Cheap Trick

12 Feb

It’s been a wild week of fights in the NHL and we’ve been loving it.  Then something like this comes along.  People always argue about fighting in hockey.  I’m confident that those who know and love the game understand and respect the role that fighting plays.  But it’s like Russian Roulette and sometimes, you get the bullet.

There’s bad blood and retaliation, there are teams with long memories and little to lose.  There are days when you get rocked 9-3.  But there is absolutely no place for this kind of action.  Plenty of honest and reasonable fights broke out in tonight’s Islanders/Penguins game.  These were not among them.

Matt Martin is a goon. Fight a guy, sure.  You’re pissed because Max knocked out Blake Comeau last week (in a hit the League deemed legal, thanks).  I get it.  But jumping someone from behind away from the play?  Are you afraid Max would celebrate his birthday by landing 27 punches in a fair fight? Reckless and wrong.  Ask Todd Bertuzzi if he meant to break Steve Moore’s neck in ’04.  It’s just a punch, right?  Suspension.  (PS: Don’t search that clip.  It’s worse that you remember.)

But don’t worry, Martin.  Your buddy’s going to one-up you.

Trevor Gillies is a piece of s***.  Do not pardon my French. Maybe he would have gotten away with the questionable hit on Eric Tangradi.  But what follows is a disgusting display of complete barbarism.  If you did that on the street you’d be locked up.  Then he stands there and screams at a kid who is still face down on the ice.  Suspension.

[break time, getting really angry]

Look, I know we all laughed about Johnson dropping DiPietro with a single punch.  That was a fair fight.  Your guy  lost and Johnson did not hit him again.  It sucks to be out 4-6 weeks with a broken jaw, but if he didn’t want the risk he should have stayed in his crease.  Michael Haley (in the AHL last week!) decided to show what a big boy he was and fight Johnson.  You know Johnson wanted it too – at least he can defend himself.

Eric Goddard came off the bench to get involved in that fight.  It felt damned good but it was a stupid move. He’ll get 10 games, Bylsma will get fined and suspended and the Pens will also be fined.  As if they can afford to be down any more men, forget their coach.  Bad idea, guys.

I’m not making my case here as a Pens fan.  Matt Cooke is serving a 4-game suspension for a hit on Fedor Tyutin on Tuesday night vs. Columbus.  Cooke left his feet to dangerously board a guy = suspension.  One could argue that he’s a repeat offender, a dirty player who gets away with murder.  But tonight’s debacle was something else entirely.

I probably love this sport too much, because this stuff just makes me sick.  You can read this blistering recap by Shawn Malenich at

Wrap Sheet


12 Responses to “Cheap Trick”

  1. Amy February 12, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Fortunatly I did not watch this game last night – was watching Forsberg’s comeback. I just saw the highlights… I mean lowlights, this morning. I can understand your anger at this game – it looks like it was utterly ridiculous. An embarrassment to the game of hockey.

    People that are not fans of the game will see this and remind their friends that this is all hockey is about – a bunch of goons fighting. Fans that truly follow the game know differently, but this puts the sport of hockey in a very bad light, not exactly what the league is going for.

  2. Cassy February 12, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    Haley should be suspended. He aimed at Tangradi’s head then punched him when he was down.

    I hate to say it but Cookie’s hit was the same kind of hit that Bergy took in 07 – the one that broke his nose and had him out for an entire season with concussion. But he’s still on my hit list after the Savvy hit, cute kids or mo, even after a year.

  3. dawncherrie February 12, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    um … MAX TALBOT had no fair fight fair last night. He turtled every chance he was offered – which was three by my count. If he had fought, I think there wouldn’t have been quite the malay. Instead, he left his teammates to fight his fights and it escalated from there. Not cool which is why I don’t like him. This is a slightly bias account. The NYI’s have been called a ‘doormat’, made fun of, their marque player Traves taken shot at, a long list of frustrations topped off with the Pens laughing at them from last weeks game. If Sidney had been treated this way – IF HE WERE PLAYING, you can bet the Pens would behaved no differently if not worse. Only the NYI don’t have players that turtle up. While fighting is a part of the game, Tangradi got exactly what he deserved from Giles. It wasn’t his first rodeo and he has made plently of cheap shots at players mostly smaller than him – he just finally pick someone who was willing to dish it back and he lost. It happens.

    • Pants February 12, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      “Tangradi got exactly what he deserved from Giles. It wasn’t his first rodeo and he has made plenty of cheap shots at players mostly smaller than him – he just finally pick someone who was willing to dish it back and he lost.”

      Dawn, are you confusing Tangradi with someone else? Tangradi has played in 15 NHL games including last night. He was recalled from the AHL yesterday morning for the second time in two weeks. He has a total of 8 career penalty minutes – two hooking and one high-sticking double major. I’m not sure how you can do “plenty” of anything in 15 games over two seasons.

