March 21, 2011
Malhotra Injury Big Blow To Canucks Cup Hopes
Obviously his health his the primary concern, but Manny Malhotra's season (and perhaps career) ending eye injury is a huge blow to the Vancouver Canucks chances of winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Outsiders may look at the stats and underestimate Malhotra's importance to the Canucks, who are easily the class of the NHL's regular season and a serious Stanley Cup threat.
But what Malhotra provides can not be measured on any stats sheet - except wins. He provides leadership and intangibles that few other players provide. Yes, he is the NHL's best face-off man, but that also translates into the best specialty teams in the NHL. The Canucks have enjoyed the best power play and penalty kill all season long, and a lot of that has to do with Malhotra.
Stanley Cup champions almost always have a few things in common - good goaltending and coaching obviously, but strong specialty teams play and strength down the middle almost as importantly. The Canucks will significantly miss the long under-rated Manny Malhotra.
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The Penguins have had the best penalty kill pretty much all season, but I agree with everything else. I think Malhotra will be missed more than most people will realize until the playoffs.
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