Fighting the good fight


With all the transition going on here yesterday we didn’t get much chance to discuss the disaster at the Igloo the night before … not that it’s worth re-hashing, and obviously you all hashed it as it was happening.

But I keep going back to what happened at the opening faceoff. Godard and Colton Orr had prearranged, or as we used to say, “made reservations” to have a little dance. The puck hit the ice and off they went. Pretty good fight as hockey fights go. Some big bombs. Both landed at least one good one.

I’ve always enjoyed the tough side of hockey, always liked the tough guys, always thought the Lady Byng was an award you don’t want to win.

And I fully understand that this wasn’t one of those — well we’re out here together, we might as well fight — and it wasn’t a case of trying to make a statement. The two guys had history. Orr had roughed up Sidney Crosby a bit in the past, and then tried to goad Godard into a fight last time, and Goddard smartly declined as the Penguins were leading late.

I just want to get some of your feelings on these types of fights, though. The drop-of-the-puck fight, and the “just because we’re both on the ice at the same time” fight. Aren’t they pretty useless.

I love it when a guy like Crosby is tough enough to stick up for himself, or Jarome Iginla, or Lecavalier. Or so many other guys who are players who don’t mind fighting, rather than fighters who sometimes play. I just think maybe the fight between designated goons, which has nothing to do with the emotion and fire of the game, is past its time. Those guys — one per team, who usually don’t get a sniff of a shift during the playoffs — are involved in probably 95 percent of all fights. Do we really need this silly showcase anymore?

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Rangers didn’t need a Colton Orr taking up cap and roster and lineup space?

Just asking.

Now, on to the Super Bowl, that long-awaited, dragged-out, two-week TV show and corporate schmooze. Sam Borden and I will make our picks today, and if anybody wants to join us, or to comment on that game, visit us at Faceoff.

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  1. Re Post:

    Yeah Doodie, I agree on Lou. I can say that I hate the Devils, but I respect the hell out of that franchise. Every year most people think that this is the year they are going to tank, and this year we had every reason to believe that they would, but Marty got hurt and I think that forced them to come together as a team and play better. It will be interesting to see what happens when Marty comes back. For some reason, I think we as a team are more in Marty’s head than the whole teams head. I think with him and net, we are still unbeaten against them.

    If Marty comes back, and he plays dominant and the team doesn’t let down in play just because he is back, they could be a lot of trouble come playoff time.

  2. The sport governs itself, I repeat the sport governs itself.

    The “drop of the puck” fights are few and far. Less than 1 percent of fights in the NHL begin that way. So, I’d argue it’s even a moot point debating that aspect.

    That being said, what separates hockey from other sports, and what keeps it humble is the fact that players are responsible for their actions.

    It’s a very physical game and the only sport where players hold weapons for 60 minutes.

    WIthout fighting, you’d see A LOT more broom riding, NFL-style endzone celebrations after goals, you’d see a lot of stars (i.e. Crosby) getting run, and you’d see a lot of guys using their stick to fight back, instead of their fists.

    If you take away fighting, you might as well take away checking. The two go hand in hand to a degree.

    Anyone who’s played hockey, even in non-fighting leagues, knows that there’s going to be a minimum of one scrum per game.

    It’s completely unavoidable when you’re skating at high speeds on a hard ice surface running into one another at great impact…

  3. Carp….have you read Bernstein’s “The Code” about fighting in hockey? I am halfway through it. I like it so far, despite it rehashing a lot of the same stuff most of the way through.

    Those fights are necessary. Godard owed Orr a match. What I would really like to see is someone like Dubi risk a 5 min penalty by jumping on Crosby off the faceoff like Crosby did against whomever that was a month or two ago.

    I have zero respect for Crosby despite his talents. He whines, he whacks people, he dives, and he cheap shots people (Atlanta guy got hit in the bells as Crosby was 3d man in) and the refs look the other way because it’s Cindy.

    Gretzky, Lemieux, etc. never were horrible sportsmen. They never dove. They never really whacked anyone and bitched at the refs at the same time.

