First call: Different take on Evgeni Malkin’s stick-swing, crazy night in college hoops |
Breakfast With Benz

First call: Different take on Evgeni Malkin’s stick-swing, crazy night in college hoops

Tim Benz
AP photo
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin in action during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Philadelphia.

In Wednesday’s “First Call,” a different view of the Evgeni Malkin stick-swing. A major Canadian university hockey brawl. A completely bonkers night in college hoops.

A little support

At least one national voice is raising a point about Evgeni Malkin’s suspension. And it’s a good one.

First off, here is the NHL Department of Player Safety video explaining why Malkin was suspended one game for swinging his stick at Michael Raffl of the Flyers.

ESPN’s Linda Cohn isn’t griping about a suspension for Malkin. Rather, she is upset Raffl wasn’t suspended as well.

I agree with that. But I also think Malkin’s suspension should’ve been at least four to five games. Had that been the case, it would’ve been a lot easier to justify benching Raffl for one — or at least fining him.

Mad as a Wolverine

The Penn State basketball team pulled off a major upset, stunning sixth-ranked Michigan 75-69.

Lamarr Stevens scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. But the highlight of the game was Wolverine head coach John Beilein getting ejected as halftime began.

Beilein was hit with back-to-back technicals as the first half ended, with his team down 27-40. The ejection was Beilein’s first as Michigan’s coach. He claims it’s just his second ever, and the last one was in the late 1970s.

They were down HOW much?!

Duke looked extremely human last night.

They trailed by 23 points on the road at Louisville with 10 minutes left. But the Blue Devils stormed back to win 71-69.

Freshman star Zion Williamson finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds.

Believe it or not, it isn’t even the largest comeback in school history. According to the Raleigh News and Observer, the Blue Devils rallied from 31 points down in the second half to beat Tulane 74-72 in 1950 .

Here’s what the win probability chart looked like.

Pretty sure I’ve never seen that before. The second-ranked Blue Devils are now 22-2.

Geaux Tigers

It’s not often visiting teams get a friendly call at Rupp Arena. But 19th-ranked LSU got one last night.

Kavell Bigby-Williams barely avoided a goaltending violation there. Officials reviewed the call and let it stand. So the Tigers beat #6 Kentucky 73-71. That’s LSU’s first win in Lexington since 2009.

Both clubs are now 20-4.

Brawl fallout

You may have seen this hockey fight video from Nova Scotia between Acadia University and St. Francis Xavier.

Now Sportsnet has an update on more suspensions .

“Atlantic University Sport had previously handed automatic suspensions to six Acadia players and nine from the X-Men as well as both head coaches, ranging in length from two to five games, totalling 39 games.

In a release Tuesday, AUS handed out another 36 games of suspensions to five players and four coaches, which take effect immediately.”

Sporstnet also found out what may have made the brawl so heated in the first place.

“(Acadia’s Rodney) Southam had told Sam Studnicka of St. F.X. he ‘looked like a rapist,’ which prompted the melee. Southam later issued a statement saying he was unaware that Studnicka has a sexual assault survivor in his family.”

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter @TimBenzPGH. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.