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Rangers’ Staal upset after non-call on Malkin “tomahawk” (w/video)

Feb 1, 2013, 12:19 PM EDT

New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal was irate following Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Pittsburgh after what he deemed a missed call on Pens forward Evgeni Malkin.

“He tomahawked me right on top of the helmet,” Staal told the Bergen Record. “He dazed me. I don’t know how that’s not called.”

Staal, who missed 36 games to a concussion last year, got tangled with Malkin late in the first period. As the two went to the ice, Malkin appeared to swing his stick at Staal’s forehead.

Video here (FF to 2:55)

From the reverse angle, here’s a screenshot of the incident:


Following the tussle, Staal skated off the ice while angrily making a tomahawk/chop gesture towards the Penguins.

“I understand we’re battling in front of the net but he’s hitting down like he’s chopping wood across my head,” he told the Record.

Update: The Record’s Andrew Gross reports that John Tortorella had no comment on Friday when asked about the Malkin-Staal incident.

  1. blitzburghbrian - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    But remember, everybody: Sidney Crosby is the whiny one who complains about officiating.

    • tfaltin - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Only someone as dense as a Pen’s fan would refute video evidence of a missed call and spin it into Crosby being the victim of criticism, on a play he’s not involved in. Shove your head up Sid’s a** a little farther, dont worry the Root Sports announcers are already twice as deep and they haven’t found any evidence of manhood. Although it’s not like the Rangers would have scored on the PP anyway.

      But while you mention it, for someone supposedly strong on his skates 87 got awfully off balance after a little nudge from Girardi. Then the twerp spins around to jaw/hack a shin and gets dropped. But obviously nobody gives two s**ts when Girardi gets jumped, and 5’s the only one sent off. Playing against the Pens is worse than being in Montreal 82 games a year.

      • superschrec - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        For starters both players were penalized on this. And Del Zotto boarded Crosby, clearly and there was no call. Staal needs to man up a lil and stop crying. Just because the Rangers suck and couldnt do anything against a superior team doesnt mean this was intentional.
        Look at the video, Malkin was not even looking at Staal when the stick hit him, and he was going down to the ice because Staal jumped him. Got what he deserved.

      • tfaltin - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Malkin got 2 for Roughing, unrelated to the slash. I understand this is a foreign concept to Pens fans but a player can get two separate minors on the same play. Take 15 minutes to process that, let me know if you need more time.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        hahahahaha now Malkin needs TWO penalties for getting assaulted by Staal? Keep talking, it’s entertaining!

      • magicrat13 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        i get folks posting here being homers, but geez, i have no idea what game half of you are watching…..

        oh and the insults are so entertaining (dripping with sarcasm)….

      • oilcanner - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        OMG! Giradi was being “mugged” by 5’9″ kunitz!! that’s why they couldn’t call a penalty!

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      I’m all for blind homerism but even that has its limits. This was a blatantly gutless and dangerous play that anybody with eyes should be able to see regardless of what team you back.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        When I see that picture, I see one guy on his back protecting himself and another guy in the air about to land on him…I actually watch it over and over last night (they showed this and the 10 seconds before this repeatedly). Staal should have penalized way before it got to this point, but Malkin got a penalty for roughing (I still don’t see why as the actions that Staal got penalized for were what caused the high stick) so suck it up, whiney.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        Protecting himself? Are you serious right now? Malkin’s a big boy, he could take Staal landing on him without the tomahawk action. If a guy is about to land on you maybe you put your hands up. Swinging your stick at his head doesn’t lessen the impact.

        Unbelievable that Pens fans can defend this garbage. If a guy from my team (or any other one) swings his stick at somebody’s head I instantly lose some respect for that player.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        1943, just stop…you’ve gone well past the point of idiocy and are approaching lunacy. When a player makes an illegal play to throw a player to the ground, you lose the ability to say ‘well I might have mauled him illegally but he lost control of his stick after that’. NO NO NO.

        Stupidest thing I’ve heard all year.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 3, 2013 at 3:40 AM

        I can use big words and synonyms and hyperboles, too. You just don’t go after another player’s head. Not with an elbow, not with a fitst, not with a stick.

    • mp1131211 - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Every time I think that the Pens fans couldn’t be anymore stuck up and annoying, they prove me wrong.