    The Orr Godard fight was the result of Crosby being a pu$$y. That is my belief. Those fights are necessary and they keep the game cleaner, if that makes sense. But I think a guy like Crosby is directly responsible for those fights.

    Truthfully Crosby should have to handle himself more given what an a-hole he is on the ice.

  4. I respect your thoughts Carp. At the same time, the Rangers don’t really have anyone on their team that is going to make an opposing team think twice about running one of their players other than Orr. We have some players that can hold their own, I guess, in a fight, but not really. Voros, Dubi, they are not really players that strike any kind of fear in the opposing team. I think you need SOMEONE on your team that can play that role, and that makes his own team feel a little more comfortable on the ice. Come playoff time it is not needed, but in the regular season, I think you need it.

  5. I’m going to have to agree with Newman regarding his assessment of Crosby.Everything was given to him on a silver platter since Day 1, and as talented as he is, he expects everything to go his way. His “sticking up” for his teammates is nothing like what Iginla and Lecavalier do to lead their teams. Crosby takes advantage of people like in the Atlanta incident and his fight with McLean of Flordia, who he jumped right off the faceoff. Crosby is a gutless puke.

  6. Why does no writer bring up the fact that the whole reason Orr went after Crosby in the first place was because Crosby delivered a viscious two handed slash to Betts’ wrist? Announcers and sportwriters want to pretend that it was Orr just gooning it up when in fact Crosby started everything. If he wasn’t such a vagina then Goddard doesn’t have to step in.

  7. The players need to police themselves. Orr/Goddard don’t do anything on the offensive side of the game, but they need to send a message with their fists.

  8. While on the subject, does anyone else think that the NYR don’t stick up for Hank enough? I mean the guy gets pushed, bumped, sometimes even run, and nary a D-man or anyone else hits anyone. The biggest event in this department lately was our tough guy Zherdev knocking Bissonnette on his ass the other night.

  9. I agree with some that fighting cant go away, because some players a kept in check by someone who can fight. HOWEVER I tihnk you can “get by” with guys like Dubi,Mara, or a guy like Shanahan,or Foote back in the day, guys who can play but will drop th gloves. Guys like Orr only have thier place because the teams want them to. If the NHL made it harder for those goons to fight they wouldnt be needed. Orrs’ spot would be better filled by a more skilled guy, and it would make guys who could play AND fight that more valuble…players who start off fighting early would have insentive to work on their game alot more during junior hockey days, I tihnk some players have missed out on their natural abilities because they are good fighters, so they just make it on their fighting alone. I tihnk there should be changes, but fighting should NOT go away totally.

  10. “While on the subject, does anyone else think that the NYR don’t stick up for Hank enough?”

    Isn’t that how Richter’s career ended once Beuky left?

  11. A lot of the drop of the puck fights are boiled over from previous meetings. It’s been brought up already, that Orr has roughed up Crosby (which was deserved), so being the teammate that he is, Goddard stuck up for Crosby. There’s nothing wrong with this in my book.

    The issue with fighting is the instigator penalty, not the fighting itself. Get rid of that stupid penalty.

  12. It would be better not having to worry about fighting so we wouldn’t have to give Colton Orr a spot on the team? Not have Colton Orr take up cap space? Seriously? This guy is literally probably one of 4 or 5 entertaining players to watch on this team right now. Yeah we’re not having a bad season, but this team’s style could single-handedly solve insomnia.
    You don’t have to agree with fighting, or you can say it’s useless to fight off the drop or whatever but lets get it straight here; it’s entertaining either way. I would think a league like the NHL would cater more towards facets which provide entertainment value to ANYONE at all at this point. Lets face it, the NHL is a mainstream household joke outside of a comparatively small fan group. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to fight on the opening drop but none of us are down on that bench or knows how players react to it. I see it as a jump-start and a reason to look over at the TV while you’re on the couch looking to find the perfect place to put your left hand.

