Rob Rossi Disseminates His Own Brand of Malkin Trash

We knew this was coming. But we hoped it was another few years down the road.
The Pittsburgh media have put in motion the beginning of the end of Evgeni Malkin with the Penguins.
Like Ron Cook last week, Rob Rossi has jumped into the bash-Malkin discussion.   Sadly, the seeds for this Rossi article were planted way back in the early-to-mid-’90s, when journalists began having personal vendettas against foreign hockey players because they wouldn’t grant interviews or were just generally standoffish toward the media.
Pittsburgh media, renowned for being some of the most prejudiced and back-stabbing in the country, are slowing turning the tide against Evgeni Malkin.  It’s shocking and disgusting.  But it was to be expected.
The title of Rob Rossi’s Sunday column, “Malkin paid like Crosby, needs to play like him,” sucks you in, making you think that the article will be about Malkin’s current slump, some fancy stat comparisons between Sid and Geno, and how the Penguins might fare if Malkin doesn’t start showing his brilliance on a nightly basis.
And actually, Rossi touches upon this stuff…for maybe 8 sentences.  The rest of the article is Rossi giving Sidney Crosby the journalistic equivalent of a reach-around, applauding Sid for handling the Canadian media with deftness while chastising Malkin for not doing the same.  And it is almost maddening to think that this happens BECAUSE Malkin is in a slump.  While setting the pace for the Penguins during the regular season AND the playoffs last year, the media wasn’t saying a word.  Watching this Malkin kid come into his own while learning the finer points of the English language was arguably the story of the year for every Pens fan.   The media knew this and churned out feel-good story after feel-good story about Malkin.
After the jump, it’s time to assess Rossi’s column…and read his whinefest about Malkin not falling over himself to give the media what they want, consequently turning journalists and their egos against him.
And this is anything but a bash-Crosby piece coming from us.
If the day comes when Penguins fans are split into Malkin and Crosby camps, it’s all over.
Rob Rossi doesn’t even try to hide his prejudice against Evgeni Malkin.
Here is his bio from the Trib.
Definition of unprofessional.
Fuck you.
After the jump, we explore Rossi’s “article.”

Right now, [ Malkin ] is to the best player debate what Conan O’Brien is to “The Tonight Show.” Actually, O’Brien’s future with NBC might be more promising than the Penguins’ Stanley Cup hopes if Malkin doesn’t rediscover is galloping greatness.

Hope Rossi didn’t hurt his arm reaching for this joke.

Crosby was a marvel this past week in Western Canada, expertly handling off-ice responsibilities that Malkin usually begs to ignore (even in the comforts of Pittsburgh) — often using the excuse of a limited understanding of English to avoid PR situations that Crosby has handled since he was, oh, 13.

“Using the excuse of a limited understanding of English.”
What a condescending statement.
Let’s send the Penguins to the KHL.
Let’s see how Crosby deals with the Russian media.
It is a shame that, all of a sudden, Malkin dealing with the media is now a concern.
The only people concerned about that?   The media.
If Malkin never speaks to anyone in the media ever again, we wouldn’t blink.
As fans, we personally couldn’t care less.
But yet the media will have you believe that it’s a big deal.  Such a shame.
And it’s undoubtedly maddening to Pittsburgh journalists that Dmitry Chesnokov from PUCK DADDY
has gotten the best info from Malkin and has consequently penned the best pieces by far.
Dmitry’s articles are the best.
No loaded questions, not purposely making questions hard to understand.
The results are candid answers from Malkin.

Crosby is on pace for a career-best season in goals and faceoff percentage. That he was the superstar center absorbing the heat during the Penguins’ recent losing ways, even though he was the player least responsible for those losses, only enhanced Crosby’s Hart Trophy credentials by my voting eyes.

