Article by Clutch    (02-11-11 09:46 PM) landers-beat-penguins-wit h-f...

Islanders beat Penguins with fists and sticks


AP Hockey Writer

Mark Lennihan
New York Islanders' Matt Moulson, front left, and teammates celebrate his second-period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in an NHL hockey game, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, in Uniondale, N.Y. Other Islanders are, from left to right: Moulson, Andrew MacDonald, PA Parenteau, Milan Jurcina, and John Tavares. Penguins' Craig Adams, top left, Marc-Andre Fleury (29) Maxime Talbot and Brooks Orpik, upper right, look on.

John Tavares, Matt Moulson and rookie Michael Grabner all scored their 20th goal of the season and the New York Islanders got some revenge against the injury-depleted Pittsburgh Penguins with their sticks and their fists in a fight-filled 9-3 victory on Friday night.

Just nine days after Brent Johnson beat New York 3-0 and knocked out Rick DiPietro in a one-punch fight that left the franchise goalie with broken bones in his face, the Islanders responded with four goals in the first period and four more in the second - with an all-out brawl in the middle of the offensive outburst.

That was just the appetizer for a third-period donnybrook - in which Johnson fought again - that caused a delay of about 15 minutes. With multiple ejections, both benches had only a handful of players on them for the final 12-plus minutes.

New York chased Johnson 3:46 into the second period when callup enforcer Micheal Haley made it 6-0 on the Islanders' 16th shot. As Johnson skated to the backup goalie seat in the tunnel leading to the Penguins' dressing room, he was showered with an avalanche of boos from the unusually large crowd that clearly remembered what he did to DiPietro.

But his night wasn't over. Johnson returned at the start of the third period and got bowled over 1:19 in when Grabner was knocked into him by a hard hit from Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik.

The second huge brawl broke out at 4:47, and Haley had two fights in the melee - first with Max Talbot and then with Johnson after the goalie skated out toward the blue line. Haley charged after him, and both players dropped their gloves and started punching. Eric Godard was also involved, trying to protect the Penguins' netminder.

Haley became an instant favorite among the 12,888 in attendance, who probably never heard of him before Friday. But they chanted his name every time there was another dustup, long after he was sent to the dressing room.

The second major uprising was sparked by New York enforcer Trevor Gillies' elbow that left Eric Tangradi prone on the ice. Tangradi was recalled on Friday from Wilkes Barre/Scranton of the AHL. Godard and Haley, who came up from AHL Bridgeport on Friday, were both ejected with double game misconducts.

Pittsburgh's Craig Adams and Gillies were also booted from the game. Johnson was forced to remain in the net and heard boos and derisive chants during the final minutes.

Travis Hamonic, Jesse Joensuu, and P.A. Parenteau added goals for the Islanders, who earned their second win in two days after beating Montreal on the road in a shootout on Thursday night. Mikko Koskinen earned both wins - his first two in the NHL.

Moulson and Grabner both added second goals to give them a team-leading 21 as the Islanders broke out with their highest-scoring game of the season. Grabner provided the final punch with a short-handed breakaway goal with 2:09 remaining in the game.

Kris Letang, Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy scored power-play goals for Pittsburgh, which won at home in overtime against Los Angeles on Thursday and will play at the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon. It hardly mattered in this one that the Penguins were again without All-Stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The melee in the second period came when Matt Martin jumped Talbot in the neutral zone. The Islanders had made Talbot a marked man because of his hit against Blake Comeau in the previous game that has left the Islanders forward sidelined since with a concussion.

Martin's actions sparked fights between unlikely brawlers Josh Bailey of the Islanders and Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis, Hamonic and Penguins forward Mike Rupp, and another matchup of Martin and Deryk Engelland.

Bailey was ejected following his first NHL fight along with teammates Martin and Hamonic, and Pittsburgh's Engelland, Rupp and Dupuis. Martin was also hit with an instigator penalty and a separate 10-minute misconduct.

Marc-Andre Fleury allowed two goals on nine shots in 16 minutes, 14 seconds of action in the second period. Johnson then returned for his rough third period. He was slow in getting back to his skates after being down in a snow-angel position for a few moments after being hit by Grabner.

Notes: Haley, who played in his third career NHL game, had 144 penalty minutes in 50 games at Bridgeport this season. ... In addition to the absence of Crosby and Malkin, the Penguins were also without forwards Matt Cooke (suspension), Arron Asham (upper body), Mike Comrie (hip), Chris Kunitz (lower body), Mark Letestu (lower body). ... The Penguins hadn't allowed nine goals since an 9-0 loss at Tampa Bay on Nov. 8, 2003.

