EVGENI MALKIN scored last night. Perhaps that can provide him a new beginning.

THE PIRATES won a second straight. Maybe this can be the start of something big.

But before Geno Nation and the #BUCN crowd whip out the rubber gloves and K-Y Jelly, please remember: CONSISTENCY = EXCELLENCE.

Malkin had a solid game. It was the first time together for Geno and linemates Jarome Iginla and Chris Kunitz. I liked what I saw.

Starling Marte is turning into a catalyst for the Pirates. He's got four straight two-hit games. There's no denying the brilliance of the bullpen thus far.

But Malkin has just two goals in six games since returning from injury. He's netted just seven on the season.

The Pirates are 3-5.

Short-term success doesn't immediately erase long-term disappointment. Nor does it guarantee prosperity in the future.

Sometimes the wrong move produces the right results. Robert Bortuzzo scored last night. But Simon Despres should still be in the lineup ahead of Bortuzzo. Beau Bennett tallied a big goal. But he should still be on the second line, not the fourth.

It's not about today. It's not about yesterday. It's not even about tomorrow. It's about EVERY DAY.

Here's a good rule of thumb. Adhere to THE THREE I'S: INTENSITY, INTEGRITY and INTELLIGENCE. THE THREE I'S made me Pittsburgh's most beloved radio personality. THE THREE I'S made Kurt Angle a gold medalist. It's true. It's damn true.

THE THREE I'S are non-negotiable. They cannot be edited. When Steelers fans tailgate, they tend toward intoxicated, idiotic and inexcusable. You can't be an Olympic hero when your shoes are covered in puke. Again...it's damn true.

Malkin scored last night. Good. Do it again tomorrow at Tampa.

The Pirates won last night. Good. Do it again today at Arizona.

Photo courtesy of WireImage.