By Elyse Bailey
Last night, the Washington Capitals fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. One of the most electric moments of the night was watching Justin Williams drag Evgeni Malkin to the ice by his neck.
Apparently, this should not be much of a surprise since the two have quite the history.
We take you back to October 2014 when the Los Angeles Kings, Williams’ former team, lost a game to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0. The LA Times reported, “…there was the scrap between two highly unlikely combatants, Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin and the Kings’ Justin Williams. They traded words, tussled and Malkin slammed Williams to the ice.”
After the game, Malkin said, “A couple of times [Williams] asked me, ‘Let’s go. Let’s go.’ It’s not fight. It’s just tough battle.”
Could Williams’ horse collar last night be payback for old times?
“I saw the puck and tried to shoot,” Malkin said to the press after the Penguins’ victory. “Maybe I touched Holtby’s glove. The puck was available. Why he came behind me and upset, I don’t know. It’s been a long time with Williams, we’ve fought a couple of times before. It’s a long story. It was a good battle, but I respect him as a player.”
“It was like a different sport,” Malkin said, comparing Williams’ takedown to a MMA move. “I’m OK. It was nothing bad.”
Others members of the Penguins team had opinions about the tackle.
Fehr was asked if he’s ever seen anything like Justin Williams’ horse collar on Malkin:
“I’ve seen it in wrestling.”
— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) October 14, 2016
Sestito on Williams’ hit on Malkin: “He kind of suplexed him almost. It was weird.”
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) October 14, 2016
Sullivan didn’t have a comment on the officiating decision (roughing minor) on Williams takedown of Malkin. Basically said it is what it is.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) October 14, 2016
It will be interesting to see if this rivalry further develops. Malkin vs. Williams though certainly has a better ring to it than Wilson vs. The Entire NY Islanders Team.
Featured Image: Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
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