Flyers

Penguins' Evgeni Malkin receives 1-game suspension for swinging stick at Michael Raffl

Penguins' Evgeni Malkin receives 1-game suspension for swinging stick at Michael Raffl

The NHL went light on Evgeni Malkin.

The Department of Player Safety suspended Malkin just one game Tuesday afternoon after taking a baseball-like swing at Flyers forward Michael Raffl in the late stages of Monday’s 4-1 Pittsburgh win.

Malkin has built up a reputation and history of cheap shots and retaliatory penalties throughout his time in the league, including an elbow to the head of Washington’s T.J. Oshie back in November, but had never received supplemental discipline until Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after Monday's game, Malkin didn’t believe his act of aggression was even suspension-worthy.

“I didn’t hit him in the face,” Malkin said. “If I had touched him in the face, for sure, I would get suspended. It’s a high stick, but it’s not like I broke his face. I think I won’t get suspended.”

The two players were battling in front of the benches when Raffl appeared to take a few jabs to the back of Malkin’s head. While Raffl probably should have received a two-minute minor for roughing, the referees appropriately slapped Malkin with a five-minute major and match penalty.

While replays make it appear as if Malkin swung and missed just barely, he could have done serious damage to Raffl or another Flyer had his stick struck a player’s helmet, mouth or even eye socket.

Following Malkin’s phone hearing Tuesday afternoon, George Parros, head of the Department of Player Safety, clearly determined that intent carried very little weight in his ruling and that only serious injury to Raffl would have warranted a longer suspension.

In November 2017, Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas took a guillotine-like whack to the back of the head of Winnipeg’s Mathieu Perreault, resulting in a 10-game suspension for Gudas. Perreault returned to game action just two days later, but the league sent a direct message to Gudas that reprehensible acts of violence would no longer be tolerated.

That message was not passed along to Malkin, who will sit out Pittsburgh’s game against Edmonton on Wednesday.

Malkin’s transgressions add another interesting subplot for when the Penguins return to Philadelphia for the Stadium Series game at Lincoln Financial Field on Feb. 23.  

Rest assured, Sidney Crosby won’t be Philadelphia’s only public enemy.

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The South Philly bar that's gone 'all in' on the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

The South Philly bar that's gone 'all in' on the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Jacks NYB has been rooting for the St. Louis Blues since an encounter with some of the players in January.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Marc Farzetta takes a deeper look at why these life-long Flyers fans are now pulling for the Blues in the video below.

Download Gritty's MDW playlist from Spotify for a beachy weekend

Download Gritty's MDW playlist from Spotify for a beachy weekend

He may not speak a whole lot but Gritty sure has a ton of personality.

The Philadelphia Flyers' mascot spent some time this week crafting the perfect playlist for your Memorial Day Weekend getaway at the beach.

"Don’t take this the wrong way, but I made you all a mix. #MDW2019," Gritty wrote on Twitter. "This baby’ll getcha all the way to Cape May."

Not surprisingly, the Gritster has some eclectic taste in tunes. He includes summer banger staples like Weezer's Island in the Sun and the Fresh Prince's Summertime. But he's got plenty of curveballs in there like He's a Pirate from Hans Zimmer (remix).

Perhaps the oddest transition on the list is Lil Nas X's Old Town Road into something called Bill Nye the Science Guy by Mr. Dooves which goes into Mamma Mia by Abba. Weird dude, that Gritty. Would love to hang with him under the boardwalk.

Chase Utley fans will be pleased with at least one selection, as will SpongeBob fans. There's a nice nod to his "men in black" handlers, but I was waiting for an ode to Claude that never came. His list has 40 songs in all.

Happy summer, Gritty. Thanks for the tunes. See you in Sea Isle. Or Wildwood?

Spotify users can download the playlist by clicking on the below link.

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