In a little over a month, Evgeni Malkin will be awarded the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scoring and most likely the Hart Trophy for league MVP. Bouncing back from a torn ACL and MCL last season, Malkin put up 50 goals and 109 points for the Pittsburgh Penguins this season.
After their first round elimination by the Philadelphia Flyers where he scored eight points in six games, Malkin has continued his tear with Russia at the World Championships in Helsinki and Stockholm.
In today's 6-2 semifinal victory over host Finland, Malkin tallied his second hat trick of the tournament as the Russians moved on to Sunday's gold medal tilt against the winner of Slovakia-Czech Republic:
With the hat trick, Malkin has points in all nine games and overtook Patrick Thoresen (!) as leading scorer in the tournament with 10 goals and eight assists. Second in scoring for Russia is Alexander Popov with 11 points.
The Finns won the tournament last year, but according to IIHF.com, home ice hasn't been kind host teams. The Soviet Union in 1986 was the last host side to win gold. Next year's tournament will again be hosted in Helsinki and Stockholm. Maybe the Finns and Swedes can ask to have all of their games be played away from home?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy