An old war story


Just because the events of Thursday night jogged my memory:

You older (older?) guys and gals might remember the 1990 line brawl with the Islanders with two seconds left in the game, in retribution for Pat LaFontaine being knocked out cold by a clean shoulder hit from James Patrick (who certainly was never anything close to a dirty player).

Those who do, no doubt recall Mick Vukota, fake tough guy, right off a faceoff in the final seconds, not bothering with one of the Rangers’ tough guys on the ice, like Chris Nilan or Mark Janssens, but going straight for Jeff Bloemberg, who not only wasn’t a tough guy, he was a born-again Christian who didn’t believe in fighting. Bloemberg didn’t even fight to defend himself. He simply tried to hang on while he was pummeled, and while the officials had their hands full with all the other four fights going on.

I remember a side note to that melee.

Janssens — who was a big, tough kid; pretty good fighter, would fight anybody and do OK — got paired with Bryan Trottier because they had taken the faceoff. Trottier was the only non-fighter on the ice for the Islanders.

Janssens didn’t know what to do. He had too much respect for Trottier, the game, and himself, to pound the Hall of Famer. He surely could have, and it would have been understandable given what was going on around him. And surely Trottier was strong and tough enough to defend himself to a degree. But Janssens didn’t. He did the right thing and just wrestled around with Trottier.

Janssens and I discussed that after the fact. He wasn’t sure if he should have taken advantage of the situation. But I think in his mind he did the right thing, because he respected the game. He respected Trottier. He respected himself.


A side note: I think it was another earlier that season with the Islanders. Troy Mallette was on the Rangers bench trying go go over the boards. Roger Neilson had a hold of him by the back of his pants, hollering at him to stay. Neilson told me that Mallette could be heard whimpering like a little puppy that had to “go” outside. That’s how badly he wanted to leave the bench.


Reader LW3H noted last night, and I looked it up, that Dan Girardi received an instigator, fighting and misconduct penalty when he fought Mike Richards in Philadelphia last March 15, coming to the protection of Nik Zherdev. That was a 0-0 game at the time. The Rangers killed the penalty and won 4-1.

Now, granted, Richards isn’t that peabrain, neanderthal Daniel Carcillo, but let’s give Girardi some credit for that, and some slack for the other night. He had a split-second to make a decision, thought too much, and made the wrong one, instead of going on instinct. He knew he made the wrong decision, and he said so afterward. He said in the same circumstance, the next time he will jump in.

I don’t think it’s fair that we question his manliness to the degree we have since Thursday night. He made a bad decision. And Gaborik, fortunately, wasn’t hurt or bothered by the whole thing at all.

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  1. boo yaa! and the twitter link didnt work!

    im hopeful that after tonight we can put the flyer game behind us. hopefully some moves are made to bring in a crease clearing physical d-man soon.

    lets go rangers!

  2. NYRGuy says Girardi is a Joke on

    You can almost see it coming that Girardi is going to play his most physical game of the year tonight

  3. Well done Carp… nice post!

    Let’s hope tonight the boys bounce back and have a good game up there!


  4. nice Troy Mallette story…here’s mine:
    when i got married we went to Montreal for our honeymoon, and we even went to a game, first preseason game of 2000. troy mallette was on Montreal then. he ended up getting suspended after that game because during a fight, he took off his helmet and swung it by the strap at the other guy

    lmao, good times for sure…the crowd was a sellout for this first ps game and they were going absolutely nuts!

  5. Carp,
    I was @ that Isles game with Ken Baugartner going after Kris King I think, all I was thinking about what a gutless more by Al Arbor, but the NYR again put themselves in that postion being @ home. Then I was at a game when Patrick murdered Flyers Dave Poulan and thought no wonder the Isles didn’t mess with him

  6. Isles got payback a couple of years later when PJ stock and Dan Cloutier destroyed the isles in long island, with Danny boy getting tired of hitting Tommy Salo and calls out the entire Isles bench. lol

  7. herberg, i posted a link to that incident above. actually, Neilson made a change and put Nilan and King on the ice. He wasn’t expecting Vukota, the fraud, to go after Bloemberg.

