It’s campaign season and the Penguins are trying to get out the vote.
Appearing on this year’s ticket for EA SPORTS NHL 13 cover player are Penguins center Evgeni Malkin
and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury
And this year, the fans will have a voice in determining who will appear on the cover. For the first time ever fans will have the opportunity to select the game’s cover star in the EA SPORTS NHL Cover Vote Campaign, hosted by NHL.com.
“It would be pretty cool because I’ve always been a fan of the game,” Fleury said. “To be on there would be an honor.”
Malkin and Fleury are two of 60 finalists vying to be the face of the world’s No. 1 hockey video game franchise. The 60 NHL players will be trimmed down to one with the winner being announced in a dramatic unveiling of the EA SPORTS NHL 13 Cover Athlete at the 2012 NHL Awards on June 20 in Las Vegas.
“(Malkin) deserves it too. He’s been good all year,” Fleury said. “He’s a fierce competitor. We’ll see what happens.”
Fleury was an avid video gamer in his younger days growing up in Sorel, Quebec.
“Growing up I was always a Montreal fan because I’m from there,” he said, “but Pittsburgh had some mean teams in the 90s, so many good players, so Pittsburgh was another team I like to play as.”
Malkin is well on his way to winning his second Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring champion with 99 points – a nine-point lead over second-place Steven Stamkos. Malkin also ranks second in the league in goals (46) and fifth in assists (53). Malkin also won the Art Ross in 2009 with 113 points (35G-78A).
Malkin has carried the Penguins this season in the absence of captain Sidney Crosby
for all but 16 games. Despite not having one of the most dynamic players in the world in their lineup for most of the season, the Penguins still boast the NHL’s No. 1 offense with 247 goals – led by the efforts of Malkin.
Fleury has been the backbone of the Penguins over the past two seasons. He leads the NHL with 41 wins (tied with Nashville’s Pekka Rinne) while posting an impressive .915 save percentage and 2.30 goals-against average. Fleury’s 41 wins are a new career high.
Fleury was named Team MVP last season after carrying the team plagued with long-term injuries (including to their top three centers, Malkin, Crosby and Jordan Staal