Evgeni Malkin admits the uncomfortable truth for Penguins

It all comes down to Thursday night for Pittsburgh.



In a game that they absolutely had to have, the Pittsburgh Penguins instead found themselves trailing and eventually losing to the tanking Chicago Blackhawks. The 6-2 setback dealt a serious blow to their already faint postseason hopes, meaning that their fate will be sealed with the results of Thursday evening's season finale against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets.

The fans in attendance last night at PPG Paints Arena voiced their displeasure as the seconds ticked off the clock, and even more "Fire Hextall" chants were heard from those who hadn't departed early to get a head start on the traffic. 

And afterward, it was Penguins longtime forward Evgeni Malkin who had to admit the uncomfortable truth for his team, which features many players on the wrong side of the age of 30.

“I think we tried so hard. We tried everything. I try to play hard every game, you know,” Malkin said. “But the league is young. They play so hard. It’s a new generation. It’s coming." 

“We try to play hard, but it’s probably like, I don’t know, it’s like …”

There was a time where the Penguins were the face of the "new" National Hockey League that emerged after the lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season with young Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin leading the way. But as always, Father Time is undefeated. 

Regardless of what happens on Thursday night, it's becoming more and more evident that the fantastic run that Pittsburgh has been on the past 16 years is coming to an end. This summer will bring interesting decisions from maligned GM Ron Hextall, who continues to feel the wrath of the frustrated fan base.