    Also, that Patrick-Poulin fight (three rounds) was in that classic 500-plus penalty minute preseason game against Keenan’s Flyers. It would have been a record if it was a regular-season game. Two quick memories from that: Every player in that game made the team out of training camp for rookie coach Ted Sator. And the Flyers got a two-many-men penalty late in the game, even though they only had like three guys left on the bench.

  8. Carp- Speaking of old war stories do you remember if there was ever any retribution on Stu Grimson after he spent just about an entire season abusing Gretzky that year? I remember 99 actually dropping his gloves on one occassion because of the lack of protection that team gave him. and THAT team boasted names like Langdon, Samuelsson, and Beuk. But did anyone ever get to him? I just can’t remember at this point.

  9. I guess out of respect for your comments carp I will go back to my simple name lol

    But I’m still booing him Monday night!

  10. Tony, quick story from that game: I had done several hundred consecutive Rangers games, but I had to fly to Chicago that day (it was a Saturday matinee) in order to get the cheap fare with the Saturday stay-over. So somebody else covered that game, and I was in the air and didn’t even see the fight until much later.

  11. thanksk for that Tony! Cloutier… just outstanding how he flew in out of nowhere and just destroyed the still wearing his mask Salo!

  12. James, I don’t remember that very clearly. I think every time somebody went after Grimson, they got pounded by the Grim Reaper.

  13. I’m sorry Carp, you are absolutely wrong about Janssens here.

    I would normally not condone a tough player taking advantage of a skilled non-fighter. But, because Bloemberg was getting taken advantage of by Vukota at that time, Janssens should have done the same to Trottier to send a message to the Isles that this kind of thing would not be tolerated and would not go unpunished. I would not condone Janssens taking advantage of Trottier normally–but in this situation, you have to retaliate in order to protect your teammates the NEXT time.

    Similarly, the Rangers should have gone after Briere the other night instead of, or in addition to going after Carcillo. What does Carcillo care if he gets into an additional fight?? Avery fighting him is not going to prevent him from taking advantage of Gaborik the next time. BUT, the Rangers going after Briere would make Carcillo think twice. That’s the difference.

    Janssen’s inaction was just indicative of the Rangers’ decades-long culture of being weak, unagressive, and easily taken advantage of. I don’t know if it is a result of the Rangers always having a lot of highly-paid free agents who rarely play together very long, or never having an underdog mentality, or what . . . but it’s a new year and the same story with this team.

  14. Can anybody confirm what channel the game is on tonight? I went to set my DVR, and according to the channel listings, MSG is showing the Isles-Devils game. The Isles-Devils are also listed on MSG+. They really aren’t showing both the home/away feeds on both of these channels are they? Are the Rangers on MSG2? I hope not, because that isn’t HD for me!!

    Aaaarrrrghhhh!!!! Who cares about the Isles-Devils!?!?!?!?

  15. no slack for diaper dan and most of his soft teammates and coach. they have let their goalie get run over way too many times this season with no retaliation. i rest my case.

  16. LI – Thanks! Duh, how could I forget that?!? Carp has been ragging on those commercials for it all week!!

  17. Orr – you’re not a booer?! If I was going to pick anyone on here that would be one, I’d have guessed you. Consider the illusion shattered…

  18. Carp,
    IMHO,This all things about Girardi is not even about his ability, but his READYNESS (mental state of mind), as well as other teammates on the ice any given time, when things like that happens.(or lack of it). That’s what is deeply embarrassing and even insulting for fans , I think.
    It’s all about preparedness and spirit before the game and this part, as we all know, could win (or lose), given other components(talent, skills) about the same or even less. What really surprised me this season is that it seems to become worse under Torts, I thought with him on board, team will be much stronger in spirit and noble anger department, if nothing else. Wrong…Obviously person’s qualities not necessarily turns to collective psyche.

