Special thanks, as always, to Pensburgh reader Becky for passing along the latest translation of Max Talbot's recent post on his RDS blog. In this installment, Max discusses the Penguins' struggles, Evgeni Malkin's scoring slump and the Reebok commercial he did with Sid that aired during the Winter Classic.
Max also suggests that his visit home during the holiday break may have done him some good.
Now, if only he can crack the lineup again and the start finding the back of the net...
Take the jump for Max's latest.
Getting back on the road to victory
Before I tell you about my new Reebok advertisement, I must address the subject of our five-game losing streak.
To be honest with you, I am unable to point to any one aspect of our game to explain our recent results. In fact, I would say rather that we are at midseason and have to play several games in not many nights. You mustn’t forget that we haven’t played only bad games during this rather fruitless stretch. For example, we could have beaten the Maple Leafs, then we lost to the Sabres after holding the lead, and we played well against the Devils. On the other hand, it was less conclusive against the Lightning and Panthers.
Obviously, it is not easy to remain consistent through a season of 82 games and going through some highs and lows cannot be avoided. The important thing is to find a way to bounce back.
Evgeni Malkin did not hesitate to point the finger at himself, and I’m not too surprised to see him do that. Unfortunately, he is not contributing as much as he would like to the score sheet, so he’s putting pressure on himself. Geno is a winner; he wants to be one of the best players in the NHL and help our team to win. It bothers him when he’s not producing a lot, because he is a winner and that is how we are going to pull through.
I have often mentioned him in my previous posts, but we form such a tight group in the Penguins that we don’t panic, and we still find ways to have a good time during practice.
We are trying to get better every day, but it isn’t easy with the compressed schedule due to the Olympics. In this situation, we aren’t able to have as many practices, and it’s harder to work on details that need to be corrected. But be assured, nobody is pointing any fingers and the atmosphere within the team remains good.
I must admit that our power play has not had a lot of success this season, and we are trying to rectify that whole thing. That said, it is really the details that we haven’t been executing correctly for the last few matches.
One more commercial on my record!
First, I found the concept very interesting. We didn’t have any script to follow, it was just Sidney and me playing around in the basement of a house. It was not the real basement of Sidney’s house in Cole Harbour. The people in charge of the project created a pretty good reproduction of the original in a house in Pittsburgh; Sidney was impressed that the result was very similar.
We played around shooting pucks into a dryer, and it was a lot of fun. I think that people liked the end result. We had our little competition to carry out and no one said, "you shouldn’t say that…" The object was just to have a good time.
I imagine that you noticed it, but the budget was a bit bigger than for my automobile ads
I was happy to see my family again
During the holidays, I was able to return to Montreal for two days and I took advantage of it to see the families on both my mother’s and father’s sides. That did me a lot of good, as it’s always nice to see them and to get my mind off things by going back to Montreal.
We have gotten back to action very quickly to face the very full calendar that awaits us. Does this challenge worry me? I would say yes and no. Obviously, it’s not easy for our bodies. We have, after all, played 41 games [already] before January 1st, and we have even less time to play the other half of the season. But it is our job as hockey players and we love that, so I will never complain about playing matches.
Moreover, all the teams have to make do with this situation. On the Penguins, we continue to fight and try to play our best.
On that note, I wish you a very happy 2010!
Source: RDS (en Francais)