Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin won’t face any additional discipline for getting in the face of officials after a 5-2 loss to Toronto on Wednesday night.
Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review reports Malkin has escaped suspension after receiving a game misconduct for verbal abuse of an official, called after the final horn blew.
Malkin was furious with a series of calls from the crew of referees Ghislain Hebert and Kelly Sutherland, and linesmen David Brisebois and Shane Heyer.
Pittsburgh was whistled for 10 penalties, including a stretch in the second period where the Pens were dinged four times in the first 12 minutes.
“I‘m really mad at a couple [of] calls,” Malkin said on Thursday. “But…I lose control. It was bad emotion. It was my fault.”
Pens captain Sidney Crosby also got in on the critique, earning himself an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with two minutes left in the game. Toronto scored on the ensuring power play.
It’s not overly surprising that Hebert was at the center of an officiating controversy, given his history:
— Last December, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville called Hebert’s work in a game vs. LA “tough to watch.”
— In February, interim Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth said Hebert missing a hooking call on Erik Cole was “a little beyond comprehension for me.”
— Hebert was one of the referees working the infamous Bruins-Sabres game when Milan Lucic ran over Ryan Miller.
— Malkin also got dinged for an abuse of officials misconduct while playing in the KHL during the lockout.
— No word yet if a fine will be levied against Malkin. Last season, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan seemed to hand out fines for comments made after (or, before) games, rather than in the heat of the moment.
Also, almost all the fines for criticizing officials were levied against coaches.