      Its time to be quiet Pens fans. Your player just pulled a move that a peewee player wouldn’t think of doing.

    • pureblue0229 - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      The next time the Pens come to the Garden I’m going to stop by Aeropostale first to pick up little girl panties that have #87 embroidrerd on them (the year Aeropostale was founded) and throw them on the ice everytime Cindy complains to the refs. The thing about this game that annoyed me most after the Malkin chop and Cindy running into Henrik is that NO Ranger player took exception and made either of them pay for their actions. Isn’t that why Rupp and Asham are being paid for?

      • ironman721 - Feb 2, 2013 at 1:59 PM

        Why are you checking out little girls panties? That’s just weird. I guess it’s ok if you throw them on the ice in New York, just don’t wear them 1st. That would be really weird.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Something tells me you already have little girl panties handy, creeper.

  2. hockeyissweet - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    the penguins are dirty and get favorable calls? what breaking news.

    • mckinley1112 - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      better look out, your jealousy is showing…

      • hockeyissweet - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        jealous of what? pittsburghs ‘super team’ has won as many cups as los angeles. you lost in 6 games last year to a mediocre flyer team, and were 40 minutes away from being swept. before that the pens were in serious danger of relocating. even with all the favorable calls, heres a list of teams pittsburgh isn’t beating in the playoffs or cup finals. 80% of the eastern conference, 85% of the western conference.

    • shoobiedoobin - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

      We’ve only known that since the 09 finals when Uncle Gary had his stripes hand Lil’ Sid 3 games including a crucial game 3 and 6 with total phantom calls, allowing the Pens to clutch, grab, interfere and do anything they wanted. This is sports folks. It’s like denying your religion. It sucks but it’s there.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:32 PM


        “Paranoid? Probably. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t an invisible demon about to eat your face.”
        ― Jim Butcher, Storm Front

    • crosberries - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You got what you deserved after going after him for the third time on that play

  3. Stiller43 - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    From the video, you can see his stick come up, yes. Is that on purpose, or from falling backwards after staal checks him to the ice?…limbs have a weird way of falling/bouncing off ice, especially when you dont plan to go to the ice.

    In the still picture from the other angle, he’s not even looking towards staal as the stick connects. Makes me think it was somewhat of a happenstance.

    Maybe staal wouldnt have to worry about that if he werent going after him trying to start a scrum

    • tfaltin - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:39 PM

      Even if it was completely out of 71’s control, inadvertant high sticks are called minors all the time.

      • tfaltin - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

        Should have clarified, inadvertant high sticks are called against the other 29 teams not named the Penguins all the time.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Both players were penalized, one is just crying. Don’t co-sign that BS. If you had any idea what you were talking about in regard to this (i.e. if you had watched the team that you are bashing), you’d know that both players got penalized.

        However, you are incorrect – if a player illegally tosses a player to the ice and jumps on him, and the assaulted player looses control of his stick, it should not be called. The only problem I saw during the game was that the ref lost control of the situation by allowing Staal to whack at Malkin’s legs and cross-check him. Staal gets away with too many cross-checks – he did it last game against Geno too (also uncalled).

      • tfaltin - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        Honest to god Pittsburgh must have the worst network of public school systems in the country because it’s fans consistently reach new levels of “idiot.”

        tfaltin – Feb 1, 2013 at 12:50 PM
        Malkin got 2 for Roughing, unrelated to the slash.

        You commented on my acknowledgement that there was a penalty assessed to Malkin after the slash. Either stop playing dumb, or stop being dumb and give your comments a bit more thought.

      • killerpgh - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        Tfaltin, do you know the rule? Inadvertent high sticks are not called minors all the time. So you are wrong with that statement. Not saying that this case is one of those time, but there are exceptions to the rule of high sticking.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      I agree with Stiller largely here. I don’t think it was an intentional strike by Malkin at all, but rather the product of him falling to the ice.

      Given Staal’s concussion history, I can understand his sensitivity to getting whacked in the head – but I think the refs got this right. They gave each guy a roughing penalty for the play in front of the net and the ensuing scrum. Neither party was innocent at all in the play, but largely I think the whack upside the head was accidental, and would likely fall under the called Roughing penalty the same way a player who gets roughing doesn’t get separate roughing penalties for each individual shove.

