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Sunday, April 1, 2012

This Morning's Penguins/Flyers Brawl

Posted by on Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 6:39 PM

The last minute of this morning's Penguins/Flyers game ended in a brawl that included players fighting players, coaches fighting coaches, players yelling at coaches, fans throwing things onto the ice, and Scotty Hartnell taunting Hulk Hogan. By the time the game started again, the Flyers were left with no coach and only seven dudes sitting on the bench.

The Flyers won 6-4. 36 penalty minutes were dished out in the third period alone, not counting two 10 minute major penalties for misconduct.

The best part of the whole thing is watching commentator Pierre McGuire stand down there in the box between the two benches while the two coaches were screaming at one another.

Oh hockey, you're the greatest game ever.


Comments (30) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment

I like hockey, but I can't get over the streak that OKC Thunder is on right now.

Did you see them slice up the Bulls?

Same as the Heat?

Yeah, I know...we're supposed to hate them...but for what? Becoming great after leaving here?

Don't say it hasn't happened before (and yes, I see the doorknob, thank you).
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 1, 2012 at 7:48 PM · Report this
That's quite a clip, Megan! The crowd's roar at the tremendous hit here reminded me of Deadspin's bit day before yesterday marking the 35th anniversary of the release of Slap Shot:
But while parts of Slap Shot are seriously dated (particularly in matters of facial hair and costume design; someone made Paul Newman—Paul Newman!—wear a brown leather suit) and while the movie itself isn't quite as great as everyone remembers (it wastes a lot of time on female characters it doesn't really care about), I think when it comes to sports, it's the only movie I trust to understand what sports is really about. Sports is not a series of storylines, or an Olympic clash of athletes at their peak, or some sort of allegory for how we should all live our lives, a set of role models representing the best our world has to offer. It's about a bunch of dumb guys traveling from town to town and punching each other for our amusement and diversion. It's a sideshow, a carnival, and one that, at the end of the day, has enough sentiment attached that some rich owner can write it off as a tax break and it all goes away. It is product, pure and simple. There are many great sports movies—Bull Durham remains the best—but Slap Shot is the only one that has ever understood that essential fact: This is an ugly, stupid business.
It's not just other sports movies that try to hide this fact. It's sports themselves. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell makes a huge show of handing down severe punishments to New Orleans Saints coaches for incentivizing players to hurt opponents, as if he's protecting an essentially safe game, as if these were rogue elements propagating some savage scheme that would never, ever be welcome in the Sacred Arena of Sports. Slap Shot is having none of it. Paul Newman's player-coach Reggie Dunlop needs to promote a home game, so he gets right on the radio and says he'll personally give $100 bucks to the first of his players who "nails" an opposing player. He even calls it a bounty! Naturally, the arena is full that night of fans thirsting for blood. Slap Shot doesn't pretend to flatter you the way the NFL and sports today do, a reassuring "oh, we know, you don't want watch us for the violence, you watch us for COMPETITION!" It knows that's why you're here. The NFL lies and pretends everything is fine; keep watching. Slap Shot will have no such hypocrisy. You want it, you'll pay for it, you'll get it.…
Posted by gloomy gus on April 1, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
Keister Button 3
If there were hockey gods (there aren't, I learned that last June), I would ask them to schedule PHI against PIT in the first Eastern Conference round of the playoffs.
Posted by Keister Button on April 1, 2012 at 8:07 PM · Report this
"Where's your hairpiece Pierre?"

Posted by dhammy on April 1, 2012 at 8:11 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 5
Only 36 penalty minutes? That wouldn't have impressed the '75 Flyers.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 1, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
eclexia 6
Watch 4:30-5:00 for the longest love scene in sports TV history outside of MMA. These two are so into each other they're about to jizz their pants.
Posted by eclexia on April 1, 2012 at 9:17 PM · Report this

But seriously...two of the most upset games in the entire NBA season and SLOG reports

Heat downed what was thought to be a fizzling Celtics?

How did y'all miss that?!

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 1, 2012 at 9:40 PM · Report this
Puty 8
Megan needs a Seattle NHL team! I seriously doubt the Coyotes will stay in Arizona. Maybe she'll get them!
Posted by Puty on April 1, 2012 at 10:01 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 9
That was fun. As was this last week...…

I really feel like these should be regarded as cherished moments though. Hockey & Bettman are inevitably going to, sometime in the very near future, finally begin to take fighting and all the incredibly serious consequences seriously and seek to ban it outright (i.e. implement serious enough penalties to essentially do so.)

