Oh, boy. This is a no-no. And Evgeni Malkin will have to answer for his stick-swinging antics.
The Pittsburgh Penguins forward let his emotions get the best of him and it could cost him more than just the match penalty he received in Monday’s 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Late in the third period with the Penguins leading the game comfortably 3-0, Flyers forward Michael Raffl and Malkin got tangled up in the neutral zone.
Raffl took a swipe at the back of Malkin’s head with his fist. Malkin, displeased with this, swung around, bringing his stick with him up high and grazing Raffl in the head.
Thankfully, Raffl was fine as that could have ended up much, much worse. Sure, the punch to the back of the head wasn’t nice, but trying to Marty McSorely someone is no way to respond to it.
Malkin, who was quickly escorted off the ice, just returned to the lineup on Monday after missing five games with an upper-body injury. The Penguins sorely missed him, going 1-3-1 in his absence.
George Parros and the NHL’s Department of Player Safety came to the conclusion quickly that the play warranted a review. Malkin has never been suspended during his 13-year career but he was fined $5,000 last year for spearing Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown.
“I know it was dirty,” Malkin said after the game, adding that he didn’t think he hit Raffl.
Malkin said he needs to be smarter next time.