  13. Going to have to disagree for a very simple reason, I enjoy watching a good hockey fight. I don’t think it hurts the game in any way and to me it has the same appeal as a big hit, a great save or even a sweet goal. Doesn’t bother me in the least so I say let em drop the gloves. As far as the drop of the puck fight, better to have it then rather than during a big spot in the game. Its a sideshow lots of fans really enjoy.

  14. Goons like LaCrackrock who drop the gloves just to do it are lame (plus he usually ends up tackling you–REALLY intimidating).

    Orr usually owns Goddard and they have history so I liked that they got it out of the way at neutral ice.

    “I love it when a guy like Crosby is tough enough to stick up for himself, or Jarome Iginla, or Lecavalier.”

    Crosby tough enough to stick up for himself? Seriously? Last two ‘fights’ he was in 1 he tried to fist the dude and was the third man in and 2 didn’t even let the guy GET HIS GLOVES OFF AND PULLED HIS SHIRT OVER HIS HEAD LIKE A PANSY.

    Iginla and VinnyLC are tough fighters, Crysob is not.

  15. Newman, I can’t disagree with anything you say except this: Lemieux was one of the ALL-TIME divers. One of the greatest ever.
    And I’m not in favor of abolishing fighting, and I certainly agree that part of the reason players don’t taunt and showboat and dance is that there will be retribution.
    I just think, sometimes, it’s just stupid that two fighters go out and fight for no reason whatsoever.

  16. Zhervalev…I thought Ricky’s career ended early from a few too many pucks to the head. I mean he caught a few ridiculous slappers to his facemask in short time. I am less convinced it was cuz he got run.

  17. And I love Colton Orr. You know if you screw around you have to answer to him. (Too bad they don’t have a superstar to protect though LOL!) HE is intimidating which is what the enforcer is payed to do. And he can get under players’ skin a la Crosby. It’s not like he’s taking up over a million dollars like LaRaque.

    Plus, he can probably play D better than Redden if you want to talk about CAP SPACE!!!!

  18. onecupin67years on

    I don’t now how today’s player’s really feel towards each other, but in the old days it was common place for the players to have long standing feuds and avoid the opposition.
    Today its different, players share the same agents (girl friends) , college teams, olympic sqds. , charities ,etc.

    But I don’t like fighting right off the face off unless there’s a history to it.
    I don’t think the pitts ny game of a couple weeks ago warranted a fight off the opening face off, I would’ve preferred some sparing , either way Orr got his ass kicked like he usually does.But ,like a junkyard dog he comes back for more.

    The Rangers have had some good tough guys some with skills other than fighting, Hadfield , Vickers, Bathgate, Buekaboom,Hodspodar, Domi, Kocur to name few.

  19. The opening faceoff fights are a joke. They seem staged and serve no purpose. I the heat of a game, a fight breaks out, I’m all for it. There is a place for fighting in hockey, but not on the opening faceoff. I hate so say it but it feels like the WWE when that happens.

  20. Carp,
    First of all…Welcome on board I look forward to reading your inputs daily.
    Second, I agree that these “prearranged” fights are totally useless. In this case Godard got in the last shot and it dropped Orr to his knees. I instantly thought it was a good way for Godard to instantly get the crowd going…its a 50/50 gamble, if Orr wins the Rangers are pumped and the crowd has nothing to cheer for 3 seconds in…however if Godard wins, like he did IMO, then the crowd is instantly in the game.
    As a whole I’d rather see the fights occur in the ebb and flow of a game, esp. when the emotions rise…they are always the best scraps.

  21. onecup,
    your either blind or stupid or just don’t watch the team often enough…Orr rarely gets it handed to him.

  22. ” either way Orr got his ass kicked like he usually does.”

    That fight was a tie and WTF are you talking about ‘usually does’? Do you close your eyes and covery our ears like a nancy boy whenever someone fights?

  23. Fights that result from game play are fine but squaring off at the opening face off is a joke. Is the NHL hockey or boxing?