  19. kph, at the time I thought he probably should have droppped Trottier, all things considered. But Janssens is a quality person who respects the game, and don’t anybody dare question his toughness.

    The other points about Briere, etc., we’ve discussed to death the last two days.

    4ever, I agree.

  20. Good hockey afternoon everyone!

    I know I’m going to get flack for this but here it’s goes. I don’t care what happened last season. This is a new season and this team has a world class player who should be protected at all costs. As well as Lundqvist. I’m glad Girardi stood up for Zherdev, he certainly didn’t stand up for Gaborik. How does the thought cross your mind to stick up for your teammate let alone star player?! It should be an instinct. There’s been an ugly trend with this team when it comes sticking up for each other, taking liberties, running the franchise goalie. It’s been going on since Jagr came here… Yes they had Orr during those times… But it still happened. Jagr was hammered during game at times and no one did anything. It would NEVER happen to Cindy on the Pens & it certainly wouldn’t happen to Ovechkin – we saw an example of that recently. So why should it happen to Gaborik & Lundqvist?

  21. Carp, I know it’s in your nature to give the benefit of the doubt, but if you take a look at the picture on my blog. There wasn’t a split second. I don’t know if this guy was stuck in neutral or is just neutered. I don’t care what the excuse is, you come to an aid of a friend and teammate. if you don’t it speaks volumes about you.

  22. Hey, I agree that Girardi needed to step in there. Make that jump in. I’ve said it from the moment it happened (check the threads). I agree. I agree.

    But I’m saying that it’s a bad decision more than a lack of manhood. It’s a wrong thought process rather than a question of courage. It’s a mistake, not a wimp-out. He firetrucked-up. He knows it.

    My point was to cut him some slack on the manhood stuff.

  23. I am definitely with carp on this one. I am sure giradi is a ticking time bomb now and if anyone on the rangers gets bumped he’ll come flying in.

    Besides, what do we know? Maybe Gabby likes standing up for himself.

    By the way carp, can you remember a time when two players expectations were so flipped around by their performance? I mean, how many people thought Gabby was going to be a Mr. Glass this year? Not only is he scoring 29 goals a little more than half way through the season, but he’s fought too. On the flip side, Kotalik was the answer for the powerplay. Now, he is answer to the question, “who is benched tonight?”

  24. I really hope Girardi gets traded. His play has gone way downhill since last year. His just standing there while Gaborik got pummeled is absolutely unforgivable.

    We’ve seen Hank get run a lot the past 3 seasons. We need a Phaneuf, not a Girardi.

  25. gotta agree with Mouth on that one, girardi was near gabby the entire time it was going on, MDZ is the one who skated in at the end.

  26. it does un no good for guys to be ticking time bombs one game, and for the next 3 games, you don’t hear a peep from them. they need to have that simmer, that boil, as consistently as possible, and if one guy doesnt have it one game, it really would not matter if the other guys on the ice DO have it. you should play with a bit of a snarl every night, not just the game after your star gets a beating

  27. “I am definitely with carp on this one. I am sure giradi is a ticking time bomb now and if anyone on the rangers gets bumped he’ll come flying in”

    I doubt he’ll do anything. Maybe he’ll shove someone, like he always does.

    I cant wait till he gets dumped. Hopefully Slats saw what we all saw, and that was a wimp who refused to stick up for one of the tweo faces of this team. Sickening.

  28. for you tony:

    stevezipay Donald Brashear: If I played against Philly, “I don’t think Carcillo would have tried that.”

    AGrossRecord #NYRangers Donald Brashear says he’s turned away from fighting non-fighters, even if they challenge him, because it’s the right thing to do.

