Islanders and Penguins: Did the Fighting Go Too Far?

Fighting has been apart of the game of hockey for a long time. Fans enjoy seeing heated rivalries between two teams that despise one another and some of the brawls result from it.

The New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins are divisional rivals and fights between the two have not been uncommon. Both teams have to play each other eight times during the regular season and animosity does build up for some memorable matchups.

Friday’s matchup between the Islanders and the Penguins was memorable but many believe for the wrong reasons. The game had a total of 346 penalty minutes, ten players ejected for misconduct penalties and suspensions to the Islanders Trevor Gillies, teammate Matt Martin and the Penguins Eric Godard, who was given a ten game suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation. Fans may have enjoyed watching the fights but skeptics believe the fights took away from the beauty of the game.

Leading into this game, there was bad blood between the two teams stemming from Penguins goaltender Brent Johnson punching out Islanders goaltender Rick Dipietro during an altercation. There was expected bad blood between the two teams but 346 penalty minutes and ten players ejected for misconduct penalties may have been too much. The teams stopped playing hockey and focused more on starting fights between each other. Fighting has been apart of hockey for a while, however, there was still a game to be played between the Islanders and the Penguins on Friday night.

For many years, there has been a debate on how much fighting in hockey is considered to be too much fighting. Fans enjoy the occasional brawl but skeptics believe that too many fights turn off potential fans and takes away from the finer points of the game. Others believe that fighting is a result of standing up for teammates who may have been injured on a cheap shot and think it belongs in the game. The debate has gone on for a long time with different viewpoints from those opposed to it and those for it.

After the aftermath of Friday night’s game, the NHL handed out a $100,000 fine to the Islanders (the Penguins were not fined), Penguins enforcer Eric Godard was automatically suspended 10 games for leaving the bench for the altercation, nine games to the Islanders Trevor Gillies for his role in the fighting and four games to his teammate Matt Martin. The league is trying to send a message that altercations such as those will result in punishment and will not be tolerated. The league was obviously embarrassed by the actions of these players and both teams and responded by handing out the suspensions.







~ by jeffrsabo on February 13, 2011.

3 Responses to “Islanders and Penguins: Did the Fighting Go Too Far?”

  1. That game was absolutely horrendous. As a person very closely linked to the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise, it was devastating. I know what the players are going through behind the scenes, and it’s just awful; I live with it. At that point in the game when all the fighting started it was getting out of hand. It wasn’t hockey anymore. It wasn’t even personal conflict. I feel it was just some Penguins guys trying to do anything they could to keep the game alive because we were losing so badly – and I don’t think that should have been done. With so many of our players out – injuries EVERY, single, night – it gets tiring, and depressing. As a team we feel defeated. I do believe that game went too far in the wrong direction, and it seemed that everyone was just watching it play out in slow motion.

  2. Disgusting. I think these suspensions were too lenient. The NHL needs to send a stronger message to combatants.

  3. Most of the reaction I have seen has mentioned that the game was a travesty. The analysts for NBC thought it went too far and even Mario Lemieux thought it got out of hand.

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