If Evgeni Malkin's Threat Of Violence Is Any Indication Then I Think There's Something To Nashville's Home Ice Advantage
I'm fully aware that calling this retaliatory move from Evgeni Malkin a "threat of fan violence" is an overstatement. It's pretty clear that he had no intent to hit (the wrong) overly aggressive Predators' enthusiast with his stick, and he was just trying to deter future projectiles from flying at him in the hallway. Considering the size and smell of the other "objects" that Nashville is known to throw, I too would probably attempt to catfish their fans into believing I'm the type of athlete who would commit assault with a deadly weapon after having a glorified dishrag floated in my direction. To put it simply, I don't think this is a big deal...even if it's something that the league itself might not want to see anymore going forward.
I do, however, think this is a sign that the rowdiness of the away fans at least mildly got under the skin of a player whose never been known to acknowledge the crowd previously. It's very possible that the Russian play driver has his frustrations exacerbated by the idea that he was leaving the ice without a shot. Still, Malkin has gone invisible before and he's almost certainly had crap tossed at him once or twice, but - as far back as I can remember - he hasn't responded that aggressively. That's not to say that a bunch of drunk Southerners are going to will the Predators back to Pittsburgh with the series tied by using their eagerness to litter the ice, but it is to say that if there truly is a building that's raucous enough to swing momentum then it's probably 'Bridgestone Arena'.