After hearing Don Taylor on Sportsnet Pacific mispronounce Evgeny Malkin’s name two different ways throughout the telecast the other night, I decided to mention this; The proper way to say the young star’s name is – Yevgeny, with a hard “g” as in “good,” not soft, as in “generic.” Ot you could just call him by his nickname, Gino.
Malkin conducted a post-game interview in English the other night. Up until recently, you wouldn’t have heard much English from this young gun. Now he’s putting whole sentences together. So what this proves is, if you move to China to play ping pong, or join the Slovenian or Slovakian chess teams, and if you’re there long enough, you’ll learn the language.
Have you noticed that when Mr. and Mrs. Malkin kiss and hug in the stands after Gino scores, Mr. Malkin takes a peak at the video screen on the scoreboard? Just making sure the his timing’s right, I suppose, before he plants a big one.
You don’t suppose, do you, that Bob Gainey would even consider hiring recently-fired Mike Keenan as coach of the Habs? Nah. You’re not, right, Bob?
Speaking of coaches coming to Montreal, it was very interesting to see that the Canadiens possibly showed interest in Russian coach Vyacheslav Bykov. I’m not trying to sound like Don Cherry here, but does this mean Montreal can’t find a North American coach savvy enough to coach the team? Anywhere? If you hired a Russian coach who has mostly always lived in Russia, you get several things that aren’t guaranteed. Not only does he have to figure out the NHL way of doing things, which was always a world apart from what Bykov grew up with, (Red Army, Viktor Tikhonov, the Soviet system etc.), he would also need to understand young North American players and a culture that takes a lot of getting used to. He might (and this is in all seriousness), miss his food. He would have to adapt to the smaller ice. Would he try to instill a European-style of hockey which wouldn’t work in the NHL? And he may just not ever get comfortable here. There have been many Russian players over the years who had great success in the NHL, who lived in grand houses and drove grand cars and their wives wore grand fashion designs, (Viacheslav Fetisov) who went back home as soon as their NHL careers came to an end. You can take the man out of Russia but you can’t take the Russian out of the man. You have to remember – North America isn’t the end all, be all for many foreigners. It’s not as great for them as we think it should be.
I think it’s a better idea to stick with a North American as far as coaching in the NHL goes.