Pittsburgh Penguins fans will be happy to hear that star forward Evgeni Malkin has had a great summer, getting ready to focus on the new season at hand. The Russian sniper is ready to take on the 2018-19 campaign, and has already a great motivation pushing him.
In an interview with Dan Rosen of NHL.com on Thursday, Malkin revealed that he managed to rest this summer, after winning back to back Stanley Cups with the Pens in 2016 and 2017. The resting time has refuelled him and he is excited about the start of the regular calendar.
“Right now, I feel only fresh. I had a good rest this summer, I worked hard, and I [have] never felt so excited to play than this year.”
He is especially focused on one thing: winning back the Stanley Cup from rivals Washington Capitals. Yeah, Malkin took a shot at the defending champions before the season has even started.
“We need it back. It’s like, who wins? Washington wins. The most hated team in Pittsburgh. Of course we want it back.”
“We win last year and they win this year,” he added. “It’s two winners playing against each other and they hate each other.”
Washington trashed the Pens’ dream for a three-peat by defeating Pittsburgh in six games in the second round of the Eastern Conference. It was the Capitals’ revenge for the Penguins defeating them on their way to winning the Cup in 2009, 2016 and 2017.
While Malkin had no problem telling straight up how he feels about the Caps, his captain Sidney Crosby remain cautious when talking about the defending champions.
“I think that’ll definitely light a fire for us,” Crosby said. “That’s on your mind when you play that team again. It’s just the way it is. That’s the way it is when you lose. You’ve always kind of got that feeling of something to prove and when you win, you’ve got that feeling of, hey, we’ve got to stay here. That’s just the two sides of it. But yeah, that’s kind of the approach.”
Malkin, who had the chance to be back to back champion, does not want the Capitals to live the same dream.
“We understand they try. They want to be in history too. They don’t want it just one time, they want it two times. We understand we’re a team that can stop them.”
This is going to be a great season between the two rivals once again!