It’s hard to blame P.K. Subban for wanting to punch Evgeni Malkin in the face.
The Predators were down 4-1 and facing a 2-0 series deficit despite outplaying the Penguins in both games when a scrum ensued behind Nashville’s net. Malkin, who scored Pittsburgh’s fourth goal, started things off by getting in the face of Mattias Ekholm. Subban responded by putting Malkin in a headlock, but the fireworks started after Malkin hit Subban with a gloved jab to the face. It was on after that.
It wasn’t much of a fight, but still an unusual sight to see players drop the gloves this deep into the postseason, much less two superstars like Subban and Malkin.
What sparked the fight?
“He speaks a little bit of Russian. I played with some Russians too. And I didn’t like what he said, and I said something back, and we went,” he said after Game 2.
Can you translate it for us, P.K.?
“No, I can’t translate it for you.”
This was the 11th fight this postseason, two more than there were during last year’s playoffs and the most since 2012-13 (15). That was also the last time there was a fight in the Stanley Cup Final, when Andrew Shaw and Brad Marchand went at it.
Fighting other stars isn’t that unusual for Malkin, however — the guy seems to have a type.
That Zetterberg fight, Malkin’s first in the NHL, also occurred in the Stanley Cup Final — eight years ago to the day.