Penguins center Evgeni Malkin dreamt about winning an Olympic gold medal for Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in his home country.
But unfortunately for him, history did not unfold that way.
“It’s not easy. It’s always tough,” said Malkin, whose team was eliminated by Finland in the tournament quarterfinals. “I remember in Vancouver (in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games) we lost. Now it’s worse. We played at home and it’s tough. I just need a little bit more time.”
Malkin, 27, addressed the media inside the Penguins locker room following Wednesday’s practice. And Malkin is hoping to put the Olympics behind him and represent the Pittsburgh Penguins in a quest for the Stanley Cup.
“I’m glad to come back and see the guys,” Malkin said. “They helped me a lot. I’m just staying positive and focusing on my game.”
Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma certainly knows where Malkin’s focus is after their first conversation back in Pittsburgh.
“The third thing out of Evgeni’s mouth was the Stanley Cup, coming back here and being focused on that,” Bylsma said.
Unlike some of his fellow Olympians, Malkin didn’t get to take in a lot of the other sports in Sochi.
“I watched TV. I enjoyed when the Russian guys win,” he said. “We went to figure skating. I saw my parents, friends. I spent more time watching TV, but a couple times we went to watch figure skating.”
Malkin said that he is a little tired following the Olympics, but feels well health-wise. Other than maybe some lingering disappointment over his country’s finish.
“I know everyone on the team played hard, 100 percent,” Malkin said. “We just didn’t play together. It was a tough loss.”