To clarify/amend: DeBoer wasn’t 100 percent right


After further review:

I said in the game review that John Tortorella pulled the same crap in Newark earlier in the season that Pete DeBoer pulled last night, causing that staged melee at the start of the game.

Well, for the first time, I was wrong. To a degree.

In the first meeting in Newark, the Rangers started Mike Rupp, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brandon Prust, with two non-fighting defensemen.

And that’s not really the same thing. Because as the visiting team sets its starting lineup first, in putting that trio out there the Rangers were then ready in the event that DeBoer started the Ilya Kovalchuk-Zach Parise line — since Prust and Fedotenko regularly are assigned checking roles — and they were ready for rough stuff if DeBoer decided to go that way. It happened that DeBoer started his tough guys that night, too, and Rupp ended up fighting Janssen at 0:03.

So I’m recanting my blame on Tortorella. In the other two games in Newark, he did not start his tough guys.

On the other hand, DeBoer, as the visiting coach who sets the starting lineup first,  started his meatheads — and they really aren’t in Prust’s class as players whatsoever — in two Garden games and both resulted in synchronized staged fights.

So DeBoer really should shut up when he talks about Tortorella having no short-term memory or being a hypocrite. He started this one, and the Rangers had a chance to decline but instead chose to engage. And they won the fights and the game.

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  1. Sioux-per-man on

    Nice to see his team leave all the blood on the ice.

    Tort’s was Hot. But the Rangers took advantage of that, got the home crowd into the game in the first 3 seconds. Win/Win for the Rangers.

    2pts in the end. Great way to start off the week. Fight night at the Garden!!!! Float like a butterfly and sting all the D’s. This game was up there with the Thrilla in Manila!!!

  2. Rhode Island Ranger on

    No such thing as “staged” fights. There are spontaneous ones that develop from the static electricity of play and there are “strategic” ones that coaches initiate by sending out their tough guys with the implicit (or explicit) message to make it happen.

    Both kinds of battles are as old as professional hockey. The punches and psychological effects of both are real. Both can influence the personality of a game and the atmosphere in the building (which the players certainly do feed off).

    No blame necessary for Torts, DeBoer or any other coach who thinks a strategic fight at the opening draw is right for his team. But then again, the laddies and lassies at SI, ESPN, the NYTimes etc. don’t like it. Too bad.

  3. Strategic, Staged, doesn’t matter what you call them. They pretty stupid. The point of the game is to put the puck in the net. Fighting has nothing to do with that.

    It’s there so the players can police themselves. When a guy goes over the line and goes after your best player, you make him pay the price. No need to start a game with that nonsense just to “set a tone”. If I was Torts I’d be pissed too.

  4. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Jonny D:

    The word “staged” suggests they’re somehow fake. Strategic simply means the coach meant it to happen.

    I’m not a Torts fan, but I give him full marks for doing the right thing last night. He ought to have the courage of his convictions and not surrender to the PC hockey haters’ lingo and agenda when he faces the press.

    He could have started his finesse crew last night. (You would have!) Why didn’t he? Simple, it wasn’t in his team’s physical or psychological interest.

    Now he just needs to be straight with the public and stop playing games. He used fighting strategically, appropriately and well last night. No apologies or blame necessary.

  5. they’re staged, RIR. So they’re staged fights. Call them whatever you want, they are fights staged for the sake of fighting. and ultimately these staged fights are what will get fighting banned completely from the NHL.

    Take that to the bank.

  6. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    Pat Leonard ? @NYDNRangers Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Rupp said of clinching a playoff spot last night: It’s kind of bogus. We felt we were going to do it, we didn’t accomplish anything.

  7. You won a game and are in 1st! Whoo. You have one one cup since before the US entered World War II, what a proud franchise. Such an accomplishment. One in 72 years. You’re up there with the Yankees. Whatever, if calling Queenie the king or Marty fat, whatever helps you people sleep at night.

  8. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Everything about a hockey game is “staged” in your sense of the word. It’s an unnatural spectacle put on for our entertainment. It wouldn’t have developed “naturally” on 7th Ave. last night otherwise.

    I’m guessing that you and the other Mother Teresas in the press box didn’t turn your backs in protest during Torts and DeBoer’s strategic battle. And you sure haven’t boycotted the subject in print! (You’re too smart for that.)