  24. These fights off the face offs between tough guys are 100 times better than a guy like Crosby jumping an unsuspecting guy right off of the face off. If that is what we are talking about when we say that Crosby sticks up for himself then we might have to revisit why we are here.

  25. onecupin67years
    January 30th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    The Rangers have had some good tough guys some with skills other than fighting, Hadfield , Vickers, Bathgate, Buekaboom,Hodspodar, Domi, Kocur to name few.

    Hospodar had skills? Yeah his jaw really beat the crap out of Clark Gillies fist.
    Don’t even get me started on Buek again.

  26. Rick – I agree that you could argue the merits of Orr taking a roster and/or line up spot but there is really no cap impact as Orr makes the minimum and presumably anyone else in that spot would make that or more.

    On a different topic, for anyone who watched Tuesday’s game – what did they show/say about Voros? At the game I noticed he was in some Carolina player’s face after every shift.

    Before going further – yes, if I were coaching I would probably play Prucha or Korpikoski ahead of Voros.

    That said, neither of those two players is going to irritate the opposition like Voros. We all enjoyed Avery getting under people’s skin (albeit he was more effective on the scoresheet). Curious to see if people think that component of an “agitator” role is needed on the team?

  27. onecupin67years on

    Hodspodar’s name was included name was included as a fighter note the term”some with skills” draw your own conclusion.

    and Staal wart don’t get personal, I’ve seen Orr take more shots in the kisser than he gives , he’s the one who was on his ass.

  28. I am all for fighting in hockey, form an enforcing standpoint. Sticking up for your teammates and letting the other team know you wont be pushed around. That is just part of the game.

    But this staged buffoonery is completely worthless.

    When watching them line up the other night, I said to my wife. “This is so stupid… these guys are gonna fight right hwne the puck drops. what a waste of time.”

    My wife then asked “How do you know they are going to fight?”

    Me: “Just watch… these guys always fight each other and are both on the ice for the opening face off. There is no way they wont go at it.”

    Sure enough… they did. and I was disgusted.

  29. Sorry you hate great fighters, onecup. Would you rather have a guy that tackles opponents and avoids fists at all costs?

  30. Ilya Kovalchuk on

    The biggest problem I have with fighting in hockey is when someone makes a big, CLEAN hit, and then gets jumped by someone. Now they need to fight and sit for 5 minutes, when they never wanted to fight in the first place, they’re just playing the game. The league has the instigator rule, this is where it should be used. If someone makes a clean hit on a player, and they get jumped by an opposing teammate, then the 3rd man should get an extra 2 minutes, or better yet, no 5 minutes to the player jumped. If someone takes a run at someone on your team and makes a dirty hit, fine, beat his ass. But ALL players, regardless of level of skill, have an obligation to keep your head up and expect to be hit. This is hockey, not golf

  31. It’s too bad that the fights are the most exciting moments in most Ranger games nowadays.

    Dump the puck in, go for a change, spend the rest of shift clearing your zone, dump puck in, change lines…..zzzz.

  32. that’s nice, now i know not to come read this crap anymore. How can you say wouldn’t it be nice not to have a guy like orr on the roster. Fighting is part of the game and always will be. Even DET called up downey and has a heavy. The fight off the draw set a tone and from reading your blog your suggesting crosby fight orr? as much as i hate crosby he gets paid 9 million a year, his job is not to fight guys twice his size.

  33. Beer Me! January 30th, 2009 at 8:45 am
    “cccp – I still don’t get your comments. They don’t make any sense to me. I think it’s better to just not communicate with each other. Enjoy the rest of the season.”


    Beer Me! It’s ok… I am not surprised that any comments made toward Tom Renney don’t make much sense to you. Enjoy the rest of the season.