    AGrossRecord #NYRangers Donald Brashear says Carcillo wouldn’t have fought Gaborik had he played vs. the #Flyers on Thursday.
    40 minutes ago from web

    stevezipay More Brashear: I won’t fight non-fighters, points to incident with Dubinsky when he was a rival. “We talk about it now.”
    40 minutes ago from web

    AGrossRecord #NYRangers Donald Brashear says he doesn’t consider Carcillo to be in “his league” as a tough guy. Calls Carcillo a “showman.”
    40 minutes ago from web

  29. and there’s more

    stevezipay Brashear: “I’m not a showman” and says Carcillo not in “my league” as a fighter and shouldn’t have “teed up” a guy like Gaborik
    37 minutes ago from web

  30. I think the gretz think had to do with a running fued with svboda…I think. My fave ranger islander donny brook is the link below, i love how simon takes out two fishies, one of which looks scared as hell that he has run into simon. That 2003-2004 team is my fave rangers team along with the 94-97 rosters!

  31. Carp, you’re right. It’s almost (but not quite) when you make that stupid cross ice pass that gets intercepted and turns into a breakaway. A second after it happens you knew you shouldn’t have made that pass, but in the moment it seemed like the thing to do.

    I’ll leave Girardi alone, but when it happened it made me sick.

  32. Wow, i hate that douchebag even more.

    “I don’t fight guys out of my league”, you idiot, you don’t even fight guys IN your league.

    If he was playing, Carcillo still would have done it, and even worse he would have kicked his ass.

    This gut will say anything to get back in the lineup, cause he knows Voros is doing his job, and even more.

    If V gets taken out of the lineup for this guy, i probably wont even watch any of the games that Brash*t is in the lineup.

  33. anytime Tony. If anything else pops up, i’ll let you know! Brastrap needs his own twitter. He also said the reason he’s not playing is not due to injury but coaches decision, and the the Habs coach does not respect enforcers.

  34. also, the man our beard contest is named for will not be playing tonight due to an ‘upper body injury’

  35. his tweets are protected, hmmmmm i wonder why (if i was an evil villian like dick dastardly, i’d be rolling the ends of my rollie fingers moustache between my fingers right now)

  36. I am willing to cut Girardi some slack, but why didn’t some sort of natural instinctive agressiveness present itself. Being smart and diciplined is fine and dandy but at some point you’d think\hope raw emotion would takeover. I mean did Girardi even get in his face afterward, did he even him an earful?? He is innately passive, like most Ranger players.

    Carp- before Greg brings it up, it’s “too”-many-men jk

  37. Girardi stepped up once. Against Richards. So what? Henke gets run EVERY GAME!!!! Notice how Emery doesn’t get run? Every one of those Flyers would go apes*it if you took a run at Richards.

    Toughness needs to be TEAM toughness. Girardi isn’t the only pu**y on this team, that’s for sure. But good lord, Henke and Gabby are the FRANCHISE!!!!! He shouldn’t be thinking ANYTHING but getting involved with Carcillo. Geez, Matt Bradley should be hired as a consultant to the NYR. He didn’t hesitate to jump in for OV. That reaction should be AUTOMATIC!!! No questions asked.


  38. boxcareddiehospodar on

    Stop it with Girardi.

    What happened to gaborik never happened to gretzky, bosse, Lafleur or any other great scorer. Girardi should not even have to think about jumping in for Gaborik.

  39. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Did anyone else notice at the beginning of *Tony from AZ* link to the Rangers v. Islanders brawl?!

    *”…from Boston University, Congratulations to Chris Drury! And he obviously was a pretty good ball player too, probably had a choice as to which sport he wanted to go into, Kenny… Stock and Langon…”*

    AHH!!!! OMG! I almost crapped my pants.

  40. True Fans Bleed RW&B on


  41. I agree with you. I agree with you. I agree with you. I agree with you. I agree with you.

    How many times do I have to say it? I agree, he should have jumped right in, instinctively. Check the game thread. I said it over and over. I chided him for not hitting Carcillo twice later in the game. I agree with you.

    I’m saying he made a mistake.