    How many folks who were there last night are giving their season tickets away today in disgust? How many cable subscribers are terminating service because there was a strategic fight at the opening draw?

    People are killed or maimed or paralyzed in the motor sports, horse racing, football and other sports every year. We’re supposed to get in a lather about a strategic fight amongst willing combatants in a hockey game?


  9. BTW, I think Marty made the first smart comment of his career.

    “I don’t like it,” Brodeur said. “I know the fans get into it. We’re here to play. It takes 10 minutes to pick up the gloves and blood.”

  10. And I agree with what Torts did, RHR. He had no other choice. I’m just saying fights like that with clowns that shouldn’t be in the league like Janssen is what I don’t think is necessary.

    And stop assuming things based on what I say. I never said Torts should’ve put out his 1st line anyway. You just implied that.

  11. rupp is useless. big win last night. need some help from winnipeg to ruin hot dog lips homecoming tonite.

    red wings will be desperate tom. need same type of energy.

    doodie whats latest with seats

  12. Doodie Machetto on

    eric, I’m going to call the ticket rep today actually to see what we can do. I doubt we will be able to renew prior to the 26th, if at all, because unless he gives us something cheaper, my group is going to have to add people.

  13. Stanger Nation on

    Rupp is useless? – dime a dozen? Irrelevant a la Jody Shelly?

    Ask Boulton how irrelevant he is if he can hear your quesiton after Rupper tagged him in the ear hole 10x.

    He’s been on the team for one year and they are in first and clinched POs… He is our highest scoring forward playing outdoors AND from the USA. How many hockey players from Cleveland anyway?

    the man is classic as in Winter Classic – you need 4th liners who aren’t afraid to drop em, will skate through the boards to check the opponent and be a good team mate.

    rumor has it he knitted the Broadway hat over the summer…

  14. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Jonny D:

    I don’t understand your position. On the one hand you think Torts did the right thing sending out his tough guys to answer NJ’s challenge (as I do), but on the other you don’t think the Rangers should have fought Janssen!

    Please clarify what you mean by this. Sounds like a contradiction.

  15. How is that a contradiction? I’m saying DeBoer threw his goons out there. Torts had to react.

    What I’m saying is I don’t see why DeBoer even through those guys out there. It’s stupid as a waste of time. As Brodeur said, it takes 10 minutes just to clean up the blood and gloves. It doesn’t add anything to the game that says “we will protect out team”, instead it says “we just want to fight”. That’s stupid to me.

    If someone went after Kovalchuk or Parise, I could see that. But nobody did last game and clearly nothing happened this game since it was 3 seconds in.

  16. ORR – i was having dinner at a place called Yerba Buena and I HEARD Kelly Kapowski. Didn’t even have to look. Knew it was her from the voice. Tiffany Amber Thiesen. Yay.

  17. Also Brad Thiessen is legit. I happen to know the kid, nicest kid out there and I hope he does extremely well. Went to Northeastern with me. By far the best goalie we had here in years.

    He was very impressive in his two starts so far and was goalie of the month in the AHL a few months ago I believe. Kid is very good and I see him winning again tonight. I don’t want him to since it’ll help the Rangers, but I can’t say a bad thing about him since he’s just that type of person where you want to see him succeed.

  18. Brent “I Knocked DiPietro Out” Johnson has turned into the Pens version of Valiquette in his last year on the Rangers.

  19. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on


    Great Post. I agree with everything you wrote.
    (that doesn’t happen to often!)

    As far as your other comment….I an getting old and it seems I have heard talk of eliminating fighting in hockey since at least the ’74-’75 days…that’s 37 years. I am 56. I have the book “The Code”. I don’t think it is a given that fighting will be taken out of the game. It just may always be a part of pro hockey.

  20. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Jonny D:

    Thanks for explaining that you hate what DeBoer did. But presumably, he knows his team’s psychological state vis-a-vis the Rangers much better than we do. He thought it was strategically useful or necessary. But it’s a gamble and he lost this one.

    Think back to the infamous Flyers semifinal, Game 7 beat down of the talented Rangers in what, ’74? Might it not have been in the Rangers’ interest to start their toughest guys and go at it on the opening face off rather than letting the Flyers decide if or when fighting was going to be a factor? In retrospect, it sure would have been worth a try.

