After a battle drill gone wrong that saw Evgeni Malkin high-stick Craig Adams, and Adams tussle with Malkin, all is well, according to the Penguins. We have the details of the skirmish here if you need to catch up.
But it's all water under the bridge now, according to the team's PR. From the Penguins:
At the end of the skate the team was doing battle drills. A couple slashes exchanged between Malkin and Adams led to a skirmish that was broken up by teammates. The result was Adams leaving with blood on his mouth. He was forced to wear a protective shield in the game that night.
"I have no problem (with Adams)," Malkin said. "I cut his lips a little bit, but it's bad luck and we talked after practice. With the team, too. It’s nothing bad and we played together the last three shifts. We played strong in the game."
"The players are together a lot and over the course of the year there are going to be disagreements, there are going to be arguments," head coach Mike Johnston said. "We haven’t had any situations in any of our drill so far this year that has boiled over, but I know every team I’ve been on, every year there’s always a situation where guys get carried away, they whack each other in practice and they get mad at each other and then what happens after that the players have to deal with it."
Do you believe that as the party line? Will this all blow over? Let's hope so.
Dejan Kovacevic took a different approach:
Malkin and Craig Adams got into a scrap this morning at the game-day skate. The Penguins have tried to downplay it — Crosby called it ‘wrestling’ — but witnesses confirmed for me it lasted nearly a minute before assistant coaches Rick Tocchet and Gary Agnew broke it up. It wasn’t pretty, especially for Adams, who was bloodied and wearing a jaw protector in the game.
I asked Malkin after the game if he had any issues with Adams or the incident: "It’s nothing. We’re one team. No problems."
Malkin and Johnston both also confirmed that Malkin and Adams met shortly before the game to clear the air, and Johnston said, "I was satisfied with what I heard."
That’s fine for them. And it’s true that internal hockey scraps happen. Even Crosby could recall having been part of one several years ago, though not in the NHL.
But I’ll say this, too: If a fourth-line plugger like Adams had ever taken on Mario Lemieux, he’d have been out on the street by evening’s end.
And he may not be wrong, but I can't imagine Jay Caufield (a friend of Mario) trying to fight him. Also, I can't really see Mario Lemieux (with all due respect) engaging in a battle drill on a game day too. Just saying.
Hopefully Malkin is being real and it will all blow by and this incident will go down in franchise lore. Time will tell, and it will certainly be interesting to see.