Watch the video explanation above for more on why the NHL suspended Malkin for four games.
Evgeni Malkin suspended 4 game(s) for cross-checking Mark Borowiecki
While Malkin’s avoided league discipline before, fans with long memories will recall quite a few instances when he lost his temper. Back in 2012, Craig Berube labeled Malkin and Sidney Crosby “the two dirtiest players” on the Penguins.
One would guess that the Penguins won’t push Malkin too hard to dial down his temper. Note Mike Sullivan’s comments after the Malkin – Borowiecki incident.
“Obviously, we don’t want our best players in the penalty box. But these guys are competitive guys. They push back. We’d prefer they be on the ice,” Sullivan said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Mike DeFabo. “But one of the things we love about Geno is how competitive he is. So when you get an emotional game like the one today, those things happen.”
As much as Malkin will be missed, the Penguins and other Eastern Conference teams are mainly battling for seeding right now. No doubt, it’s concerning for Pittsburgh that the Capitals have a chance to bump the Penguins down to a wild-card spot. That said, the Penguins figure to draw a tough opponent even if it’s a 2/3 Metro matchup, as the Rangers have looked a lot more dangerous since the trade deadline. (It wouldn’t be a picnic if the Hurricanes slipped to the two-spot, either.)
With Malkin’s injury history — including missing significant time this season — there may even be a small blessing of getting him a quick bit of rest before the playoffs.