    I know Torts is already in hot water with the league, but he shouldn’t try to have it both ways with strategic fighting. Either it’s legit or it ain’t. Despite his PC propaganda today, he’d wisely do the very same thing with his starters if we could turn the clock back to 7:30 last night.

  21. Oh definitely. I’m just saying in general, it’s stupid because it gives useless clowns like John Scott and Cam Janssen spots on a team when there are better players in the AHL that could be more useful towards winning.

    If someone can throw down and also actually play the game (like Prust), I’m absolutely fine with that. It’s these so called “heavyweights” that I don’t see the reason for. Fighting shouldn’t keep you in the league, your ability to play the game should.

    And those are the only guys that usually engage in “staged” or “strategic” fights.

  22. They should just have Carp and Jim Corsi fight to the death while wearing inflatable sumo suits at center ice to start the game on Friday.

    Both are probably closer (sumo suit or not) to being bona fide NHLers than Cam Janssen is anyway.

  23. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Jonny D:

    I share your dislike for one-dimensional tough guys who can’t do anything else. But, the professional hockey world still thinks they’re necessary.

    Write Lou Lam a letter and explain to him rationally that it’s stupid for him to use a roster spot on Janssen. Maybe you’ll change his mind!!!

  24. Sounds like that fight would be “staged” though LW. I don’t think Carp would participate.

  25. ORR if that happened they’d show response by adding some new rules, maybe increase penalties, fines, etc. But a complete ban with a game misconduct and suspensions for repeat offenders? The NHL has done the math and fighting is in for a reason.

  26. Did you notice at MSG they replay fights right after they happen on the scoreboard? Not sure if anyone else noticed but I’ve been going for over 30 years and it seems to me this is the first year I’ve seen it done. The trend is clearly not towards discouraging fan excitement about fighting.

  27. Rhode Island Ranger on

    The Indy 500 and the NHL are just about the same age. Several dozen drivers, mechanics, spectators (and even children playing outside the track grounds!) have been killed as a result of the dangerous “staged” auto racing spectacle at The Brickyard.

    Now, it’s quiz time. How many cover stories has Sports Illustrated devoted to a call to end this bloodbath? How many Page One, above-the-fold jeremiads has the New York Times launched against this “staged” human sacrifice?

    Carp? You’re a sports journalist. How many times have the best in your business demanded that this brutality end?

  28. cccp- dude, that was an awesome match i thought i was done bro. then i look at the score, and i see i’m now facing lw3h. i looked and saw it was a win by 2 points. something like 817-815. crazy. we gotta do this again next year but have more people participate. too many people quit or didnt keep up with their team

  29. One thing that would help with the Fantasy Hockey was if you guys used Yahoo! I am way more used to its interface. Also, I just got killed in that league. 4-14 maybe?

  30. RIR, you are terribly ill informed if you think I’m one of those Mother Theresas in the pressbox. I enjoy the fights and mostly the fighters have been some of my favorite people to cover. I admire and respect what they do for a living. So don’t be a donkey with me.

    But we’ve gotten to a stage now where the guys who participate in fights for the sake of fighting are a dying breed, and are continually building the argument for the banning of fighting in the game.

    And, believe me, there are plenty of people in league HQ and on the networks’ side, etc., people who matter, who would love to see fighting out of the game. We’re closer to that than we’ve ever been. Staged fights are ammunition, and the video of last night’s idiocy — and I do think it played a large role in the outcome — will be one of those that helps their cause.

  31. Carp – thank you for the clarification. I was screaming all night last night at everything I read backing DeBoer and claiming that Tortorella did do it in NJ. I’m just happy that it worked in our favor, for a change.

  32. Carp is 100% right. Staged fights, especially when they involve mopping gallons of blood off the ice are ammunition for the people that want to take fighting out of the game. Mostly because there is almost no argument in favor of those fights. You can’t just say “but it’s awesome!” You need an argument that the fight somehow has an impact on the game.

  33. The problem with most of us, me included, is we enjoy the fights. And so we try to rationalize them, even when they are completely staged as last night’s were. “part of the game” and players “policing themselves” is all rhetoric, our way of saying we just like the fights so we hope they don’t get eliminated.

    but I assure you there are important decision-makers considering taking out the fighting, and, again, last night’s video will be on exhibit when they make their cases.