    This team is soft. Ultra soft. Everybody on the ice should be jumping Asham when he runs Lundqvist, Carcillo when he grabs Gaborik … and it should be immediate. Not, “well, later on we’ll get him.” That’s asinine. So is Brashear. Carcillo still would have done that to Gaborik of Brashear was in the lineup, and then later he would have turned away from Brashear, who would either have to look like an idiot, or just pummel him and take the suspension.

  42. Toe-Wicky-Frenchchops (gabby, just get 26 more!!) on

    hey carp, i can’t resist here….do you agree? Do you think this team is soft? (payback for the “does wicky think we need some crease clearing d men” and all the carpings).

    I kid because I love!!

  43. “This team is soft. Ultra soft. Everybody on the ice should be jumping Asham when he runs Lundqvist, Carcillo when he grabs Gaborik … and it should be immediate. Not, “well, later on we’ll get him.” That’s asinine. So is Brashear. Carcillo still would have done that to Gaborik of Brashear was in the lineup, and then later he would have turned away from Brashear, who would either have to look like an idiot, or just pummel him and take the suspension.”

    Well said. I agree 100%. Team toughness is what I am looking for. Even tho I am mad at Girardi for not jumping in, I also realize that the rest of the team is wimpy too. Toughness is a team mentality. I believe the mercenary culture of the NYR has a lot to do with that.

  44. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    A little more on why Girardi immediately instigated Richards… the DAY prior, Richards finished the game boarding Sean Avery 3 minutes after a high hit towards the face of Dubi. Two days prior to that, Torterella ripped into the Rangers saying they needed to play more physical and stick up for themselves. Girardi skated AWAY from Richards 2 days ago (early 3rd period). I think Girardi was somewhat brainwashed last year charging Richards like that, which may be a sign that Torts isn’t preaching the same thing OR he’s not getting through. I think the Girardi we saw two days ago was the player that Dan Girardi now is.

    It’s interesting, Girardi more than any other player I can think of takes the personality of those around him. Remember with Tyuts, he played a solid passing and a decent breakout game. Paired with Kaspar, Girardi started hip-checking like a monster. Now, he’s as aggressive as Rozsival and as weak as Staal. Oh well.

  45. It’s Sather’s mistake, for compiling a team of players that have to “think” whether it’s appropriate to be aggressive in the game of hockey

  46. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I just emailed the link to my buddies, i still cannot believe Drury was haunting us back then. It’s like foreshadowing of an awful horror movie.

  47. True

    I said that two weeks ago that Girardi hasn’t been the same
    player when he was paired with Tyutin.

  48. Same roster tonight? Or is Brashear back to bring “toughness” and Kotalik for “scoring ability”

  49. Carp – As a fan, I’m done with Girardi. I was incensed after the game and I’m not even on the team. I’ve played the game for a long time and to me, the worst thing you can be in this sport is considered a bad teammate; the best way to get that label is to not stick up for your guys.

    What’s your read on the rest of the team re: Girardi? they give him a mulligan on this one?

  50. SL – it would be pretty hypocritical of them not to – since 90% of them would probably have done the same thing.

  51. The way I see the whole Girardi situation is that he has 2 choices; Either jump in and stop the fight or deem the game winnable and stay out of it. If you choose the latter, you have to step up your game as a team to win the game and the team did not do this.

  52. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Are you saying that because you have a personal interest in Gabby and Hank staying single? ha

  53. Carp, the Leetch/ Verbeek fight back in 1989, you remember who went nuts? Michel Bergeron, who screamed after the game ” Where were my players” (to help Leetch)!

  54. lmao! ORR just doesnt want a future wife of theirs to go Tiger Woods on them, that is all. Jeter was smart, he’s not married. wait til your playing days are over. Yea, the chick pool might dwindle cuz you’re done playing but….

  55. It’s amazing what a difference a week makes, I honestly thought this team turned a corner against Montreal last weekend. I guess it’s been too much to ask for a consistent effort from these guys (they’re only professionals….the only industry where you can be so erratic at your job and still get a raise!). Frankly this whole team needs to get gutted from the top down and start all over again. None of these guys even believe that garbage they play before the start of the game (I honor the ones who come before me, etc..)

