2012 NHL All-Star Game: Evgeni Malkin Is the Best Player in the NHL

Evan LeBlancCorrespondent IIJanuary 30, 2012

Malkin having a laugh at your expense
Malkin having a laugh at your expenseGregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2012 All-Star Game featured the excellent play of Evgeni Malkin, who scored the game's prettiest goal with a top-shelf shot that came after a few dazzling moves a la fellow Russian Pavel Datsyuk. He was glad to have made his return back to the NHL after an injury setback last season.

He is currently leading the league in scoring, in spite of not leading his team in goals (a distinction that belongs to James Neal with 27 goals). His dominance comes in spite of the extremely good defensive coverage that he draws night after night.

The bottom line is, there is no player who can slow him down.

Now, I know that many would say that this is an overreaction for a player who only scored one goal in the game. But there is no denying it was an incredibly pretty goal, and it showed what he has been doing night in and night out.

Evgeni Malkin is not only incredibly big and strong, but also extremely motivated. Maybe he took it easy during this exhibition, but the combination of his skill and size was downright scary.

That goal in that game served as a reminder to me of the way that he has been tearing up the league in the past few weeks before the event. He is on a scary sort of roll right now and his team is looking very good.

If his old buddy Sidney Crosby can join him at the end of the year or the playoffs, then they will have a truly scary power play (Letang will be in full swing as well). Even without the rest of his friends, he is still hands down the best player in the league right now.