  34. Carp at the risk of sounding like that poster here who hasn’t appeared in a while, I also have people I talk to, including network owners and team mgmt (not just Rangers), and yes there are those who would like to see a movement away from fighting, but those voices are in the minority, and even they are pessimistic it will ever actually happen.

  35. Poor Matt P sounds like he’s still crying over last night. Don’t worry Matt P, the hurt will only last for a few weeks.

  36. I was of course saying zero for emphasis, I don’t think there is zero chance of anything. :) But from a bottom line perspective the NHL sees fighting as net positive and only if that changes will it get banned.

  37. There is zero chance of David Klein being an effective parent or author of a successful blog. You can count on that zero Matteau!

  38. Fighting is bush-league. An amateur-hour display. Mickey-Mouse to the core.

    Saying all that, I’d love to see Brodeur get ripped apart next time we play them.

  39. I’m not even going to give the credits for last night to the fighters, especially they didn’t fare especially well. To me the energy was 100% Tortorella. The team fed off his rage early on and used that to propel them.

  40. It is, ORR!? No way! That’s why he doesn’t care about hockey. He got to be near Cindy flipping Crawford!

  41. Rhode Island Ranger on


    There is no moral or practical difference between fisticuffs that develop in the corner right after play has been whistled and those that develop when coaches make the strategic decision to initiate them. Both kinds require willing participants. No one is conscipted off the streets into doing this against their will.

    The anti-fighting movement that you claim to oppose will not be satisfied with banning the strategic fights that we saw last night. They are using the wedge approach. So, they need you and other sports journalists to keep hammering the “staged” fighting meme until Shelly Silver delivers an incoherent 5-minute screed on the subject during a short break in crooked pork barrel rolling and terrorizes the suits on Sixth into sabotaging our game.

    More fascinating to me is the hypocrisy of the anti-fighting crowd in the media. As I suggested with my Indy fatalities example, they’re obviously not pushing this for humanitarian reasons. So what is it? My theory is that a large segment of our so-called intelligentsia is instinctively uncomfortable with athletes or anyone else enforcing a behavioral code with violence outside of the law. It’s primal male AND proto-revolutionary in the traditional American sense. It makes them nervous.

  42. I think this whole thing was “staged” by Torts to get the Rangers all worked up. The opposing team can start whomever they like, and the Rangers have to answer and they did. So what? (That was the one game where I would like to have seen Scott play. Surely there was someone out there who could have used a day off to make room)

    In Tort’s defense, though: guys like Prust fight, yes, but they take regular shifts and play all the time. It’s probably not worth the time but I wonder how many games Prust has been out there to start the game.

  43. too complicated for me, RIR. But I only know one or two media members who dislike the fights. I’m not one of them. And I truly don’t see the “hammering” to which you referred.

    The anti-fight noise is coming from the people who matter, at NHL HQ. I’m just saying that fights like last night’s fake event help their cause, not the pro-fighting cause.

  44. CARP

    Do you think that KREIDER will replace Gaborik on the first line by the time the first round is closing? Or will that only happen in the second round?

  45. Carp,

    If only you had posted my links. They contained the above information. You seriously have to stop trying to start something with me.

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, I’ve always gotten the sense that they won’t ever remove fighting outright, but will do what they can to have the game evolve the pure goon out of the game. For instance, adding the instigator rule, the game misconduct for third man in/leaving the bench, ending clutch and grab, and even removing the redline are all things that have gone toward making the 3 minutes a night enforcer not only obsolete but a liability.

    I think legislating against staged fighting would be the next step in their removal, so that the only guys left that can fight are guys who can take a regular shift, like Prust or Lucic. In fact, in that world, Lucic probably becomes the most feared player in the NHL since he would be one of the last true heavyweights.

  47. Rhode Island Ranger on


    This approach might be simpler. Among those you know in the hockey world who want to ban fighting (and ruin the sport), what seems to be their principle motivation?

    Yeah, yeah, they don’t like it. But why? Press them on it and report what you find. You’ll do a real service for the sport we love.

    We’ve seen no evidence that banning strategic or spontaneous fighting would substantially increase interest and revenues. So, the motivation must be cultural and, ultimately, psychological. Fighting in hockey makes some writerly types uncomfortable in ways that regular deaths and paralyzing injuries in other “staged” sporting events do not.

  48. Carp: Would Mark Sanchize and Tim Teblow be the worst QB tandem ever in the history of a team excluding of course The Raiders.