  34. onecup…you are entitled to your opinion about fighting and stuff. but Orr is in the top 3 in the league at fighting. you are just 100% wrong in him losing fights. the fight against godard was a draw with godard winning the final stages with that punch and orr carrying the first half with a big punch of his own. your opinion is fine, but don’t blur the facts to coordinate with your opinion.

    orr has owned godard this season. they have fought at least 2x prior and maybe 3 this season alone, aside from when he was an islander.

    remember when orr knocked fedoruk out? i was there. the whole arena gasped “ohh” at the same time and the flyers were beaten then. i think the rangers won like 6-2 that night. so don’t talk BS that he loses more than he wins. that is just 100% incorrect.

    and you throwing in hospadar as a guy with talent is 100% incorrect. actually orr would skate circles around hospo.

    please don’t try and back your opinion with BS facts that are just not true.

    while i am on the subject of discrediting you, you wrote: “But I don’t like fighting right off the face off unless there’s a history to it.”

    umm, have you seen the godard / orr this year? did you see the 3-0 game when godard wouldn’t fight orr? there is no history between the pens and the nyr and godard and orr and crosby? what about when godard was an islander? yeah, no history at all. educate yourself onecup instead of pontificating to everyone.

    go read bernstein’s “the code” before you opine that you are knowledgeable about fighting and respect in the league, including fighting on the opening faceoff.

  35. The knee to the side of the head ended his career. The broken skull and severe concussion is what started the problem. If you recall, the knee to the head was a relatively minor bump, and yet he still suffered a concussion, and that is what made it clear to Richter and his doctors that he had to retire.

  36. doodie machetto on

    “Isn’t that how Richter’s career ended once Beuky left?”

    Nope, slapshot.

    But his injuries started when he did a split and his foot planted against the post, destroying his knee. The Rangers pregame intro last year or the year before included a replay of that exact play. You can even see him keel over after it hits the post. I never understood why they included it.

  37. I like how Carp chimes in on the conversation via posts, instead of responding via the blog; makes it a bit more personal. For all his greatness, I think that’s something Sam didn’t do enough.

    The Rangers are a highly penalized team, and you don’t need to look at stats to see it. We don’t really have a home ice officiating advantage like the Canadians or Penguins. Can’t remember the last time we got a call in the Forum.

    Anywho, I’d like to a little more battle in front of the crease, especially after whistles. But, I think you don’t see it as much with the Rangers “sticking up for Hank” b/c they’re a bit gun shy.

    Undoubtedly, we would get multiple roughing calls a day for clearing guys out after the whislte.

  38. old time hockey!.. It’s just too bad Orr isnt a step or two faster – he does put in a strong good effort on his shifts…

    the “power forward” is such an imoprtant part of the success and identity of a team .. when they had 1 or 2, in Graves/Messier we he had success and inherent team toughness (Kocur helped). Also the stand up D-man with a shot – not a Redden, who lacks both…

  39. You are really lumping Crosby together with Iggy and Lecavalier as guys you respect for fighting? The same Crosby who should’ve been suspended for his nut punch as the third man in recently? The same Crosby who jumped a Panthers centerman off a faceoff before the puck even hit the ice recently? Don’t disrespect Iggy and Lecavalier like that.

  40. You fight, you’re out of the game. Period. No fine, no suspension. Goons who get 3 shifts a game can fight each other and not effect the teams game plan. They can do it at the drop or with a minute left in a game.

    The non goons can fight any time they want if they feel the need but with the repurcussion that they’ll be watching the rest of the game on the monitor in the lockerroom.

  41. No, I don’t lump him together with Iggy and Lecavalier. I just know that I’ve seen him drop the gloves. I probably shouldn’t have used him as an example, though. You’re right.

  42. Rick Carpiniello,
    What do you like to be called ? Rick, Ricky, Carp, Mr Carpiniello, not Sam ?
    As for the Super Bowl – GO BIG RED ! (gotta support my local team)

  43. doodie machetto on

    Carp, you should put the faceoff blog as the link in your name when you post.

    Any word on Callahan’s recovery or whether his “flu” has spread to other members of the team?

