Evgeni Malkin Suspended: Dodges Big Punishment, Gets 1 Game | Pittsburgh Hockey Now
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Evgeni Malkin Suspended: Dodges Big Punishment, Gets 1 Game



It could have been worse. Pittsburgh Penguins star center Evgeni Malkin has been suspended for one game without pay by the NHL Department of Player Safety for his stick swinging incident Monday night.

Malkin and Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl were involved in a battle at center ice. After Raffl punched Malkin from behind, Malkin one-handedly swung his stick at Raffl, and just grazed Raffl’s helmet. Officials assessed Malkin a match penalty and the Penguins were forced to kill a major penalty for the remaining five minutes of regulation.

According to the NHL Department of Player Safety video update,

“It is important to note that while we understand Malkin’s contention that his stick only made glancing contact with Raffl, this does not excuse his actions,” the video said. “In fact, NHL stick fouls do not require contact be made for discipline.”

Malkin had missed the Penguins previous five games due to a hand injury suffered on Jan. 30 against Tampa Bay.

RedBeard's Pittsburgh

After the game, Malkin was not conciliatory.

“I know it’s dirty but my stick missed his helmet and shoulder,” Malkin said. “He dove and the referee gave me five minutes. It wasn’t dangerous. He wasn’t bleeding.”

Earlier this season, Malkin was given a match penalty for a high hit on Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie but was not suspended. Despite admitted struggles and frustration, Malkin has 56 points (14g, 42a) in 51 games this season, including three points in his last two games.

Malkin will forfeit about $51,075 in salary and the money will go to the Players Emergency Assistance Fund.



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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.



  1. Kevin Brown

    February 12, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    This is B.S. So what did Raffl get for punching him in the back of the head?!?!

    If you really watch the replay, Malkin’s swing of the stick wasn’t really intentionally at Raffl’s head. It was more like, I’m flicking my stick in your general direction, because you just punched me in the back of the head.

    • Dan Kingerski

      February 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      You have a point–However, swinging a stick is taboo in the NHL. Punching, cross-checking, slashing, are minor penalties. Swinging the stick is a major violation and one which could devolve into chaos if they didn’t act heavy. The old days of the Federal League, of which Johnstown was a part (Slap Shot was real), was bloody and gory as stick fouls were common.

      • Kevin Brown

        February 12, 2019 at 7:33 pm

        Raffl didn’t get any penalties though.

      • Matt Luda

        February 13, 2019 at 12:04 am

        Swinging a stick is taboo but punching a head isn’t? That’s b.s. Both players and the ref with no eyes/balls should have been fined and suspended.

    • Jay95

      February 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      He got him with a gloved hand to the helmet…you can barely feel that. A stick is a WEAPON when wielded the way it was. As a person who’s played the game… Malkin’s attitude is CRAP! He blindly swung and had every intention to make contact. Penalize the action, not the result. The DOP dropped the ball again. Geno should be out 5-10 games easily.

      • Kevin Brown

        February 12, 2019 at 8:13 pm

        Watch the replay. Raffl hit him hard enough that his head moved forward. Yet no call. Malkin also got crosschecked by him during that sequence too. Yet … no call!

      • Matt Luda

        February 13, 2019 at 12:08 am

        Watch much? Malkin received more contact from the punch than Raffl did from the swing. In fact, I doubt Raffl was even grazed. The coward should have received five minutes for the punch and two minutes for embellishment.

        • Kevin B

          February 13, 2019 at 12:17 am

          Maybe the ref that missed Raffl punching him in the back of the head, can apply to the NFL. 😉

  2. Ricardo58

    February 12, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    More than fair. I was thinking 2 if not 3 games. Enough said.

    • Jay95

      February 12, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      It should be more. His intention was to hit him high with the stick and he swung hard. He was t just trying to hurt him, but injure him. 5-10 easily.

      • Matt Luda

        February 13, 2019 at 12:10 am

        If I’m the commish, Raffl gets five games for the punch, five for embellishment and five for being a coward.

        • Dan Kingerski

          February 13, 2019 at 9:34 am

          A punch like that is a 2 minute minor for roughing.

      • RobertU

        February 13, 2019 at 7:17 am

        This is one where being a star saved him some games. I thought he’d get 3-5. Very dangerous move. He’s got to get his emotions under control.

  3. Gref

    February 13, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Problem with NHL. If the official calls the penalty for cross check or more so the punch to the back of the head Malkin doesn’t respond the way he does. Still a bad response. Though the NHL can’t be shocked when refs let things lead to this

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