  49. Doodie Machetto on

    Tony, PJ Stock talked about that fight on Marek vs. Wyshynski on January 11. He had barely played that day and was eating a bunch of Bazooka Joe on the bench with Darren Langdon. He couldn’t even fit his hand in his glove because of all of the Bazooka Joes in his glove and it ended up all over the ice. Hilarious story.

    You can download it here:

    January 11, and the story starts at about 1 hour 4 minutes.

  50. Maybe we can get Carp to use the tunnel from ‘Inside John Malkovich’ except this time aim it at his residence at 4:00 AM. That would make the blog explode

  51. Great point, Doodie. And going forward they have RG I (Rex Grossman) and RG III (RG III).

  52. You guys are insane.

    Just pick any DOLPHINS tandem since Marino … that’s the worst.

  53. I think I would actually take Matt Moore over Sanchez.

    One of my favorite games to play is “Sanchez or ______” Almost always I would take the other guy.

  54. Doodie Machetto on

    Miami went out with the goal of signing a QB that was released by an AFC South team. In that endeavor, there is no denying that they were successful.

  55. Seriously, though, how awesome were the fights last night? I still can’t get over them.

  56. Why else would I come to the blog, CT? I know little to nothing about hockey, and nobody truly accepts my lunch arbitration, so I have no other purpose here.

  57. Those fights were awesome and I missed the first period. I just got to hear about them from my wife who gave me a decent play-by-play.

  58. I liked the most recent JRism, something about how he played against Brodeur and it’s hard to score against him. Genius.

  59. I think you’re comparing apples with oranges for a start, RIR, but since when are people (“writerly types” or otherwise) not uncomfortable with deaths or serious injuries in other sports?

  60. So help me baby Jesus if anyone changes *anything* about racing. Don’t care if it’s stock, Formula One, drag, that’s just un-American!

  61. Carp is absolutely right. And, you want to know why there are people in the league wanting to ban fighting? Because the league will be afraid of lawsuits from people that end up with brain mush after their playing days are over. All it takes is for a couple of law suits with the plaintiff stating that they were encouraged by their employer to engage in dangerous activity despite the physical harm and yadda, yadda, yadda and bam! Fighting is no longer allowed.

  62. Rhode Island Ranger on


    The motor sports, horse racing and football kill and maim and paralyze people every year in this country. Hockey fights aren’t even close in their violence.

    My point is simply this: How many of the media anti-fighting crowd (or Carp’s unnamed anti-fighting movers and shakers in the NHL) are crusading against these far more dangerous sports? Answer: none. The Carrie Nations in the media are phony.

    Carp ought to do the journo thing and get his shadowy NHL pacifists on the record. Why are they opposed to it? I think its the elite cultural herd instinct, not economics.

    But, the reporters will get to the bottom of it, I’m sure.

  63. Doodie Machetto on

    Orr, Conk’s in only if he isn’t claimed on waivers. I can easily see a Western team claiming him just to Conk-block the wings.

  64. Doodie Machetto on

    PS, if he gets claimed on waivers, I’m trademarking the headlines “Conk-Blocked” and “Conk-Blonked”

  65. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Cross Check:

    By that legal standard, the NFL and boxing would be out of business before the courts even heard of the NHL. Players enter into this voluntarily. The NHLPA wants hockey in the game more than the scaredy league office types do.

  66. from Gross:
    Artem Anisimov, who has missed the last two games with a sore left shoulder, said he felt “better” after practice. He did not want to provide an update on his status for tomorrow but it seems like he’ll be a game-day decision.

    I hope the “game-time decision” part is just an Andrew’s speculation since it must be complete insanity to play a non-100% guys at this point.

  67. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Cross Check:

    Sorry, the NHLPA want fighting in hockey even more than the league office does.

  68. Ignoring whether of not it’s a good analogy in the first place, you’re saying that when anyone gets killed in motor racing, nobody bats an eyelid?

    Agree that there are no doubt some people who are vocal about being against fighting when they basically have no interest in hockey in the first place. But neither is it accurate to portray anyone in or around the game who is against it as “shadowy pacifists” or some kind of “cultural elite”.

    I’m not “anti-fighting” myself, but the Don Cherry stance of “people like it, you must be a tree-hugging nancy boy if you don’t” doesn’t get us anywhere.