  44. Costanza — if you look at the championship team, there were plenty of guys who could play and be tough: Graves, Messier, Anderson, Beuk, Lowe, Wells, Matteau, Tikkanen, MacTavish, obviously Kocur and Kypreos. How many are there today?

  45. yea rick calling crosby tough will not win you many fans here, just a heads up. also, repost from yesterday but who do you think will be gone next and for whom?

  46. Fischler's Ghost on

    I think one thing often overlooked in this discussion is the improvement of Orr as a player. Is he going to score 20 goals (or even 20 points) ever? No way. But every year he’s been on the Rangers he’s improved and noticeably. I certainly appreciate the hard work and time he and the coaching staff have put in. He hasn’t rested on his laurels of just being the “fighter” he’s tried to make himself better.

    As for fighting, I agree with all the points made about the lack of “look at me” mentality that is so rampant in other sports. If hockey loses fighting, that mentality starts to take over and then it’s curtains.

    Fighting in hockey is like the high, inside fastball in baseball (at least before MLB came up with bench warnings).

  47. agreed.. Dubi was getting there for us, but went a little sideways – he is still young … there are guys out there (Lacav, (Joe) Thornton, Brendon Morrow) I like Lucic on Boston.

    ..the best case is when your top line players are tough/gritty, as it carries through out the rest team, but there is also room for someone to drop the gloves (Orr/Kocur/Langdon-type).. I wouldnt McTav, Esa, Noonan, or Graves standing up to a Dave Brown back then, after he ran Tikkanen.. that was a well-constructed team… although, I always thought Gartner should have been there over Anderson.

  48. Guys who can play and be tough:
    Girardi, Staal, Dubi, Cally.

    The problem is that these guys either don’t do it enough, like Staal and Girardi. Every once and a while they’ll lay down a great hit, but I definitley think they could hit more and be tougher around the net. How many times do we see the other teams offensemen in front of Hank and get nothing. No face wash at the whistle, no cross check, etc.
    And on the other side, you’ve got Cally and Dubi who act physical, but aren’t big/strong enough to be enough of a threat to the opposition.

    You’ve also got guys like Betts, Shoes, and Voros who have size, but don’t come close to being truly “physical.”

    I love seeing Zhervale….Zherdev step in and go at it like he has lately.

  49. Zherdev taking a run at the Penguin in front of the net last game was BY FAR the highlight of the game for me..Mara has played tougher this year, even if he is only doing it for a contract, he has gained my respect – in my opinion, he been the most consistent skater this year.

  50. Zherdev’s play was clean, too, and needed to be made. That’s how you keep pucks out of your net.
    I should have mentioned Thornton, too. I remember Shanahan fighting Brashear and Messier fighting McSorley. That stuff shouldn’t have to happen.

  51. Carp – Sorry I missed your list before.. Iggy has become one of nmy favorite players since I got the NHL Center ice package – he is pretty awesome in all phases of the game – (Getzlaf is another)

    I think Sather’s masterful drafting slotted Hugh Jesiman as that power forward of the future – worked out well.. now, there is no one in Hartford that has that type of ability (Mitch Gaulton was a late rd draft pick this yr and may be one to watch)

  52. Peter, just pulled in both Jones Beaches via LiveNation after 2.5 hours of torture. So pumped. I feel like I conquered a giant evil monster. Also got Camden, and will be trying for Great Woods tomorrow.

    Carp we’ve tried to keep it relatively family friendly here but over the years it always seems to come back to “masking” words. I’ll try to do a better job of it. What starts to make this blog fun is when people get creative in how they say things.

  53. “Wouldn’t it be nice if the Rangers didn’t need a Colton Orr taking up cap and roster and lineup space?” – This comment was such a turn off that I didn’t even want to take the time to finish reading the rest of what you had to say.

    – There are other players on this team that are taking up more cap space and more useless than Orr.

    – Orr and the entire 4th line have improved on a consistent basis more so than another player or line.

    – Fighting is a part of hockey and it’s what got me into hockey. It keeps the game interesting, as long as no one is hurt badly or intentionally.