Posted by mikethehammer on April 1, 2012 at 10:15 PM · Report this
The Hulk look-a-like is known as Malk-a-Mania. He's a die hard fan who's battling cancer, again. I was happy to see him on screen today if only to confirm that he's feeling well enough to attend games. He was supposed to make it out to NYC last month but couldn't.

The brawl was awesome! I'm not often a huge fan of hockey brawls but I so enjoyed this one. The shot of the Flyers bench with about 4 players on it was so damn funny, straight out of Slapshot. I would have enjoyed it all more if the Penguins had won the game but seeing the brawl and following it up with a round of shots - it was 3pm on the East Coast, don't judge - softened the blow quite a bit.
Posted by moosefan on April 1, 2012 at 10:20 PM · Report this
They play again on Saturday in Pittsburgh and then are likely headed to a best-of-seven first round playoff series. If it goes all seven games someone's going to end up dead.
Posted by PA Native on April 1, 2012 at 10:44 PM · Report this
Malkamania, aka Cy Clark, is a good guy:…
He loves the Pens and they love him back.

Fuck the Flyers!
Posted by moosefan on April 1, 2012 at 10:49 PM · Report this
sports where it's cool to stand there punching each other in the face for absolutely no game-benefit but if you call someone a faggot the internet will lynch you

fucking pussies
Posted by Swearengen on April 2, 2012 at 12:04 AM · Report this
Kinison 14
I dont get the whole fighting aspect in hockey. When a fight breaks out, the ref totally lets it happen for a few minutes, then for no reason he decides they've had enough, breaks it up and throws both players into the penalty box. If fighting gets you penalized, then why even let the fight go on for a second? If it isnt against the rules, then why even stop it?

Its an aspect of the sport that reminds me of WWE wrestling.
Posted by Kinison on April 2, 2012 at 5:52 AM · Report this
Fnarf 15
I don't understand why leaving the bench doesn't get you an automatic twelve-game ban. Or at least the fighters.

Oh, wait, yes I do -- because people only respond to the violence. There are no clips of actual hockey being posted on blogs across the country, only punches.

This attitude is like the Sounders fans who start chanting "LET HIM DIE!" whenever an opposing player goes down to the turf, on the assumption that he's "diving". I just hope I'm not there when another Patrice Muamba scene plays out, and our idiot fans are chanting that horror when the medics are working the defibrillator.
Posted by Fnarf on April 2, 2012 at 7:13 AM · Report this
@14, Fighting is illegal and comes with an automatic 5 minute major penalty. However, there are rules regarding the actual fight; it's only a fight if both players take off their gloves. If the guy who instigated the fight has a face-shield he must remove his helmet. Fights will be stopped by the refs when the fighters fall to the ice, the fight comes to a stalemate or at the refs' discretion. Additional penalties can be doled out for things like not having your jersey tied down, unsportsmanlike conduct, instigating, etc.

Fights are not automatically broken up for a couple of reasons; fans like watching them, players like having them, and fights can have a very real impact on the game. A player who's not good at scoring goals can have a fight with a points-scorer on the opposing team thereby removing a key player from action for 5 minutes. It can rile up teammates and provide a momentum shift for a team. And I think the league feels that by allowing fights, by allowing players to blow off steam with a few punches, players are less likely to do something considerably more dangerous on the ice as payback for a dirty play or slight.
Posted by moosefan on April 2, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 17
@ 15, leaving the bench DOES get you banned. Not for that many games, but it's one of the game's most clearcut, black and white rules.

@ 8, Quebec City is building a new arena, and just upgraded their old one so that a team can play there while the new on is under construction. I'm sure the NHL would much rather the Coyotes go to a bigger city like Seattle, but Quebec has a home ready today.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 18
In addition to @ 16's observations, fights also happen as a way to keep the guys who take cheap shots in line, especially if they go after your star players.

Hockey violence is exaggerated - there are few "Bertuzzi incidents." And although Vancouver rioted after the Stanley Cup last year, hockey fans don't die as routinely as soccer fans do.

@ 15, if you aren't looking for highlight reels showing amazing goals, you're not even trying.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 2, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
@15, here's the rule that @17 referred to regarding leaving the bench
Posted by moosefan on April 2, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
schmacky 20
@16: that's the most cogent, yet deluded justification for bloodlust and violence I've read in quite some time. Thank you.
Posted by schmacky on April 2, 2012 at 8:33 AM · Report this
@15, I'm with @18 on this. If you can't find a goal highlights you're doing it wrong. I think the problem with hockey violence and youtube videos is that non-hockey fans watch fight videos. Hockey fans watch goals, pretty tic-tac-toe plays, and awesome saves.

