL C 21 10 7 17 +4 12 0 5 11 6 6 11 .8151 Marian Gaborik NYR R 19 10 7 17 +4 13 0 4 9 8 1 16 .8952 Corey Perry ANA R 22 9 8 17 -9 7 0 10 9 8 6 11 .7753 Max Pacioretty MTL L 23 9 8 17 +1 14 0 3 13 4 3 14 .7454 Alex Ovechkin WSH L 21 8 9 17 -3 10 0 7 8 9 5 12 .8155 Rick Nash

Awesome!!!! LMAO!!!!!

November 26, 2011  05:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Maybe DWI doesn't have to worry anymore about his sprained vageno.

Another zinger! HA!!!!

November 26, 2011  05:38 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Just because I love this stat...47 Dion Phaneuf TOR D 23 3 15 18 +2 8 1 9 10 8 6 12 .7848 Kris Letang PIT D 21 2 16 18 +3 7 1 10 8 10 3 15 .8649 Jordan Staal PIT C 21 11 6 17 +6 12 2 3 7 10 3 14 .8150 Vincent Lecavalier TBL C 21 10 7 17 +4 12 0 5 11 6 6 11 .8151 Marian Gaborik NYR R 19 10 7 17 +4 13 0 4 9 8 1 16 .8952 Corey Perry ANA R 22 9 8 17 -9 7 0 10 9 8 6 11 .7753 Max Pacioretty MTL L 23 9 8 17 +1 14 0 3 13 4 3 14 .7454 Alex Ovechkin WSH L 21 8 9 17 -3 10 0 7 8 9 5 12 .8155 Rick Nash

Argos will hate you for this. It makes Nash look worse that a bunch of other guys.

November 26, 2011  05:42 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Has Kessel found out the meaning of Back-check yet?

Of course not, it involves hitting.

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