    I just hope Torts doesn’t end up as the scapegoat because I really think this one is on the players.

  56. nakedjoe – from Carp’s post:

    Dan Girardi received an instigator, fighting and misconduct penalty when he fought Mike Richards in Philadelphia last March 15, coming to the protection of Nik Zherdev. That was a 0-0 game at the time. The Rangers killed the penalty and won 4-1.

    having your teamates back and winning are not mutually exclusive – even if your just looking at it from the shortest point of view – a single game

  57. wasnt lidster or gartner both christians too? i think they had fought before. im born again christian and i fight!!! haha. i thought only amish wouldnt fight back if someone hits them? no born again christians i know would stand there and get pummeled without fighting back. vukota sure is a wuss though knowing the guy doesnt fight even to defend himself


    I don’t know aboot that. When gay guys get it on, there’s not much you can do afterward, if ya know what i mean. I think after the honeymoon, Gabby would be skating a lot slower, and Hank would not be able to protect that five hole.

    They should wait to retire.

    Throw Voros in there, cause the three of them are virgin tight.

  59. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Gartner definitely was. In the most literal translation of the Word, “Turn the other cheek,” I could understand why he wouldn’t or why some denominations might preach complete non-violence. Obviously, Christian means ‘Christ like’ and what did he do when hit, tortured, etc… He did nothing.

  60. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    LMAO… omg Orr! I’ll take back what I said if you’ll stop thinking about Hank and Gabby in bed together!

  61. naked, you’re absolutely right though- regardless of Giradi. (Aside from Avery and Voros fighting) I was shocked by the lack of any real response and I’m not talking retaliation. You’d think if nothing else guys would be flying around and throwing the body. Nothing.

  62. sl-hammer
    Unfortunately,our team has a disease – Permanent Dizziness from temporary success, with dystrophy of will power and following premature words ejaculation from coach.

  63. Good evening all! I know I’m late to the party but….

    I hate the booing….never have, never will.

    Is Bashful serious?! I practically choked on my mouthpiece when I read those coomments.

    I am so praying for a win tonight or I’m afraid this place will go up in flames…..

  64. And yes, it is on coach – mental preparedness before game and absents of fear for mistakes from players, which lead to thinking instead of following natural hockey instincts.

  65. 4ever, I agree. they let a decent showing go to their heads and take the foot off the gas (I guess they’re consistent at that). On the plus side, the only team softer than the Rangers right now is Montreal. I’m hoping all the tough talk we’re hearing from these guys will be there on Monday when Bettman’s team comes to town.

  66. Don’t ya just love game day
    The pre-game, the beer, the excitement, the beer, the anticipation, the beer, jumping off your seat, the beer, the goals, the beer, the post game, the beer.
    I love game day !

  67. They better rip off Hubs in pieces today, literally and by score, for all our humiliation…
    I expect nothing less.

  68. …passes a beer to Tony….

    well I finally found on the blog what I was looking for! Thank God because my eyes were going INSANE!!

  69. Game Day … or any other day…….the beer

    Dying to see how the Rangers respond and I’m glad the Habs should be pumped for this one as well

  70. Keeper of the Gate, may I enter the Kingdom of the Boneheads?

    Alias = Ray Real name = Dan (no not that one)

  71. Paul, Bergeron was hilarious after the game. He called Verbeek “That little pisspot.” And he said, in his thick French accent, “Who can he beat up? His mom, probably.”

  72. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Tony from AZ
    January 23rd, 2010 at 5:29 pm
    Don’t ya just love game day
    The pre-game, the beer, the excitement, the beer, the anticipation, the beer, jumping off your seat, the beer, the goals, the beer, the post game, the beer.
    I love game day !


  73. hey carp, at the end of the brooks and torts conversation, you hear a reporter laugh at torts bus stop comment and brooks has a funny look on hs face trying to identify who laughed, any idea who that was?

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