    I totally agree with what Fischler’s Ghost & New Newman wrote.

    In the day or so that you’ve been back, you are not winning any points. Especially by praising Crosby! :(

  54. Do you want me to just agree with everybody? I didn’t praise Crosby. And I meant, fairly clearly I thought, that the Rangers might be better off with another player — say Prucha — in the lineup instead of Orr. Granted, in his case, Orr doesn’t cause a cap problem.

  55. Carp,

    Great topic and fighting is the single most taintizling part of a hockey game…everyone is always on their feet cheering like crazy.

    I love it and if it was abloshed..I would quit watching.

    Orr, Neil and Avery with Reitz would make us a lot more diffcult to play and would enhance our chances of a deeper cup run.

  56. fights between goons are the result of the GM and coach making it possible.

    what I mean is that the GM puts Orr on the roster, and the coach puts him on the ice. the same with Godard.

    Renney as the road coach has to post his lineup first. HE chose to ignore the skill guys on his roster and start Orr.

    the person most responsible for that fight, Carp, is Renney.

  57. I don’t disagree, Jack. But I think it was a fairly useless tactic in terms of what it meant to the game. It meant nothing. The Rangers played fine the first two periods, no thanks to Orr’s fight. They played dreadfully in the third, no thanks to Orr’s fight. It didn’t stop anybody from hitting anybody else, or prevent or cause anything that happened in the next 59:53.

  58. “I just want to get some of your feelings on these types of fights, though. The drop-of-the-puck fight, and the “just because we’re both on the ice at the same time” fight. Aren’t they pretty useless.”

    Fighting is an important part of the game, and should remain so. The drop of the puck fight doesn’t happen too much, and when it does there is usually good reason fo it.

    Take a step back quite a few years to the days when the Rangers/Islanders actually had a rivalry. I believe it was around the early 90’s or so. The Rangers knocked the Isles out of the playoffs that season. During the game they also knocked all-star Pat LaFontiane silly with a vicious open ice hit delivered by James Patrick. The Isles responded by sending Vukota/Baumgartner/Nylund out there to respond. Of course the Jeff Bloemberg incident as it is now known happened. The Isles basically had thier way with the Rangers at the end of the game, and the Rangers at the time didn’t have the tough guys to respond to it.

    Now at this point in time, the rivalry was heated. It was talked about all over the place…ESPN, MSG, every paper in the area had it. Hockey was on the map!

    Back to the incident itself, the Rangers won the series, but were deflated after that incident. They ultimately lost in the playoffs, and the players in the room circled the date on the calendar for the next matchup. But this time they werent going into it with the overaged Chris Nilan, the undersized Kris King, and the born again Jeff Bloemberg! This thime they had Joey Kocur, who arguably at the time was one of the best enforcers in the game. The result, Kocur, and Baumgartner met at center ice on the opening faceoff. Kocur delivered the victory in the brawl, and it set the tone for what was a great game. It wasen’t just two mindless goons on the ice…It was two players that rose to the occasion, sparked both of thier clubs, and continued what at the time was among the best rivalries in sports!

    In the new NHL it is much tougher for these guys to do thier thing. Players have to be players first, and if they can fight, they truly have to pick thier way throug antagonistic visor wearing pests, that specialize in goading enforcers into taking penalties after they try and respond for a cheap shot, or what have you. The league took a lot of honor out of the pugilistic side of the game, and that is unfortunate.

    It is much better to watch a sport where players are held accountable for thier actions on the ice by the players that actually play the game. Not the zebra’s…or ultimately the guys behind the scenes led by commish Gary I-have-never-played-a-game-in-my-life Bettman.

    To me, not only should fighting remain in hockey, but the instigator should also be ammended and more lenient.