  69. Punches directed at opponents face minus punches directed at your own face.

    What would be the fighting Corsi between Jim Corsi and Carp? Ignore the score relative to QualComp.

  70. Rhode Island Ranger on


    I’m glad we agree that fighting belongs in professional hockey. The overwhelming majority of pro hockey fans I know share this view.

    So what exactly is this anti-fighting bogeyman inside the NHL that Carp uses to justify legislating strategic fighting out of the game? “If we don’t stop these horrible tussles at the opening faceoff, the secret anti-fighting faction will ban it entirely!” Is it one VP, a PR girly man, an Ivy League accountant?

    Let the reporters name them and press them on why they want to eliminate something that has always been part of the game and that most fans love. Then we fans can decide who’s right on this.

  71. RIH – “By that legal standard, the NFL and boxing would be out of business before the courts even heard of the NHL. Players enter into this voluntarily. ”

    Not necessarilly. There’s a difference between being injured playing the sport and being injured in a fight when the coach tells a guy to go out there and beat the hell out of someone.

    “Sorry, the NHLPA want fighting in hockey even more than the league office does.”

    And there are lawyers out there that enjoy suing big businesses for millions of dollars. It doesn’t matter what the NHLPA wants. All it takes is a couple of lawyers to sue on the players’ behalf.

  72. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Cross Check:

    I’m not a lawyer, but to me it sounds like you’re saying that any sport or organized professional activity that might lead to a voluntary participants’ injury is so legally exposed that it couldn’t defend itself against a former player that got hurt.

    As I wrote earlier, this would make all dangerous professional sports legally untenable. This does not seem to be the case. If dozens of driver, mechanic and spectator fatalities haven’t shut Indy down, Carter’s little boo-boo won’t end fighting in hockey either.

  73. JimboWoodside on

    Hey, Heads’ – wonder what kind of circus the Isles-Leaves game will be tonight in Toronto? Leaves have to be smarting after that epic whipping last night. Think there will be donnybrooks?

  74. There are a good few different degrees of wanting it in the game and thinking it belongs though.

    I’ll admit to being entertained to a point by stuff like last night, but I’d still argue there’s too much of it, mostly to justify the NHL existence of players who otherwise wouldn’t get a sniff of a job. Do I think the game would fall apart without staged/strategic fights? Nope.

    Equally, even with the more justifiable, spontaneous stuff between players who actually play hockey too, I can’t say I could put up a 100% concrete defence of its necessity in the game, if my life depended on it.

    And it would be extremely naive to not have some concern over the repercussions for “career fighters”, consenting participants or not, particularly when junior leagues have 17/18 year olds fighting tens of times a season.

  75. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Whatever happens in Toronto, I pray that the coaches and players have the human decency not to scrap or wrestle or call names until the puck is bouncing around. Cause then it’s awesome!

  76. Nor is it an issue as simple as “media/execs versus GMs/coaches/players/fans”.

    A (silent) minority it may be, but there will be and have been players who don’t think fighting should be as prevalent as it is.

  77. JimboWoodside on

    The fact is that hockey *can* be played without fighting – it’s done in international hockey every game – the question is whether the professional leagues think that their product would be acceptable to the North American fans if fighting was banned.

    I don’t think that they believe that it will be sale-able at this point. Maybe someday in the future, but not now.

  78. JimboWoodside on

    RIR, I don’t know – I’m not sure if there is existing “bad blood” between the Isles and Toronto, but I’m wondering if the Leaf players might just be looking to be “macho” in front of the home fans after that horrible blowout last night.

  79. When The Intimidator died in the crash at Daytona years back, they made a ton of adjustments and even altered the cars to make them safer. Once the studies on brain damage come out and they can link them to fighting, forget it. NHLPA would be right up there getting ready to sue the league in representation of their former clients and their families. It’s what the NFLPA did.

  80. Rhode Island Ranger on


    I appreciate your take on this. I just can’t stand the do-gooder hypocrisy and NY Times sanctimony. They can justify wars and strategic bombing of civilians, but a farm boy from Manitoba trading bare knuckle punches off the helmet with some plug from Southie is the end of the world?! Worse than absurd. Morally bankrupt.

    A little perspective. If we are concerned about violence and injuries in sports, we ought to start with the sports that kill and maim people regularly. Let hockey players and fans decide what we want in our game.

