Ex-Penguin Max Talbot answers burning question about famous 2009 fight
Most Pittsburgh Penguins fans remember Max Talbot’s fight with Daniel Carcillo and subsequent shushing of the Philadelphia crowd as a pivotal moment in the team’s run to the 2009 Stanley Cup.
In a recent appearance on Spittin’ Chiclets, a podcast hosted by ex-Penguins players Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney, Talbot answered one nagging question about the incident.
The Flyers held a 3-0 lead in Game 6 of a first-round series when the fight took place. Why did Carcillo agree to drop the gloves and risk giving the Penguins a chance to take momentum back?
It’s a question that analyst Ed Olczyk was asking on the NBC broadcast of the game before the fight even ended.
Well, Carcillo and Talbot played together with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2005-06. During that time, Carcillo got to know Talbot well. The one time Talbot fought while they were teammates, he was rag-dolled by Philadelphia’s Ben Eager.
“He knew, because we played together, that he was going to (win),” Talbot said. “So he was like, ‘(Heck), yeah.’ He saw me getting beat up a couple times before, so it was just like, ‘Why not?’ It was so natural. There was nothing that we said (disrespectful). It was just like, (Heck), yeah, let’s go.”
Carcillo won the bout handily, but the Penguins came back for a 5-3 victory.
Talbot discussed many aspects of his time with the Penguins during the podcast and was particularly complimentary of longtime friend and linemate Evgeni Malkin.
He talked about how he answers when people ask him who the greatest player he ever played with is.
“I always say, for one game, at his best, I’ve never seen anyone dominate as much as Evgeni Malkin,” Talbot said. “For one game, at his best, I will take him before anyone in the world. When we won the Cup in 2009, he won the Conn Smythe, but the series against Carolina, he just took over. … It was like a man versus child.”
Talbot, 35, announced his retirement last month after a three-year stint in Russia’s KHL. He has begun working with CAA Hockey with his sights set on becoming a player agent. He said he also plans to do some TV work in his home province of Quebec.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .