Ryan Malone explains why he lost it against Montreal

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Ryan Malone had a pretty epic outing in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 win over Montreal on Tuesday. He registered an assist, threw two hits and racked up 17 penalty minutes — including a rare aggressor game misconduct — trying to pound Habs defenseman Alexei Emelin.

Why the beef with Emelin? Let’s go to the video.

(For those wanting to jump ahead, here’s your FF guide:)

Malone hit on Emelin — 0:02
Emelin hit on Malone — 0:39
Malone jumps Emelin — 1:58

According to Damian Cristodero of TampaBay.com, Malone wasn’t as displeased with the hit as he was with Emelin refusing to fight him.

“It’s not old school hockey, it’s pretty much hockey,” Malone said. ” If they feel they can take a cheap shot at someone and then not stand up for themselves, that’s the way they play. I think I always played fair where if I take a cheap shot at someone you have to kind of pay your dues.”

When told Emelin no longer fights because his face got smashed in and rebuilt with metal plates after a 2009 scrap in the KHL, Malone said that was T.S. (which stands for Tethered Swimming, of course.)

Lightning head coach Guy Boucher stood behind Malone with his post-game comments.

“The blind hit he got there, that’s extremely dangerous,” Boucher said. “He had no puck. The puck didn’t even come close to him; a blind-side hit with no puck. we’re just lucky Malone is that tough that he could take that check. He took care of his own business.”

One final note about the aggressor game misconduct call —  rule 46.2 describes it as “the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant.”

Which, having re-watched the video, is a fairly accurate description.