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David Legwand’s butt-end on Evgeni Malkin has no place in the game

I would love to keep things positive after the Red Wings' 5-4 OT win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, but this play by David Legwand has to be at least reviewed by the league, despite Legwand getting a 5-minute major for butt-ending and Evgeni Malkin being okay. It's a gutless, cheap-ass butt-end, and it has no place in the game.

Update: Mind you, Chris Neal's cross-check to Luke Glendening's face was also awful, but hitting a superstar is different of course...

Update #2: Per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

Wings coach Mike Babcock on the five-minute major for butt-ending Evgeni Malkin and game misconduct assessed to David Legwand late in the third period with the game tied 4-4 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“He took the penalty,” Babcock said. “The referee made the call. When it happened, to be honest with you, I thought because they had been all over him, I thought that it was weak. But when I watched it on video, he just made the call.”

Legwand drew the penalty after Malkin raked his stick over the back of Legwand’s head to the left of Jimmy Howard.

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At least this video has the high stick to the back of the head.  Not mentioned in the video, but at least it’s there. 

The NHL rules clearly state:

If it happens to Malkin, it’s a suspension

If Malkin is the perpetrator, suspension rescinded

Posted by tigerjeb on 03/20/14 at 09:55 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Once again, didnt see the game, but logic dictates that Legwand doesn’t just decide to blast a guy in the nutz…....Something preceded this that went undetected/uncalled…...

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/20/14 at 09:57 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Bad play for sure, but it’s about time one of these damned guys left on this MASH unit pushes back.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 03/20/14 at 10:01 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Didn’t see how Legwand lost his helmet, doubtless the first offering.  Still, it was cheap and supremely stupid.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/20/14 at 10:05 PM ET


No, it was a reaction to being hit in the head with a high stick and getting his helmet knocked off. Stupid, yes, and will undoubtedly draw a suspension. However, if they base the decision on whether or not the player got injured, there should not be one. Wasn’t that what they said when Weber hit Z’s head into the glass?

I know 2 wrongs don’t make a right but there was provocation. Legwand should take his lumps but the league is totally arbitrary in how it hands out suspensions. From the angle I saw, the padding on his pants should have protected him from any serious harm, as it was a side hit.

A suspension won’t upset me as much as the arbitrary way the league applies its rules.

Posted by NewfieWing on 03/20/14 at 10:16 PM ET


The hit by Neal on Glendening was not provoked, at least not in any obvious way, and is definitely worthy of a suspension. There is no place for that in the game either.

Posted by NewfieWing on 03/20/14 at 10:19 PM ET

RW19's avatar

Forget the suspension. Babcock was livid at Legwand. Can you find any video of that? Mike won’t tolerate that kind of stupidity on his team.

Posted by RW19 on 03/20/14 at 10:24 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Got the quote from Babs above.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/20/14 at 10:37 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Standing up for yourself instead of relying on the infalable on ice officials has no place in the game eh?

That’s not the same at all. Its one of the more dangerous things that can happen in a game and its not something that happens “accidentally.” There’s a reason its an automatic 5 minute penalty and game misconduct. Even a failed attempt at butt-ending gets you 2 in the box.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 03/20/14 at 10:37 PM ET


Can’t argue with whatever punishment Legwand receives. But I had to love the Penguin announcers noting in their commentary that Legwand had somehow lost his helmet. Yeah Paul and Bob, maybe it was the “hairbrush” from Malkin ? What a couple of clowns.

Posted by mc keeper on 03/20/14 at 10:51 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Root Sports: Making me question why Steve Yzerman counts Bob Errey among his friends since the start of forever.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/20/14 at 10:56 PM ET

Lenny's avatar

Glenny takes a cross check to the head, adjusts his helmet and keeps on playing. Geno takes a jab and drops like a sniper took him down. Both stupid plays but Malkin is embellishing that.