      As for the notion that the Pens get calls and no-calls… I’m sorry but I just don’t see it. People will probably say that I’m looking through Black and Gold colored glasses, but generally speaking I think the Pens have as many missed calls go in their favor as they do against them… it’s the nature of human referees and as the adage goes “You need to play well enough to make sure the refs don’t decide it for you.”

      • magicrat13 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        “accidental” high sticks are penalties too…

      • steelpenbucs87 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        Wow that was quick.

        I’m not saying they are not – I’m just saying that often times in those types of scrums multiple transgressions get grouped under one penalty. Think about it this way: if after a whistle Malkin grabs Staal from behind, shoves him twice, and then facewashed him, he wouldn’t get a holding call and three roughing calls.

  4. killerpgh - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    That play started down the other end of the ice with Staal was rushing the puck against Orpik and went down extremely easy. It was either a dive or he just lost an edge. Then he comes back and takes Malkin out and complains about Malkin not having his control of his stick while getting jumped. Suck it up and don’t cry about it. Although ever since Shanny’s fined James Neal after he got slew footed by PK nothing would surprise me.

    • killerpgh - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

  5. superschrec - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Wow, both players were penalized on this play for 2 mins.

  6. superschrec - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    How bout the no call on the boarding Staal put on Crosby at the other end prior to this penalty.

    • magicrat13 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      sorry, that was a clean hit….

      • steelpenbucs87 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        I agree that the boarding call would have been borderline, and I’m fine with a no-call there. But for a little bit of perspective, the Kunitz and Dupuis have both been called for a lot less in recent games so I’m not shocked that some fans are a little unclear as to what actually constitutes boarding nowadays.

  7. miketoasty - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Funny, I saw Staal slash, then cross check Malkin to the back of the head before anything else happened. Oh but whine about the tomahawk. I would be more worried about the fact that you were shutout on home ice than a missed call.

  8. hockeywithdrawal - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    I’m really confused – they showed this a good bit yesterday – staal kept whacking at malkin’s legs, malkin still got the front of the net, then staal basically takled him and lept on top of him, which is what the picture is of…and STAAL is upset?

    I’m not sure that it’s legal to tackle someone and jump on them, but if you’re going to give it a go, I’m pretty sure you lose all credibility as far as this kind of whiny BS goes. Even Torts knew to shut it on this one.

  9. malkinrulez - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    tfaltin, as the great Artie Lange said,”Waaaaaaaaaaah”!

  10. bobhpine - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    Hey so the Rangers got skunked again on home ice by the Penguins. Bellyaching about a missed penalty might make you feel good, but the Rangers weren’t even in either game. Del Zotto stuck his stick between Crosby’s legs and can opened him into the board, no call.

    5-3. 3-0.

    Maybe that’s what you tools should worry about.

  11. Stiller43 - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    And good lord, how bad were those announcers?!!

    Someone forgot to tell them youre supposed to at least feign some sort of bi-partisan view to the game.

    • pensfan603 - Feb 2, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      This is MSG network they dont understand what not being a homer is

  12. sportsfan69 - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM


    Now that you mention it, the Penguin Announcers are far worse then the Rangers. The Penguin announcers have a difficult time announcing a game without Kis$ing Cindy Crosby butt throughout the game. Hey, it’s a given, if Cindy Crosby gets touched, the opposing team will be assessed a penalty. Plus, Cindy Crosby is allowed sleuth foot anybody on the ice. He’s special.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      haha are you two the same person???

      It’s slewfoot. And I’ve never seen the kid do it.

      The ‘home’ announcers on the sub-network or network-owned affilates generally aren’t bi-partisan. I agree it would be nice, however, if when they are on the national networks (NBC main station only) that they were bi-partisan. If I hear Mike Milbury on NBC one more time I’ll vomit.

  13. rpiotr01 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    No surprise. Malkin is as talented a player as the league has seen in the past decade but he’s a dirty b@stard with the stick work.

  14. blockedshotnyr - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Admittedly, the Rangers got beat and basically outclassed, although the game could have been different with bounces (you could say that about any game though) – it does ot change the fact that the officiating was atrocious.

