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The Curious Case of Ryan Malone


Last night, the Tampa Bay Lightning took on the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. While the Lightning may have ultimately lost that game in the final seconds of the third period, there is no denying that the game started out with a real bang.

Lightning LW Ryan Malone and Penguins RW Craig Adams dropped the gloves just :04 into the first period as the Tampa Bay Lightning took on the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 12, 2013 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Photo Credit: Tasha N. Meares

Just after the opening faceoff between Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, things went flip side really quickly. Four seconds to be exact.

Before anyone even knew what happened, there were gloves on the ice and fists in each other’s faces.

What in the name of Steve Downie did Penguins right wing Craig Adams say to Lightning left wing Ryan Malone that started the mayhem?

I think that is a question that will be asked for quite a few days to come.

However, there is absolutely no denying that Bugsy won that fight. In case you have any doubt, or if you missed it last night, here is another look. By the way, you’re welcome.

While many assert that Adams hurt his lip the night before in Sunrise, I pose to you this question…do lips bleed for 24 hours? I think not. This is one of the best fights I have seen from Malone in a very long time.

The one good thing that this fight did was set the tone. It let the Penguins know very early that they were not going to push us around, and that they were going to have to fight for everything they got; which they did.

Pittsburgh is a team that usually strikes first, and strikes hard. If you allow them to get the advantage early in the game, the chances of you fighting back decrease exponentially.

While I will concede that the game is about the play on the ice, and not the fists in the face, you simply cannot deny that this fight served as a valuable message that resounded throughout the game.

This season, the Bolts have adapted to a much more physical style of play. They have found themselves hitting harder, and more often, and pursuing the puck more aggressively. This is something that the Bolts have been lacking for quite some time.

If Malone is able to keep up the physical play while still being able to produce goals and assists, then we may very well have our new enforcer. This brings back fond memories of Steve Downie. Oh, how I have missed Downs. But that is another story for another day.

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