      Tangradi’s only cheap shot I could find was in the ’08 WJC. And he was repentant: “”It wasn’t my proudest hockey moment.”

      If he got “exactly what he deserved” for some imagined history of NHL transgressions, then I had better stay away from the rink myself. Seems like I might be in for it too, despite having not really done anything to anyone, ever.

      • dawncherrie February 12, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

        BTW – I was not talking about the after math of the yelling at Tangradi. I was talking about the fight only. Sorry if you misunderstood that.

  4. Chris Ross February 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Wow, thanks for posting this man cuz I did not see this the other day. This was a great article and I agree with you that stuff like this should not be a part of hockey. It gives the sport a bad name. That was just a massive brawl though lol. But to be honest, I’d rather have this stuff in the game than the stuff that Cooke seems to do on a regular basis. When Cooke was a fan favourite in Vancouver I can swear to god that he didn’t do this kind of stuff, he hit hard but not dirty. I hope I wasn’t blind to this stuff, but I seriously don’t remember this kind of stuff. 4 games for Tyutin’s hit wasn’t enough and the NHL suspensions are just so inconsistent, they need to do something about that to protect their players. Dave Steckel anyone? Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I really would love to hear what you have to say.

  5. dawncherrie February 12, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    That was because the Penguins never get called for many of the cheap shots they take on many players. Take for instance the knee on knee hit that Cooke took on Ovechkin the last time they played. NEVER CALLED. On video. No penalty.

    I’ve watched the last several Penguin games and watched this kid (Tangradi) make several questionable hits that weren’t called which is why he wouldn’t have any penalties ON RECORD. Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. He just didn’t get called. I stand by my opinion.

    This is no different than the Penguins going after Steckle for the hit on Crosby. Nobody cried about that. Why? Nobody cries when the Penguins point blank say they are going after Ovechkin. Why? Why is this OK.

    Besides, how can we in one post call Boston Gardens THE HOUSE OF PAIN praising fighting and then reprimand it because The Penguins got served?

    Matt Cooke IS a repeat offender; not “could be argued as one”, which is why he got what he got from the NHL.

    Should it have dissolved to what it did? No, but if MAX TALBOT had fought his fight in the first place, I think alot could have been avoided but we’ll never know because he turtled up – 3 times.

    All I am saying is I thought the game was fine on both ends. Everyone got what they deserved. Fighting is fighting is fighting is fighthing. You got upset because it was your team but it doesn’t make The Islanders or anyone on that team wrong. I simply don’t think that’s fair. Just as you said Haley is a big boy, so is Tangradi. They are both big enough to fight, both big enough to accept the consequences.

    • Pants February 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

      I just wrote a long response and deleted it. If all you think I see are black and yellow without any objective understanding or appreciation for the game, then my arguments and opinions don’t matter anyway.

  6. Scorpiosue1102 February 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I’ve been a lurker for a while. My first love was hockey. I fell out of love for a while and I’m back in love again.

    I watched this game and it wasn’t a hockey game. It was a slugfest. I can understand the Islanders being upset about the Max Talbot hit during the prior game, but it is a legal hit. Max should have taken his lumps, BUT I think that after the second time the Islanders got their point across. The third time was overkill.

    The Tangradi hit was completely uncalled for. On top of that, the taunting by Gilles while the kid was on the ground was completely unsportsmanlike. It made Gilles look like a thug. I’m surprised Gilles didn’t spit on him for good measure.

    This all said, I don’t think the Penguins are all sunshine and daisies. I think Matt Cooke is one of the dirtiest players out there. His current suspension should be longer too. You want unity on a team, but dirty hits don’t help your team. Matt Cooke’s suspension is a prime example of that. The Pens are dropping like flies so you think that Cooke could use his head and not do those kinds of hits. They need him on this team at this time. He may be a decent player; he’s just not that smart.

    • dawncherrie February 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

      Welcome Back Sue. Let’s hope we all move on from this! 🙂

  7. Jones February 12, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    3 fights in the first 4 seconds of Bruins-Stars? Stupid, but okay, ridiculous, haha, whatever.

    Johnson dropping DiPietro? Yeah, I laughed, although I felt a bit bad about it when I found out that DiPietro literally got his face broken.

    Bruins-Habs? Oookay, sure. Turned into a shitshow at the end of the third, but the world has bigger problems.

    This game? I think I’m laughed out. I don’t have a problem with fighting being in the game, per se, but sucker punches, going after guys when they’re down, fights for no apparent fucking reason when you’re several goals up… it’s bullshit, and it’s not only this game in particular that I’m talking about. It’s one thing for guys to go once in awhile, but I didn’t sign up to watch bum fights. There’s a point where it just starts to look ugly and stupid.

    As to this game specifically, I guess the Isles succeeded in reminding people that they exist. So, uh, congratulations on that.

  8. dawncherrie February 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    I think ou have more sense than all of us. Thanks. 🙂

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