    The Pens’ fans on this site still cannot reconcile that Malkin could have received the minor he received for roughing and then ANOTHER, a SECOND penalty for high sticking. I know it’s foreign enough that the Pens get called for one penalty, but trying to say the Pens don’t get calls is a joke. Just once, I would love to see the refs actually call diving and embellishment to the actual letter of the rule against them.

    The Pens would be 5 on 3 all game… Torts needs to watch Mighty Ducks – “Take the fall, act hurt, get indignant” – it’s the only way to succeed in this league anymore.

    • killerpgh - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      So by saying the Penguins would be 5 on 3 all game are you saying all the others teams dive against the Penguins?

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      If not for the stick, what is Malkin’s roughing penalty for? Being under Staal when he jumped on him?

  15. thecheeman - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Devils Fan Perspective: I live in the New York area and I wasn’t even really aware that Marc Staal could talk. If he’s actually complaining about Malkin after the game I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    The Rangers play as clean as any team in the NHL as far as I can see, I’ll give them that. Tortorella still hasn’t shut up about Hagelin getting a too many men on the ice penalty a week ago, if Rangers were generally drawing penalties with dirty play he’d have an aneurysm.

    The Penguins don’t quite have that reputation.

    • pensfan603 - Feb 2, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      You obviously didnt watch the game, The rangers repeatedly took cheap shots at the penguins stars.

      • thecheeman - Feb 4, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        You’re right I didn’t.

      • thecheeman - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        Hey if the Rangers start playing dirty I’ll be the first to call them out on it when I see it. I’m going to Devils-Rangers tomorrow night.

  16. mordock57 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Seeing as Staal opened that whole sequence with a two handed downward slash to Malkin’s wrists, I can’t feel a whole lot of sympathy for him after he also jumped on top of the guy. Did Geno’s stick hit him in the head as he was on his back being tackled? Probably. Intentional? Fairly unlikely. Was Staal’s opening (and obvious) slash intentional? Absolutely. So I don’t see that he has a whole lot to complain about.

    • magicrat13 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      so when a ranger hits someone it is “absolutely” intentional…when a penguin does it, it is accidental…..ok…got it!

      • mordock57 - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        Not what I said…. but if you can watch the video and say that Staal’s downward slash had anything to do with going for the puck, be my guest and try to sell that. Yes, it was absolutely intentional. Geno’s may have been as well, but for a guy on his back who just got tackled (and slashed) who isn’t even looking at the guy when the stick hits him… it’s a lot harder to make that case stick. By all means, continue to be a homer who doesn’t want to acknowledge what happened.

      • magicrat13 - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        homer?….not sure i stated what team i root for….just responding to what you wrote…..again, you seem to be able to tell when someone does something intential and when it is an accident….that’s a gift….but no worries….i have no dog in this fight…

  17. whosennext - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I guess all you Penguins haters missed how Staal used his stick and tried to mug Malkin’s head prior to going to the ice…

  18. broadstbully33 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    As the female Crosby says “wahhhhhh”

  19. hockeywithdrawal - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    OK so after reading all the comments and watching the video – here’s the summary. Staal was mugging Malkin, whacking the back of his legs, cross-checking him in the head, etc. Everyone NOT a Pens fan is ok with that.

    Then Staal threw Malkin to the ground, and jumped on him. Everyone not a Pens fan is ok with that.

    As Malkin hit the ground, his stick hit Staal in the head. Intentional or not, Malkin was penalized. Everyone not a Pens fan thinks that isn’t good enough, that Staal shouldn’t have been penalized but Malkin should have been penalized more.

    Does this sum it up?

    There are some MESSED up people on this site.

    • whosennext - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      I think that sums it up in a nutshell. I know we all have are favorite teams and all, but maybe get yourself a new pair of eyeballs and look at the game objectionably.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        Good lord just shut it. The more you talk, the more confused I get. I honestly don’t know how there’s a case here, just a bunch of on-line babies crying.