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hall of famer
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02-12-11 12:15 AM - Post#1285048    

    In response to Clutch

Not so happy about the fact that the article is from The Kansas City Star... Sheesh, a little enjoyment here please..
When You Put Your Faith in Man, You Will Always Be Let Down.....

Matt Dillon
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02-12-11 12:29 AM - Post#1285055    

    In response to NIGERIAN NIGHTMARE

haha, I didn't even notice it.. KC hates the Pens for obvious reasons.

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02-12-11 01:00 PM - Post#1285224    

    In response to Matt Dillon

the Pittsburgh point of view.... you can practical hear the tears falling from this 'writer'

========================= = ce-stay-classy-islander...

Stay Classy Islanders

"Initially, I was planning to comment on the previous two games in this post. However, I’m now forced to comment solely on the actions of the New York Islanders during last night’s mockery of the game of hockey.

The seeds of the debacle were planted earlier in the season with several collisions between Matt Cooke and Rick DiPietro.

The feud was further intensified last Wednesday, when DiPietro took matters into his own hands to take a cheap shot on Cooke.

Cooke was tracking down a puck in the corner, when DiPietro hit him on the way by. I’ve actually heard and seen Islander fans comment that Cooke made no attempt to get out of the way.


If you were in the same position, would you expect a goaltender to put a blocker and stick into your teeth as you were skating near the no-play zone?

Naturally, everyone on the ice thinks Cooke initiated it because of the nameplate on his sweater and they responded as such.

Then, the goaltenders engage in a fight that was only slightly shorter than DiPietro’s ice time since signing a 15-year deal with the Islanders.

Earlier in the contest, Max Talbot dropped two punishing hits in one shift. The latter left Blake Comeau with a concussion.

Let’s make this abundantly clear shall we?

Both hits were clean. Was Talbot penalized? No. Was he suspended? No. Was he fined? No.

I rest my case.

Why is any of that important?

Flash-forward to last night. The Isles were ready to run at Talbot from the opening puck drop. This kind of thing has come to be expected recently and I’m not entirely sure why.

I understand the concept of sticking up for teammates, but this is hockey. Guys are going to get hit. If it’s clean, why is there a need for the closest teammate to engage the aggressor? What happened to taking a number and getting back at the guy yourself at a later time?

What didn’t help matters any was the Pens coming out flat after an emotional 2-1 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. Brooks Orpik even admitted to the FSN crew that he was a little tired.

Apparently he wasn’t the only one, as the Isles raced to a 4-0 lead in the first period. That only set the tone for the rest of the evening.

The first questionable incident took place at the end of the first period. Kris Letang had buried John Tavares in the corner twice in mere seconds. Tavares responded by two-handing Letang across the foot.

Letang stayed down on the ice for several minutes, leaving Pens fans gasping and wondering how many more injuries this team could sustain.

He did return for the start of the second period and even scored a power play goal to cut the lead to 4-1.

Adding fuel to the fire, were two fights in the opening frame. Given the recent history, this wasn’t unexpected.

The score in this game is irrelevant. I’m only going to remember the classless acts of three Islander players in particular. So, let’s recap them shall we?

The most notable moment was Matt Martin coming up behind Talbot, dropping his gloves and trying to land a vicious sucker punch. As it was happening, the only thought in my head was how it was an exact re-enactment of Todd Bertuzzi ending Steve Moore’s career. Think I’m kidding? Watch the replay.

Luckily, Talbot saw it coming at the last second and ducked out of the way. Did that stop Martin?

Of course not.

Martin jumped on top of Talbot and starting throwing haymakers before Deryk Engelland stepped in and tried to pry him off.

The rest of the players on the ice paired off and two other fights broke out.

Pascal Dupuis engaged Josh Bailey, Mike Rupp fought Travis Hamonic all while Engelland did his best to protect Talbot. The only one who wasn’t ejected was Talbot, who literally did nothing wrong. Some birthday present this game turned out to be for No. 25.

At this point, I was ready to turn the game off, but you could just tell it was only the beginning of the fracas.

There were no major incidents for the remainder of the second period, but with the score 8-2, the game was destined to get uglier.

Boy did it ever.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury I present the second classless act of the evening.

Eric Tangradi goes into the corner to battle for a puck in the Islanders’ end. Trevor Gillies decides to introduce his elbow to Tangradi’s face.