  59. but from the Pens perspective, it was a howling success, Carp.

    the previous 2 times, Orr had taken liberties with Crosby, and Godard had been beaten by Orr.

    this time, Godard defeated Orr, Orr never bothered Crosby, and Crosby was able to get 4 points and lead his team to a big win over the Rangers.

    so, for the Pens, in their mind, that fight was a game changer

  60. I gotta disagree with you here bro when you take out the Colton Orr’s of the world(this is also a guy who can play the game and contribute to his team in a positive way when he is not fighting) it will make the game even more of a toned down game and teams will have no control over cheap shots and stick can’t let the league and officials say to players ” bad bad go to the box now” need to take care of things on the ice amoung the players and thats something that I pray to God stays in the NHL as long as I live. Godard and Orr had a history, Godard did his job for his team the way it should be done and nobody respected that more than all of the players on the ice as well as the NHL fans. Thats the way it should always be

  61. Dont get me wrong, I love the fights. However, I think the league needs to clean itself up before something disastrous happens. The league would be that much more exciting if each team, instead of a goon, had a skill player.

  62. what I do agree on, is that fights should happen spontaneously from play, not from pre-arranged talking before a faceoff.

    that could be stopped by the ref simply giving 10 min misconduct penalties to guys who are obviously using the pre-faceoff waiting to arrange a bout.

    I like fighting, but I want it to come from something that happens during play, not from chirping during stoppages.

  63. Jack, thank you for so eloquently saying what I’ve been trying to say all day.

    Joey, what you are saying, I think, is that fights help keep the sticks and cheap shots down. I agree with that. I just don’t think they need goon vs. goon for no reason at all. I know, I’ve said that over and over, and I promise I won’t say it again. See Jack Dempsey’s remark above.

  64. Dear Rick,

    As a woman fan, I have to say that I enjoy a good fight as much as the guys, maybe more. While it may have seemed silly for Orr and Godard to go right off the face off, there was bad blood and precedent.

    Fat chance you’d ever get a sissy Mary like Cindy Crosby to man up and fight Marquis of Queensbury rules. He and Malkin would rather slap opponents.

    If fighting is to stay in the league, there should be a code. Drop the gloves, the helmuts with and without visors and put up your dukes! Perfect example was when Shanny the Ranger took on Brashear. It was like “The Quiet Man”. That said, I prefer to see extemporaneous, passion filled fights rather then prearranged grudges.

    Without players like Colton Orr and Ryan Callahan, the Rangers are a Charmin soft team. If every player on the Rangers manned up and had taken the body and hit Cindy and his Marys every time they touched the puck, the Rangers might not have lost on Wednesday.

    I’ll shut up now.:)

  65. Orr broke Goddard’s nose a few years back when he was on the Isles. I even made a sig out of that punch. I think they really just hate each other. Thus, they fight. Profound, I know.

  66. For the first time in my life I agree with Muckler. It really is to bad. Orr gets valuable minutes first of all. Try paying attention to the team you cover. Second, the crowd doesn’t seem to mind Orr. Third, this used to be a good place to come and read info on the Rangers. It is a shame, isn’t it Muckler? Best answer to a question I ever heard from him.

  67. OK I am one of the biggest supporters of fighting and I have yet to comment here: First off fighting will never be banned from hockey. It serves a useful purpose in the game, and it has always been a big part of the game especially back in the old days. What we need more of is not less fighting, but more fighting. We need more of what we had in the old days. A lot of that hatred and intimidation and rough stuff isn’t there the way it used to be, and trust me, I don’t want any hooking and high sticks and head shots, but not only have we lost that, but we have lost a lot of the toughness element. Anyway, guys like Orr serve a purpose and always will. Orr brings a lot to this team which is part of why he has not been a healthy scratch ever this year. There is a reason why many successful teams have one enforcer if not more. Look at the best team in hockey this year…And about fighting in general: fighting makes hockey safer, when someone hits a skill guy or throws a dirty check he is going to get pounded. Also, let’s be honest, everyone stands for a fight and it is at times the loudest point during a game. Finally, not only would the NHL lose fans from banning fighting, it will gain none. What the NHL should do is eliminate the instigator penalty and disallow players from fighting with shields.

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