After a premature playoff exit, Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin will look to hone his skills at the ongoing 2014 IIHF World Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Malkin will join Team Russia after scoring 72 points in 60 games this regular season, despite a subpar playoff performance.
Malkin has played internationally for Russia many times, including the recent Olympics and in the 2012 IIHF World Championships, where Russia won the gold medal in Finland. He also won gold medal with Russia in 2004 in the World Under-18 Championships in Minsk. He will likely join the team when Russia takes on Germany on Sunday.
Heading into the tournament, Russia was the heavy favorites, with stars like Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on the team. When Malkin joins the team, he will make their offensive weapons even deadlier. Russia has won all four games so far, including a 6-1 blowout of the United States. The Russian players are probably looking for redemption after a poor Olympic performance.
So far, they are off to an excellent start. It is rare to see players of this kind of calibre head off to the World Championships. With Boston and Pittsburgh now elminated from the playoffs, we will see who may make the jump across the pond to play in the tournament.