As a fan of the game I'm very unlikely to click on fight videos but very likely to watch a breakaway. There are, of course, exceptions. I think I watched footage of Brent Johnson breaking DiPietro's jaw last year about 15 times. And I generally don't watch Jagr or Ovechkin highlights. But that has to do, respectively, with the rarity of goalie fights and the hatred of rival superstars. And not some great blood lust or hope that all games will devolve into brawls.
Posted by moosefan on April 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 22
@ 19, damn, I forgot that the penalty is for 10 games. I thought it was five. If that doesn't satisfy people, then they're the ones lusting for punishment.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 2, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
@20, What, exactly, in my post do you consider either a) a justification or b) deluded. I was simply stating the rules and the reasons. I'm sorry if you think the NHL and fans are blood thirsty but I don't see how stating the rules qualifies as a deluded justification.
Posted by moosefan on April 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 24
@ 21, some fights are just funny. Sakic vs. Gilmour, for example.

It's hard to take the handwringing of non-hockey fans seriously, anyway. Most of these people will defend the violence in their own sports, like pitchers plunking batters in retaliation.

Hockey fights are governed by an intricate etiquette. Again, excepting horrors like Bertuzzi, they're akin to boxing matches, not street fights. Dirty punches aren't allowed, and the players will cooperate when the refs step in.
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM · Report this
@24, I don't think I've ever seen the Sakic/Gilmour fight. Though just the idea is humorous.

And I agree, non-hockey fans look at hockey fights and think it's all just a bunch of goons out there hitting each other. And any time you try to explain that it's not it's assumed that you're just some bloodthirsty asshole who watches the game to see carnage.

And yes, the Bertuzzi incident was awful. However, it was not a hockey fight. It was a blatantly illegal and cowardly move. Now, if Bertuzzi and Moore had fought that'd be another thing as both players assume risk when they choose to engage in a fight. But sucker punching someone in the back of the head is not that.
Posted by moosefan on April 2, 2012 at 9:03 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 26
@ 25,…

The audio was from the radio broadcast...
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 2, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
@26, that fight did not go the way I expected. Good on Joe Sakic. And the commentary is pretty priceless. Thanks.
Posted by moosefan on April 2, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
Glad moosefan explained Malkamania. He's been a fixture at Pens games for years.

The fight between the coaches was apparently because Bylsma played the fourth line at the end of the game, and he hadn't played them for the 12 minutes before.

Well, of course he didn't. Before that empty netter, the Pens still had a chance. Why wouldn't he play his top three lines? And why wouldn't he put the fourth line in at the end of the game, when the Pens didn't stand a chance of coming back, to avoid getting the top players injured right before the playoffs? You can replace a 4th line winger pretty easily, but you can't replace Malkin, Crosby, or Staal that easily.

And all because of a clean hit on open ice. With all those penalty minutes, Vitale didn't get one for that hit.

Yeah, between that fight and the cheap shot on Crosby after third goal, Saturday and the first round of the playoffs should be really interesting. And whoever said that if that first round series goes 7 games, someone is going to die probably isn't far from the truth.
Posted by Sheryl on April 2, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
@28, Well said. It was exactly the point in the game when a coach plays his fourth liners. And Vitale's hit was a textbook example of a clean, legal but hard open-ice hit. Laviolette's reaction to the hit and to Blysma's line choice was ridiculous. For a minute I thought he was honestly going to climb over to the Pens' bench and try to deck Bylsma.
Posted by moosefan on April 2, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Hernandez 30
That was a great, clean, textbook check to start the whole thing off.

I'd rather have the occasional fight, with play stopped and refs ready to intervene, than frequent cheap shots that leave serious injuries. If you remove fighting, which often serves as the players' method for policing dirty play, you might speed up the game a bit and "clean up" it's image, but you'll see a significant increase in cheap shots and dirty, dangerous hits. That's just my two cents as a lifelong fan and former player.

@15 That is horseshit. Maybe leave commenting on hockey posts to those of us who actually like the game. That comment sounds like it was written by Will in Seattle, except Will actually does know a thing or two about hockey.
Posted by Hernandez on April 2, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this

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