Immediately, Tangradi drops his stick and reaches for his face as he’s slowly falling to his knees in obvious pain.

You’d think Gillies would let up and skate away. Well, maybe you wouldn’t. Only 99 percent of NHL players would do that.

Not Gillies.

As Tangradi is dropping to the ice, Gillies drops his gloves and starts punching the defenseless Penguin forward.

As a result, line brawl number two begins.

Involved were, Talbot, Craig Adams, Gillies and Micheal Haley. All would be ejected except for Talbot again. Did I mention it was Max’s birthday yesterday?

Gillies further cemented his place in the Hall of Fame of classlessness by standing in the doorway to the tunnel and taunting Tangradi relentlessly.

Way to go Trevor, are you proud of yourself?

Haley and Talbot’s fight came to an end and was broken up by the officials. Did any of the four on-ice officials think to escort Haley to the penalty box?

Of course not, which leads me to Exhibit C in this case.

Haley looks down the other end of the ice and sees Johnson standing near the top of the circles. I’m sure he was only standing there in case Mikko Koskinen left his crease to get involved in the action.

However, Haley makes a break for it. Faced with no other option, Johnson sheds his equipment to prepare for battle.

Out of nowhere, Eric Godard comes flying off the bench to try and intercept Haley before he got to Johnson. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Godard skate so fast in my life.

He was about two strides too late and Johnson was forced to fight. Once again, he held his own by landing several punches on Haley.

By rule, Godard could be facing a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to partake in the altercation.

However, given the circumstances, Godard did the right thing in this situation. When you have a career-AHLer, who clearly has no respect for other players or the game itself for that matter, charging at your goaltender, you need to do something.

Dan Bylsma will also face a suspension and fine for allowing Godard to leave the bench. This is also questionable because how is Bylsma going to stop a man that big from going out only to protect his goaltender? What’s he supposed to do? Tell Godard he won’t be able to watch television for two weeks or take his video games away?

Here’s a word of advice to Haley. If you’re looking to get into the NHL as a full-time player, this isn’t the way to do it. It’s one thing to be a tough guy, but no player should be fighting a goaltender. Period.

For as tough as he seems to think he is, that was as cowardly as it comes. Not to mention, did he not see what Johnson did to DiPietro last week? Here’s another angle of it.

Even more incredible, is that most of this probably could have been avoided.

Anyone with even limited knowledge of the series between these two clubs this season could have seen this coming. Maybe not to this magnitude, but still.

The way you curb these events from happening is to call the game tight right from the beginning. You call penalties for guys breathing on each other to send a message to both benches. You let them know early on that no nonsense will be tolerated.

Give guys two minutes for germ spreading, I don’t care. Let the teams settle it on the scoreboard and avoid the situation of the league suffering a black eye.

It’s obvious that suspensions will be handed down against players on both squads. However, Pittsburgh’s actions were reactionary in nature.

This quickly turned from a hockey game into an embarrassment. At what point is enough going to be enough?

Where was the line in this game? I watched every second of this game and I couldn’t tell you.

There was no distinction given by the officials, so the Islanders goons were free to push the limits.

There’s no one person to blame in any of this, but I’m not surprised the score ended up being what it was.

I’ll give them the first four goals. After that, the Penguins were looking over their shoulders to see if someone was coming to take a run at them.

Are the Islanders happy that they injured Tangradi? Would they have been happy if Martin would have been successful in his attack on Talbot?

At any rate, 346 combined penalty minutes is absurd. There were a few more scraps before the game drew to a close. One was between Talbot and Zenon Konopka. It turned out to be a rather eventful birthday for Max to say the least.

There’s no word on the suspensions at this point, but I’m sure we’ll here by tonight so stay tuned.

Until then, let me borrow a line from Ron Burgundy.

You stay classy, New York Islanders."

"He shaved his head and shed his gloom..."

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02-17-11 09:45 AM - Post#1287278    

    In response to DPR4444

Penguins Enforcer Godard: "I Had To Defend My Teammates"

"The ever-shrinking Pittsburgh roster took another hit late Saturday night when winger Eric Godard was handed a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench during the wild battle royale that doubled as a hockey game Friday night at Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum. But the Penguins’ enforcer said he only did what he had to do.

While everybody on the ice was fighting and the referees were trying to maintain peace at one end of the ice, he saw New York Islanders tough guy Michael Haley skating to the other end where goalie Brent Johnson was alone."