Posted by Lenny on 03/20/14 at 11:07 PM ET


I would totally understand if Legwand was suspended. I wouldn’t be happy about it though given the number of times this year a Wing player has been on the receiving end of a hit that could have or should have been 5 and a game only to see 2 minutes if a penalty is called at all. Followed by nothing from the Player Safety clowns

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 03/20/14 at 11:08 PM ET

bleep bloop's avatar

So that’s what vine is for…

Posted by bleep bloop on 03/20/14 at 11:17 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Just got to see a clip of then earl cross check.  Did he get a game misconduct for that crap? Cause I’ve watched the malkin academy award worthy fall to your knees and attract attention play a few times now, he falls to his knees only after several seconds. Legwand hits him, but congrats on the bravo performance.

All the networks are showing the Legwand hit, but have not seen the Neal shot?

Posted by Down River Dan on 03/20/14 at 11:58 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Both plays were terrible and indefensible, even if Legwand was provoked. Both deserve suspensions.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 03/21/14 at 12:08 AM ET


Well George off the top of my head I can think of half a dozen plays against the wings that easily exceed what Legwand did in terms of being dirty. This is a minor penalty-unsportsmanlike conduct. Is this worse than breaking Jurco’s ribs (no penalty/suspension) or all of the head shots that have concussed multiple wings (and non-Wings thoughout the league). So people can concuss Wings and break their bones with all sorts of cheap shots and this non-injury- causing stick work is abject now, give me a *#$%@& break

Posted by Bay Area Wings fan on 03/21/14 at 12:24 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Butt-ending is simply unacceptable. I don’t know how Comeau got away with that cross-check, though. That should have been at least 3 games.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 03/21/14 at 12:39 AM ET

SYF's avatar

I was fuching furious that it was even called on Legwand given the rest of the garbage that was laid out on the Wings.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 03/21/14 at 12:40 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Can we (other commenters, not George) stop phrasing this in terms of prior wrongs committed against us or what provoked Legwand. A butt-end is one of the dirtiest, not to mention extremely dangerous, moves in all of hockey. It is classless and indefensible. Sure, everything like this should be called. If someone takes a cheap shot they should be called, but just because in the past there was a lack of enforcement (Weber on Z) does not mean that Wings are allowed to take cheap shots without fear of punishment. As a die-hard fan who has watched every single game this year (and the last decade for that matter), that was an awful move. He should be suspended for a couple games to deter others from committing an act like that.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 03/21/14 at 12:41 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Malkin didn’t miss a shift.  I say 1 Game since you can’t NOT suspend him for it.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 03/21/14 at 01:22 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

My Take: “No place in the game.”

* I agree completely
* The NHL agrees completely

So… doesn’t “No place in the game” remind you of what’s said about hits to the head? Aren’t these two thing soooo similar that they should be treated the same?

* Absolutely NOT

* Spearing-to-injure has for many years not been tolerated at all in the game. 5’min major and a miscondunduct.
* Hits to the head has for many years shamefully been tolerated. 2’min minors at times, “let-them-police-it-themselves bullcrap at other times.

* Spearing like this has not seen an increase, an almost unstoppable increase, in recent years. The mandatory major-misconduct was instituted years ago and these incidents are rare.
* Hits to the head are at near-epidemic levels in the NHL The on-ice punishments are not lessening the frequency of hits-to-the head.

* Spearing has no place in the game and is properly punished currently.
* Hits-to-the-head have no place in the game but it is not being properly punished and it is for this reason that supplementary discipline is necessary.

My take on the subject.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/21/14 at 02:57 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Can we (other commenters, not George) stop phrasing this in terms of prior wrongs committed against us or what provoked Legwand. A butt-end is one of the dirtiest, not to mention extremely dangerous, moves in all of hockey.

Well said, Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/21/14 at 03:05 AM ET


Legwand also gave Dion Phaneuf a very sore leg by jabbing his stick into the back of his his knee very hard. I wonder if Shanny looks at that too and suspends on a cumulative basis.

