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Evgeni Malkin Admits to Pulling for Flyers, Ivan Fedotov

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Ivan Fedotov
Evgeni Malkin is glad Ivan Fedotov is playing hockey again, even if it's for the Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo: AP)

The season may not have ended the way the Philadelphia Flyers would have wanted it to, but at least they had Evgeni Malkin on their side for the final game of the 2023-24 season.

Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins, of course, needed a Flyers win to stay alive in the playoff race. They were both ultimately eliminated on the same night.

It was Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals who won the game against the Flyers, with veteran forward TJ Oshie supplying the empty-net game-winning goal with exactly three minutes left in the game.

In an interview with MatchTV earlier in the week, Malkin admitted that he was pulling for the Flyers – and Ivan Fedotov – to get a win for his Penguins.

In my opinion, there is a certain alignment that if Philadelphia wins and everyone else loses, then they will have a chance,” Malkin said, loosely translated to English. “Not the biggest [chance], really, but the Flyers have motivation.”

As for Fedotov, Malkin expressed his remorse for how the situation played out, drawing back on his own experiences coming to North America for the first time.

“I just heard his story. I think it broke him a little,” Malkin offered. “Everyone has their own story. I also had certain nuances. But what Fedotov went through, I would not want to see such cases in the future. I hope this will not happen.

“Thank God that he plays hockey again and came to the NHL. He is given a chance to speak. I hope he helps us! And most importantly, Ivan gained confidence for next year. If Philadelphia does not fall into the playoffs this season, then I believe that they will prepare and show a high level (next season).”

The Flyers were eliminated only a day after Malkin’s interview came to light, but it was a really nice touch to see Malkin show his support for a fellow countryman who has had to go through a lot to make it to Philadelphia.

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