THN: Dynamic Duos
In der neuesten Ausgabe des nordamerikanischen Fachmagazins "The Hockey
News" dreht sich die Titelstory um das neue Traum-Duo der NHL: Sidney
Crosby und Evgeni Malkin:
By Ken Campbell
If you can believe it, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are more popular
with college kids in Pittsburgh than toga parties and panty raids.
The Penguins have a game-day promotion they call ‘student rush,’ which
allows college students to purchase any remaining tickets for $20 each
one hour before the game starts.
“Sometimes there are lines around Mellon Arena,” said Penguins
vice-president, communications Tom McMillan. “We’ve been doing this for
11 years and it’s an overnight success.”
All those kids who will have lots of disposable income in a couple of
years are there to see Crosby and Malkin, two guys who could qualify
for ‘student rush’ tickets themselves if they weren’t busy being the
NHL’s next superstars. The only question remains whether or not the
Penguins will be in Pittsburgh long enough to see those kids graduate.
Whether the Penguins get the new arena they need to stay in Pittsburgh
is pretty much out of Crosby and Malkin’s hands, but McMillan
acknowledges that having the two brightest young stars in the game
certainly can’t hurt the cause.
“There’s no doubt that having these two guys here energizes everyone to try to make that happen,” McMillan said.
What started with Crosby last season has continued to build with the
presence of Malkin and only promises to improve as Malkin learns to
Crosby’s sweater has been the top seller on nhl.com all season and
Malkin is in the top 10. And, at last check, Crosby and Malkin were
running 1-2 in voting for the Eastern Conference team for the NHL
Due almost exclusively to Crosby, the Penguins experienced the largest
attendance increase last year, despite finishing in last place in their
division for the fourth straight season.
Television ratings are better than they have been in years and the
Penguins have an owner in Jim Balsillie that they’ve never had – a
billionaire with deep pockets.
On the ice, Malkin and Crosby have been nothing short of spectacular
even though they rarely play together. Although the Penguins are a long
way from being a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, the Crosby-Malkin
combination gives them the kind of 1-2 punch down the middle the
championship Penguins had with Mario Lemieux and Ron Francis, the
Edmonton Oilers had with Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, the Colorado
Avalanche had with Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg and the Detroit Red
Wings had with Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov.
“It’s been great to play with someone who is that creative and has that
much fun out there on the ice,” said Crosby of Malkin. “I think myself,
I’m improving just playing with him. He’s still learning English so
it’s hard to communicate, but we’re doing our best.”
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