"I saw (Haley) skating toward Johnny, and I just jumped," Godard told reporters. "I'm aware of the rule, but at that moment you're not thinking about (it). "Ten games is pretty long, especially when we're in a tough spot with a lot of guys out. Yes, I regret it, but I'm going to try and defend my teammates. So, I'm kind of torn with that."

Godard was referring to Rule 70.11, which stipulates that a player leaving the bench during a fight will automatically be suspended for 10 games.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma also was aware of the rule and did everything he could to keep his players on the bench. When a player does break the rule, his coach typically is suspended, too. But league officials decided to rescind that suspension.

"We actually had a situation where I said, 'Don't go,' but I don't have my hands on every player on the bench," Bylsma told the Tribune-Review.

The game generated 346 penalty minutes, only 73 shy of the NHL record set in a 2004 game between Ottawa and Philadelphia, and resulted in suspensions totaling 23 games handed to Godard and Islanders Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin. The Islanders also were fined $100,000 for not controlling their players, who were deemed instigators and, according to discipline czar Colin Campbell, “made deliberate attempts to injure (Pittsburgh) players.” s-vs-pens/story/penguins- e...
"He shaved his head and shed his gloom..."

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02-17-11 09:47 AM - Post#1287281    

    In response to DPR4444 pka_lemieux/

"Zenon Konopka used to be a Mario Lemieux fan.

But after the Penguins owner criticized the New York Islanders for their role in a fight-filled game on Friday night, the New York Islanders enforcer says he's no longer looking up to the hockey legend.

"As soon as I get home, I'm going to take the poster off my bedroom door of Mario," Konopka said on Monday afternoon in Ottawa. "I can't believe he (Lemieux) is that far removed from the game that he doesn't the heat of the moment what happens."

On Sunday night, after suspensions were handed out for the game that featured 346 penalty minutes, Lemieux issued a written statement that suggested the NHL did not send a strong enough message.

"What happened on Friday night on Long Island wasn't hockey. It was a travesty," Lemieux wrote. "It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that. The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed."

Konopka countered with the argument that his team is being singled out because the Islanders franchise is a notoriously easy target.

"Everyone keeps taking shots at us. Check with our trainers and see how many games we've lost. We've lost 360 man games to injury," vented Konopka. "And now we're getting crucified because we're trying to get some retribution for a couple of our guys getting knocked out. It's tough."

Konopka, as is often the case, was the most outspoken member of the Islanders. Head coach Jack Capuano refused to take the bait on Lemieux's comments, deferring to Garth Snow on the issue.

"You read the quotes and you let our general manager handle it from there," said Capuano. "What was said was said. As far as myself, I'm not going to comment on that."

Islanders star forward John Tavares was equally reserved with the media, making sure not to ruffle any feathers in light of Lemieux's reaction.

"Those comments, I don't think any of us have much to say about it in here. It's behind us now and we're just moving on from it," said Tavares. "
"He shaved his head and shed his gloom..."

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02-22-11 08:37 AM - Post#1289035    

    In response to DPR4444

FISCHLER: Lemieux shows hockey hypocrisy ports/doc4d602135edd09363 11797...

Freeman columnist

THERE are three kinds of hockey fights, the real, the phony and the brawl.

Real fights feature two guys going at each other for a reason, usually an uncalled-penalty by the referee and an immediate need for revenge.

Phony fights include two goons whose job really is to fight and occasionally do police work for their stars. The goons open the proceedings by saying, “Do you wanna go?” And the other usually agrees, and they go.

Big brawls speak for themselves.

THEN we get to the issue of two kinds of hockey people -- the real and the phony.

The latest to gain entry to Fischler’s Phony Hall of Infamy is Mario Lemieux, who has been saying stupid things about hockey fights and one big night of them in particular.

That would be the biggest and best brawl involving the New York Islanders and his Pittsburgh Penguins a week ago Friday.

A lot of people got upset over that brawl, especially Lemieux, who happens to be co-owner of the Penguins.

What bothered Lemieux most of all is that a few of his skaters got beat up and his goalies allowed nine goals.

So, Mario issued sort of a white paper -- like a Papal Bull of Hockey -- except that Mario’s missive was full of bull.

“What happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey,” said Lemieux. “It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.”

(My reply: The Islanders played hockey to the tune of nine goals; the Penguins didn’t know whether they were coming nor going. As for the fights, the NHL race is so tight in so many places that fights erupt all the time. Just two nights earlier a similar outburst took place in Boston between the Bruins and Canadiens. Not a peep was heard from Lemieux. Just recently a Dallas-Boston match featured three fights in the first four seconds. From Lemieux, we heard nothing but the silence of the lambs. As for the “travesty,” that best describes the Penguins performance. If I was Pittsburgh’s owner I’d have found that painful to watch as well.)