  20. Erin - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    If I might jump in here I believe the reason why Staal was initially upset and going after Malkin was the dirty hit into the goal by Malkin. Staal then goes after Malkin and while on the ice Malkin does Tomahawk Staal in the head. Now was it intentional I don’t know I’m not in his mind but what I can tell you is that the entire night the Pens played dirty, I saw so many non calls it was ridiculous. I’m not a fan of NJ who does tend to be a bit dirty on the ice, but even I gotta admit the Pens are the dirtiest team in the league. NY takes their fair share of stupid penalties however as one commenter said Torts would never allow them to be a dirty team it’s not his style and frankly it’s not NYs style. Sidney Crosby is a whiner everyone knows it everyone talks about it even the announcers admit it and he did it last night with that whine about the legal hit on him against the boards. Listen if you can’t take a check to the boards maybe it’s time you retire. I think what Staal’s main point is is that if the league is cracking down on head hits and trying to lessen the incidents of concussions then the fines and penalities need to be evenly handed out and seeing as Staal suffered a pretty bad concussion last year it should be looked at even closer. These guys put their bodies on the line every time they play and every time they take a hit to the head that’s more brain damage you may think I’m being dramatic but take a look at football, take a look at the players committing suicide who’s brains have been studied. My whole thing is accident or not accident he should have been kicked out of the game, you need to have control over your stick, he did not and besides that he hit another guy in the head pretty hard. So yeah we don’t know if it was intentional or not but it doesn’t matter really because it still happened and it’s still a major issue in this league.

    • killerpgh - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      This might be the dumbest post I have read in a long time. I give you that it could of be a penalty. But you want him kicked out for that? And what does not being a fan of New Jersey have anything to do with this topic?

      • whosennext - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM

        And the fact is Erin does not address on the play how Staal raised his stick and run over Malkin hard to the ice. Do you think maybe the impact onto the ice caused his stick to bounce off the ice uncontrollably. Since when is it the New jersey Rangers as well? And besides that, You want to make Torts team out to be clean, you got to be kidding. Torts team have been as dirty as all the rest.

  21. puckyouall - Feb 1, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Pro Hockey Talk needs a blog for the 12 and under crowd. Probably would eliminate two-thirds of the childish posts on this one. I’m betting some of you are sticking your tongue out at the computer right now.

  22. ironman721 - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    I think that is legal in the KHL. He just forgot where he was for a second. Besides if that’s the worst thing that ever happens to stahl, he will be ok. Walk it off. You are a pro hockey player. Maybe he should try curling.

  23. Nofoolnodrool - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    You commented on my acknowledgement that there was a penalty assessed to Malkin after the slash. Either stop playing dumb, or stop being dumb and give your comments a bit more thought.

    And god has spoken and shall bow in fealty….be careful if you loved yourself anymore you could get pregnant

  24. pureblue0229 - Feb 1, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    The next time the Pens come to the Garden I’m going to stop by Aeropostale first to pick up little girl panties that have #87 embroidrerd on them (the year Aeropostale was founded) and throw them on the ice everytime Cindy complains to the refs. The thing about this game that annoyed me most after the Malkin chop and Cindy running into Henrik is that NO Ranger player took exception and made either of them pay for their actions. Isn’t that why Rupp and Asham are being paid for?

    • sportsfan69 - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      That’s why Rupp needs J.Shelley’s jock strap, because he’s been useless.

  25. steelers88 - Feb 1, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    In the replay last night I didn’t see Malkin tomahawkinf

  26. pensfan603 - Feb 2, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Hes a staal so naturally it runs in his blood to be a pus.
    Staal cheap shots malkin but aperantly what malkin did was the wrong thing, and then next play Callahan Tried to cheap shot Crosby, and then haglin was trying to get the puke out from under vokoun (Same thing malkin did to lunquist just longer), and thats all ok, Ya know the Rangers can cheap shot whoever they want but when someone tries to touch your player you get all p*ssy staal, shut up and stop complaining. If you dont want players to be doing stuff to you stop taking cheap shots at them, you have a problem with what malkin did why dont you go to your coach and tell him you dont want the team doing that stuff cause team just take it out on the team (ie the team sticking up for its players)

    • pureblue0229 - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      Are you soo stupid that you can’t see the difference between normal NHL physicality and getting intentionally chopped over the head with hockey stick? As a Ranger fan I can and do faut Ranger players when they do something wrong. You dumbass Pens fans think your players can do no wrong. If and Ranger player did that to Crosby he’d still be sobbing and the Ranger woud be suspended (as he should be).

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