Posted by griffinsfan on 03/21/14 at 05:46 AM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

ahhhhh, c’mon…. so much sneaky dirty crap goes on in any hockey game. to tell you the truth I was hoping someone would give it Geno at some point last night.  No pity for that guy, or gal (sic).  Legwand just got caught.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 03/21/14 at 05:47 AM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Nothing is unacceptable, Legwand is a Red Wing - he gets a pass. He is family now. So much pontificating. The last time I checked hockey is a mens game.

Posted by joedaiceman on 03/21/14 at 06:14 AM ET


The last time I checked hockey is a mens game

Exactly.  Which is why it’s completely unacceptable to jam your stick in someone’s junk.

Any man knows that.

Posted by Garth on 03/21/14 at 06:40 AM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

No excuse for what Legwand did.

What was the excuse for the ref not call the scalp job that Malkin did to Leggy right before though?

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 03/21/14 at 06:40 AM ET

Bill from GR's avatar

Dumb move by Legwand.

But immediately after, Malkin, looks to me, to take a partial stride or turn towards Legwand like he might retaliate.  But, then he sees the ref and goes down like he’s shot.

I say Malkin wasn’t injured in the least and totally embellished the cheap shot.  Yeah, it’s still a cheap shot, but totally oversold by 71.

Posted by Bill from GR on 03/21/14 at 07:37 AM ET

Bill from GR's avatar

One other question, when’s the last time you’ve seen a goalie scrambling from the opening face off, playing borderline out of control in large parts, give up four goals in the second HALF of the game, and get named the #3 star?

Gotta love home ice.

Posted by Bill from GR on 03/21/14 at 07:41 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Regardles of the outcome, or who it was that Legwand butt-ended, it was a totally asinine and selfish play.  He put the team in a bad position with very little time left in a tie game that they had to win.  That is unacceptable.

Hopefully both he and Tootoo get a one way ticket out of town in the offseason.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 03/21/14 at 07:50 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

It’s not quid pro quo. What Legwand did is at least fine-able. I’m guessing he avoids suspension due to a clean history, and that seems alright given a fine and the misconduct.

Malkin might’ve instigated, but that’s hockey. Malkin won a mental battle with Legwand.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 03/21/14 at 08:00 AM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

Couple things here gentelmen…

Malkin did miss a shift. He was not out there to start the following 5 minute powerplay with the rest of the regular PP unit and did not get out until much later.

His stick did come up high and knock off Legwands helmet. I would hardly call it malicious, though it certainly could have been called and I wouldn’t have any issues with that. Seemed more like 2 guys battling in front with their sticks tangled up. Let’s not act like it was a hatchet job to Legwand’s head.

What James Neal did was inexcusable. He should sit for 2 games.  I would expect a fine for Legwand.

Wasn’t the prettiest game, but certainly entertaining. In a way I’m happy the Wings got the points as they certainly need them and would love to see these two teams go at it in the playoffs again.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 03/21/14 at 08:19 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Though a butt-end is a cheap and dirty play, the penalty was awarded and the punishment served. There is no need to further punish with suspension or fine. Fall-out from this transgression should be confined to the game, which is now over. If we’re not careful, before too long, we’ll be calling for suspensions for hooking and holding.

Posted by Tripwire32 from the binary digisphere on 03/21/14 at 08:26 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Nothing is unacceptable, Legwand is a Red Wing - he gets a pass. He is family now. So much pontificating. The last time I checked hockey is a mens game.

Posted by joedaiceman on 03/21/14 at 07:14 AM ET

So Malkin should just put his purse down?  Are you related to Chris Neil or something?

Posted by Primis on 03/21/14 at 08:51 AM ET

Paul's avatar

In case you missed it, no further action against Legwand.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 03/21/14 at 09:18 AM ET


I honestly would like our guys to push back a little to all dirty hockey against them, but not like that, not at that point of the game and not when the game is so important. As soon as Alfy scored, I thought, wow, Legwand must have been lucky.

Posted by VPalmer on 03/21/14 at 12:28 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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