LEMIEUX went on: “The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.”

(My reply: Fighting has been an accepted part of hockey since the game was invented. If Gary Bettman wanted to eliminate it, he would have done so at some point during his 18-year tenure as commissioner. And speaking of fisticuffs, Monsieur Mario should know a thing or two about mayhem. His beloved Penguins have led the league in penalty minutes and fights this season.)

“We as a league must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players,” Lemieux added. “We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.”

(My reply: Fair enough, dear boy, but before you give us any free advice about “the safety of our players,” check out your own roster, specifically a chap named Matt Cooke. Among his peers the Pittsburgh forward is regarded as the NHL’s dirtiest player. Lemieux’s own former teammate, Rob Brown, told the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, “He’s (Cooke) a guy who can end careers. He possibly ended Marc Savard’s career (hit to the head). He could have ended Alex Ovechkin’s by sticking out his knee. I’ve played with guys who have no conscience, and that’s Cooke.”)

FINALLY, Lemieux warns us, “If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it.”

(My reply: If you want to know what the “state of the league is, regarding fights, listen up to some reality as provided by NBC’s (former NHLer) Mike Milbury: “We have fighting in this game, not because of the logical hogwash that says players need to have it to police the game. That’s just nonsense. We have it because we like it. We like the violent part of it whether we admit it or not. We allow it to a certain point. When it goes past that point, we all cringe and say, ‘Oh, my God. We’ve got to do something about it.’”)

Mind you, I’m not the only one questioning Lemieux’s integrity. Canada’s most listened-to hockey authority, Don Cherry, went on the air and called Mario a hypocrite. Another Canadian journalist questioned Lemieux’s hypocrisy.

If Mario really wants to clean up the game, he should check his own backyard, or Pittsburgh Tribune Review columnist Joe Starkey who knows a thing or three about Cooke who was handed a four-game suspension for a dirty hit on Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin.

“Cooke could have avoided contact altogether,” wrote Starkey. “It was a cheap shot. So was Cooke’s knee-on-knee hit to Alex Ovechkin. Had it been the other way around, Penguins fans would have been howling.” Then, a pause: “With Cooke running wild, any Penguins complaints over the recent hits on Sidney Crosby don’t carry much weight.”

Nor do Lemieux’s complaints about the Islanders.

BUT, wait, there may be a method to Mario’s moaning. Actually, one of two methods. Consider these:

1. PATHETIC PENGUINS: Without Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh has a lineup that is average-to-mediocre, depending on the night. Lemieux worries about them slipping. His declaration of war against both the Islanders and the league merely is a strategic move to distract attention from what has been -- in two games, at least -- a faltering hockey club.

2. HE WANTS OUT: A whisper I hear is that Lemieux wants to exit from his chairman’s desk; that he’s had enough now that Pitt has its new arena. What he really wants to “re-think” -- I’m guessing -- is whether he’s comfortable sitting behind a desk while the real high command hockey work is shared by Penguins CEO/President David Morehouse and general manager Ray Shero. I read the Lemieux white paper as a cover for his orderly retreat from desk work, etc.

BOTTOM LINE: It was easy for Mario to maul the Islanders. They have been verbally and physically abused all season yet they have climbed from the NHL ashes to become a challenging team under coach Jack Capuano.

Zenon Konopka said it best for his club when he told Newsday’s Katie Strang: “We have a young, talented team and there have been a lot of liberties taken throughout the course of the season. It can only be built up so much before it comes out... It wasn’t just a direct hit on Pittsburgh. They just kind of fell in the way. There were a lot of emotions built up. Sometimes something like this is healthy for a team.

"Some people outside the hockey world might think I’m crazy to say that, but it will build for the rest of this year and for the future of the organization.”

LINE BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE: Lemieux delivered his statement but he won’t face the media questioning. So, what does that tell you?"

"He shaved his head and shed his gloom..."

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02-22-11 08:43 AM - Post#1289038    

    In response to DPR4444

Awesome article

Thanks for posting
Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.


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02-22-11 11:11 AM - Post#1289075    

    In response to Johnny_Upton

Great job as usual by Stan the Man!
"To be honest, even though he lost, Hendricks did a better job of enforcing than most heavyweight enforcers do." - Peatycap

Not only is the NHL totally fucked it's fans are out to lunch now as well

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