There is a difference between being here and arriving, which Malkin did by tallying six points in the first five periods of the 2008 playoffs. When asked about the difference between this April and last, Malkin answered, in English, "One thousand [percent] ... my feeling is better. I'm stronger." After dispatching the imploding Senators hastily, all the Penguins should feel as swell. The only physical ailment that might affect Pittsburgh, which was to have at least a week off before the second round, is bedsores.
Spinning on their Crosby-Malkin axis, the blossoming Penguins appear to be logical heirs to another dynamic, dynastic team, one that began to coalesce a quarter of a century ago. Says King, "Watching Crosby and Malkin and Pittsburgh really is like watching the Oilers when they started their evolution. Energy. Skill. They keep learning how to win, and they'll be knocking on the door."
If Malkin can help the new Penguins become the old Oilers, he would be filling big shoes that never go out of style.