  81. I agree with everything Tortorella said about manufactured or staged fights (although I can recall numerous times, some of which occurred very recently, where he’s sent lines out there purposely to start fights). There’s no doubt that while fighting is a part of the game, however, his point that players are a bit too eager to fight now is spot-on. More often than not, most clean, hard hits prompt something resembling a fight. Primarily, I blame the league for that and their trend of turning far too much of the physical aspect of the game into infractions. Players now have an increased mentality that anything that happens to them is probably a rules violation, and thus feel they’ve been wronged beyond the normal bounds of the game. In their effort to make hockey a major commercial entity – something it’ll never be in the United States – they’ve went to lengths to “vanilla” the sport, purportedly to make it more palatable to a wide audience. Because officials throw a hand up now for stuff that wouldn’t have even raised an eyebrow in years past, the instinct of the player is that he needs to respond more aggressively because the other guy “broke the rules.” I fail to see how any of these measures have either improved the game or made it more successful. Instead I see a sport I love being slowly reduced into basketball on ice.

  82. JimboWoodside on

    Hey, ORR – I was at the supermarket the other day, and I saw a magazine cover there with one of your girls on the cover in a teeny bikini – Oooh-La-La!! Magnifico!!

  83. Doodie Machetto on

    He had 2 assists in his last games. He’s also been a -5 in the 11 games since he went there, but he’s been a -8 in his last 8 games, for whatever plus/minus is worth.

  84. LMAO

    “Let hockey players and fans decide what we want in our game”

    Since when do the players and ESPECIALLY the fans make the rules for pro sports?

    Yeah, the fans make the rules…..that’s got to be the funniest thing I’ve heard this week.

  85. JimboWoodside on

    Ooops! Sorry, Sally – but why not!? He’s a young single guy!

    It was the blonde gal that went to several Ranger games – the one with the “viral” dancing video – she is just stunningly beautiful.

  86. Rhode Island Ranger on


    I agree with you.

    What many forget is that the Golden Decade of NHL hockey was the 1980s: more fighting, more bench clearing brawls AND higher-scoring more entertaining hockey.

    The NHL ought to get to public school and develop some self esteem! The incessant apologizing to the media fops who hate the sport needs to stop.

  87. JimboWoodside on

    Well, I know nothing about him, ORR – other than that he’s a very lucky man!

  88. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Hey Cross Check:

    The players and fans make the rules by deciding whether to play and whether to pay. Who do you want dictating the NHL’s rules and culture, some guy with a damaged Y chromosome at the NY Times?!


  89. Lucky is right! He’s also a crappy QB! I hope the Jets get Tebone. I’d love to see those two dorks battle it out for the starting job. It’ll be like EC and Jessiwoman competing for a spot on NYR’s top line!

  90. RIR:

    It might help if the president of the NHL was a guy who, you know, had some interest in hockey.

  91. iWicky "If you don't stop flapping your jaws, I'm going to knock you out on national tv" on

    Tell manny it’s the lake of fire

  92. iWicky "If you don't stop flapping your jaws, I'm going to knock you out on national tv" on

    Tell Orr re vs model, it wasn’t me this time ;)

  93. JimboWoodside on

    Lots of games with “rooting interests” for NYR fans tonight – Jets vs Pens, Panthers vs Flys, Debbies vs Sens….

  94. iWicky "If you don't stop flapping your jaws, I'm going to knock you out on national tv" on

    Did year the JRism of the “ruckus” crowd at MSG?

  95. Best day. Only thing missing was ilb and mrs ilb. Fozzy and mama and wegians are the bestest. Missed sally too. Went to warren 77 and tinys. Sweet potato and apple soup w maple creme and croutons, and gnocchi w butternut squash and shitaki mushrooms. I earn lunch points!

  96. Not sure I go as far with all the political commentary and attacks on journalists. It’s a simple cost-benefit equation, the league believes fighting is a net positive to the bottom line and that is not likely to change any time soon. For all the crap Bettman gets, much of it deserved, I give him credit for trying to set limits but also recognizing and not destroying the raw emotion of the professional game. I think he actually gets it on this. Head shots not so much.

