First off I would like to start off by saying Max Talbot should be very careful during game three. The Kronwall train is going to catch up with you during that game.
As for Evgeni Malkin, why are you even playing? I read the NHL rule book and based on that you should be suspended. League disciplinarian Colin Campbell must be a fan of yours.
Campbell did talk about "some" of what the rules say. "Suspensions are applied under this rule when a team attempts to send a message in the last five minutes by having a player instigate a fight," he said. "A suspension could also be applied when a player seeks retribution for a prior incident. Neither was the case here."
What does the rule say exactly?
(NEW for 2005-06) A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at any time in overtime, shall be assessed an instigator minor penalty, a major for fighting, a ten minute misconduct and an automatic one-game suspension.
The length of suspension will double for each subsequent offense. In addition, the player's coach shall be fined $10,000—a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.
From what I saw, the referee seemed to call Malkin an instigator. The rule also goes on and says:
(NEW for 2005-06) (NOTE 1) No team appeals will be permitted either verbally or in writing regarding the assessment of this automatic suspension.
Key words in that line are automatic. I would like to know where it says Colin "Pittsburgh Fan" Campbell can rescind the suspension at anytime. Not only am I disturbed by Campbell's decision. I'm also wondering if he even watched what happen.
The whole NHL definition of the word "instigator" explained most if not all what Malkin did. First here is the definition:
An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season.
Let's break down those components:
- Distance Traveled - Starting from the blue line three feet from the net, to all the way around the net and a foot in front. To me, Malkin traveled some distance.
- Gloves off first and first punch thrown - He grab Zetterberg and started swinging. Zetterberg didn't even have a chance to drop his gloves.
- Menacing Attitude or Posture - He looked like he thought about this one for awhile.
- Verbal instigation or threats - I'm pretty sure he said things in Russian, but Zetterberg could have know what he was saying.
- Conduct in retaliations to a prior game (or season) - That one's huge because now it's happened twice in the first two games to the Red Wings.
I think Malkin should be suspended because it's written in the rule book. It's "Rule 56 - Fisticuffs" again written in black and white. There is no grey area, Mr. League disciplinarian. Or should I call you Penguins fan!