Man, how sad is it that Rossi has a say in things that will forever stand in NHL history books?
Horrifying thought.
In a circle jerk with Joe Starkey at the end of the article,
Rossi suggests the Pens trade for Petr Sykora to give Malkin a winger.
Laughable on more than one account.
1) He addresses why Malkin is in a slump, which is what the article should have addressed.
2) He honestly suggests trading for Petr Sykora?
3) Joe Starkey basically calls Rossi a joke, saying Malkin will be fine.
If you went to your boss at Sheetz and said the Pens should trade for Sykora, you’d be fired.
But it’s okay to come up with this foolish nonsense when you work at a newspaper.
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What you say on the Internet echoes in eternity.
Time to look at some more of Rossi’s asinine commentary.

February 24, 2009.
The clown actually suggests the Pens should trade Crosby during the 2009 offseason.  [ FANHOUSE ]

He likens the prospective deal to the Eric Lindros trade,
wherein the Pens would get a shitload of prospects for Crosby.
March 8, 2009.
Having to face talking about Crosby slumping, Rossi chalks it up to pressure.  [ TRIB ]
If you read that article, it is a nonstop excuse fest.  Seriously go read it.  Rossi went out of his way to protect Crosby.
And yet he writes a half-ass column about Malkin being a joke.  No defending, nothing.
November 15, 2010. (Recap of Guerin Boston game) [ TRIB ]

Rossi: I don’t hold [ Crosby’s ] three assists in seven games without Malkin against him, especially when every player I spoke with during Crosby’s slump came to his defense – including Malkin, who lauded Crosby’s leadership. From what I can tell, this Penguins team is more his than any during his three years as captain.

Notice, in Rossi’s article from Sunday, that he makes no mention of Crosby coming to Malkin’s defense.
Which Crosby has done on more than one occasion in recent weeks.
What a sad double standard the media gives foreign players.
How can you flip out over one slump?   Is Rossi bipolar?
January 16, 2010. The best article of all.
The article he typed right before slamming Malkin.
It’s titled “Penguins star Malkin stays up despite slump.” [ TRIB ]
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If you want to read a decent column about Malkin, read this: [ GLOBE AND MAIL ]
“I can unequivocally say there is no language barrier when talking to Evgeni Malkin,” answered Bylsma. “He’s really smart. It may not be perfect English in front of the cameras. It may not be perfect English in private either, but … he gets it. He definitely understands everything. He’s a guy who wants more from himself and expects more from himself; looks at certain aspects of our team and says, ‘I need to provide more.’ And he wears it on his sleeve.”
Wow.  Interesting.
Gotta love how no journalist in Pittsburgh even tries to get a quote like that.
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Since Rob Rossi or Ron Cook can’t do their homework, we’ll do it for them.
We looked into a few things, trying to compare Crosby and Malkin through 50 games last year.
Crosby had about 20 more points through 50 games than Malkin has this year.
And people said he was slumping.
Then we took a shot at something. We wanted to explore not only Malkin, but who he played with.
His most common linemate through 50 games last year was Petr Sykora.
Through 50 games last year, Malkin’s main linemate, Petr Sykora, had 37 points.
Hope you’re sitting down.
We broke down Sykora’s points through 50 games last seasonto see how many times
he either assisted, scored, or was factored in with Evgeni Malkin on scoring plays.
Out of Sykora’s 37 points, 21 of those points were with Malkin.
This year, Malkin has 44 points in 43 games.  He missed seven games.
Safe to say if he would have played in all 50 games, he’d have about 50-54 points.
Last year through 50 games, Malkin had 75 points.
But take Petr Sykora out of those points?
He would have had 54.
We’re not trying to make excuses here, either, but it’s pretty easy to see.
Couple an injury, the loss of a major linemate, and playing a chunk of the season with Chris Bourque…
and you have a Malkin slump.
People are morons.
Clearly, Sykora’s best days are behind him, even in his early 30s.
And we don’t believe he is the answer for Malkin.*
But someone needs to be.
Malkin has improved since the Pens reunited him with Feds and Talbot.
But if you’re a gambler, bet on Malkin getting a winger by the trade deadline.
Or sometime before the media runs him out of this town.
Go Pens.
*If Shero decides to grab up Sykora down the road, we will hand-deliver a tray of cookies to Rossi.
TPB Staff

About TPB Staff

est. 2006 Semi-retired