  97. 25 and 22 on the debbies are goons only, middleweights but no skill.

    prust has some skill rupp is a better goon.

    deboer should know the difference…

  98. Why is it that it takes me 30 minutes to order popcorn chicken at the KFC in Little Havana?

  99. 25 is more than a middleweight. he’s an enormous person and he fights everybody, including Mr. Scott many times and the late Mr. Boogaard.

  100. I heard lots of talk from the Jim Rome’s and PTI’s of the world today about the game last night…just one thing, anyone know the score of the game because I dont think any of those jackwagons do. Go ahead take fighting away, then ESPN would really NEVER talk about the sport. If they are all going to get on their soap-boxes to take away the game then they should also be on the same boxes to trumpet the great things that are going on in this game besides the drama of Skid the Kid. And really the NHL should be so lucky to get these 2 teams in a playoff matchup(as much as I dislike the matchup as a Rangers fan), because the season series was 3-3 with the total goals being Rangers 14, Devils 12. There were 13 fights but also 2 shutouts. And personally I think the fights at 19:59 in the 1st are much better than one at any other point in the game(unless some actions taken in the game have made it necessary) because it lets the boys be boys and then you go on and play but also the “staged” ones later in the game take away from the flow and truely act as a side show. But it has been thrown around here before that the most simple answer is that the leauge is too large and that if you want to eliminate the Scotts and Shellys from the game then shut down teams in markets that dont support and teams that arent profitable. They not only hurt the cap and successful franchises but they dilute the talent. And speaking of the Shellys, if they are really going to lawyer-up and sue the leauge how about the Lindros’ and Savards then? Cant they sue because the they were “forced” into playing with paper thin helmets but leauge cared more about getting the Nike and Rebok money than “player safety”?

  101. Rhode Island Ranger on


    You put the case well.

    This is what the well-meaning, but deluded, appeasers on the fighting issue don’t get. Fighting or no, a very significant proportion of the American sports media has always hated hockey and always will.

    Two reasons: Their employers promote other professional sports (ESPN for instance). Or they grew up playing and watching other games and resent hockey out of ignorance and tribalism. They’re basketball people.

    Test case: Soccer, even the world-class variety, gets little serious attention and plenty of mockery (even though more American kids play it than Little League baseball).

    The NHL has lately wised up and begun to develop its own media outlets and web presence. So, why surrender on the fighting issue to media types and Carp’s secretive scaredy cat minority in the league office now? Dumb.

    The NHL should go on the offensive: A sport that balances aggression and creativity… with no apologies.

  102. I actually found the fight last night to be beyond idiotic. What a display of pure dumbness.

    I tend to agree with Carp and LW. I mean, I was laughing my aassen off listening to Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney depict the scene at center ice.

    LOL! Kenny was saying how Bickel told him during the intermission that, that was the only time in his hockey career he has taken a faceoff, let alone, a game opening one.

    It’s entertainment, right? Yeah, I guess. But, it was so staged and really had nothing to do with goals that were scored…and the shots that were saved…etc…

    I laughed at how silly the whole thing was. If someone got injured, it would have been a disaster.

  103. The only problem I had with what happened last night was Prust dropping the gloves with Janssen. I’m so sick of this guy fighting these heavyweights. One of these days he’s gonna fugg with the wrong guy and get the piss kicked out of him. Leave those guys to Ruppelstiltskin

  104. Evening gang.

    Nice piece on Hank on HBO.

    Still can’t believe that the Rangers are in the playoffs already. Amazing if you ask me.

  105. Im not sure if this is good or bad. I just wanted to lose out the rest of the season, so we could get Phil, a coach with cache, someone that players will respect. But now this Woody is winning, they might keep him on next year if he continues to fare well. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

  106. iWicky "If you don't stop flapping your jaws, I'm going to knock you out on national tv" on

    Are we still beginning all posts with “carp”?

  107. iWicky "If you don't stop flapping your jaws, I'm going to knock you out on national tv" on


  108. Winnipeg with surprising road record? Really? Yeah, hard to think flying back and forth across time zones is affecting them, really.

  109. let’s just say Henrik has a nice life….beautiful wife, great job, mucho dinero. not bad.

    doan should get 5 games for his latest cheap shot……

  110. billy, that’s pretty scary.

    latona, why hello. how are you? unusual weather we’re having, isn’t it?

    yes, wicky, I sure hope so.

  111. iWicky "If you don't stop flapping your jaws, I'm going to knock you out on national tv" on


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