Â• Evgeni Malkin served notice Monday against Washington that he takes a backseat to no other NHLer and no amount of hype. Everyone wanted to talk about Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but Malkin had a goal, two points and the shootout winner in a 5-4 Penguins comeback.
Â• Last year, NHL observers were shocked to see career 30-point-getter Andy McDonald bust out with an 85-point season in Anaheim. This year, the shock waves are emanating from Washington, where Caps winger Chris Clark (who averaged .31 points per game in 356 career games heading into this season) is on pace to put up 34 goals and 71 points. With apologies to American Express, membership on Ovechkin's line has its privileges.
Â• Monday's win for Avs goalie Peter Budaj means more time on the bench for alleged No. 1 Jose Theodore. The former Hart and Vezina winner's slow slide into obscurity would be sad Â– if he wasn't making $5 million per this season and next.
Â• If the Maple Leafs won't trade Tomas Kaberle and can't trade Bryan McCabe, the only blueliner they can get some scoring substance for is Pavel Kubina. Would the San Jose Sharks be willing to deal Evgeni Nabokov Â– and obviously, accept Andrew Raycroft as a lower-rent high-priced backup to Vesa Toskala Â– in return for Kubina and some spare parts like Jeff O'Neill?