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Posted at 10:11 AM ET, 02/13/2011

NHL suspends three players, fines Islanders after brawl-filled game against Penguins

By Katie Carrera

Saturday night the NHL handed down its discipline for the various brawls and altercations between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders Friday night that featured 346 penalty minutes including 21 misconducts, both game and 10-minute.

Three players have been suspended, Trevor Gilles and Matt Martin from New York and Eric Godard from Pittsburgh, and the Islanders have been fined $100,000 in what can only be viewed as the NHL making a statement about this level of in-game violence. (If somehow you managed to not see some of the highlights of this one, Greg Wyshynski and the folks over at Puck Daddy have a nice wrap up.)

From the NHL's news release:

New York Islanders forward Trevor Gillies has been suspended for nine games for delivering a blow to the head and then administering several punches to the Penguins' Eric Tangradi, who was injured by Gillies' actions; Matt Martin has been suspended for four games as a result of delivering several punches from behind to an unsuspecting opponent (the Penguins' Max Talbot); and Penguins forward Eric Godard was suspended automatically for 10 games under Rule 70.11 for leaving the players' bench for the purpose of engaging in an altercation.
In addition to the suspensions, Gillies will lose $24,193.53 in salary; Martin will forfeit $41,585.36 (repeat offender); and Godard $40,322.25. The Islanders organization has also been fined $100,000...
"The actions by the Islanders' Gillies and Martin were deliberate attempts to injure by delivering blows to the head of players who were unsuspecting and unable to defend themselves," said Campbell. "The message should be clear to all players: targeting the head of an opponent by whatever means will be dealt with by suspension.
"With respect to the Godard suspension, there can be no circumstance that allows for a player to leave his bench for the purpose of coming to the aid of a teammate.
"The Islanders also must bear some responsibility for their failure to control their players," Campbell added.

Earlier this week, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens played a heated, fight-filled game with 182 penalty minutes and across the league, games where rivalries boil over are occurring with greater frequency. Granted while the Bruins 8-6 win over the Canadiens was also penalty-filled it didn't have the same tone as the Islanders' 9-3 win against the Penguins.

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau is always aware of what's going on in the rest of the NHL and hockey world. He caught part of the Pittsburgh-New York game Friday night and before Washington's game against the Kings on Saturday offered his take on why games are taking on an extra level of intensity.

"The races have been so close since the beginning of the season, teams are getting more ramped up, playoff-ready earlier than they have in the past," Boudreau said. "They're not waiting until after the trade deadline. The sense of urgency is starting earlier than I've seen in the past."

Do you think the NHL made the right disciplinary moves?

By Katie Carrera  | February 13, 2011; 10:11 AM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins  
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Comments

Do you think the NHL made the right disciplinary moves?
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NO. Both of those Isles' players should have gotten a lot more games, close to 20.

Posted by: joek443 | February 13, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

And this is also why hockey has always been and will always be a bush league sport.

You knew sooner or later they would get back to this crap no matter how hard they've been trying to "change" the game.

Posted by: joek443 | February 13, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

joek443

Completely agree. I also think that a few more players should have been given a few games off. The officials reminded of the way games turned out when Bryan Lewis used to be a ref. You could count on him losing most game by the middle of the second period.

Posted by: sidehillman | February 13, 2011 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"The races have been so close since the beginning of the season, teams are getting more ramped up, playoff-ready earlier than they have in the past," Boudreau said.

If you actually watched the Islanders game that night you would understand why it happened. It wasn't about the play offs. It was about all the dirty hits Talbot delivered on the Islanders players all last game the two teams played, and the refs looked the other way - no penalties. The penguins were laughing about it on the bench as their players with the floor with islanders with illegal hit after hit and no one did nothing. Not the refs, not the NHL. Because no one ever does anything against the penguins or flyers. So the players took it in to their own hands, instead of falling victims to NHL favor-ism.

Posted by: Readbetweenthelines1 | February 13, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I AGREE THAT GILLES AND MARTIN SHOULDVE BEEN SUSPENDED. SO SHOULDVE TALBOT FOR HIS HIT TO COMEAUS HEAD THE LAST GAME THESE TEAMS MET. COLIN CAMPBELL SAY ONE THING BUT HIS ACTIONS SHOW ANOTHER. HIS ON SON ELBOWS MONTREAL PLAYER INTHE HEAD NO SUSPENSION THERE. I THINK THE ISLANDERS DID WHAT THEY NEEDED TO DO SHOW THE LEAGUE AND OTHER TEAMS WHERE NOT GOING TO TAKE BEING PUSHED AROUND. LETS GO ISLANDERS!!!!! GET RID OF COLIN CAMPBELL

Posted by: jjtpon | February 13, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Some of y;ou need to take a trip over to "nambi pambi" land and get a set. One of the few times I agree with cstan. wouldn't hurt for the Caps to take that trip.

Posted by: billd2 | February 13, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

It would be fitting for Belanger to pot the game winner Monday night.

Did I really see the Devils are 8 - 1 - 1 their last 10?

Have another donut BB.

Posted by: kcbrichmond | February 13, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The anger from the Islanders came as a result of Max Talbott hitting Blake Comeau with a cheap shot to the head (which went unpenalized and the NHL did not suspend Talbott for this offence). In addition, after Brent Johnson KO-D Rick DiPietro, he went back to his bench and yucked it up.

Islanders top players have been getting creamed by cheap shots all year. Other teams feel they can take liberties because the team historically has not defended their players and the NHL didn't help bt not suspending Talbott. (and others)

With this background, the anger that boiled over was understandable. It also happened because the game was out of reach (Isles up 6-0 at the time).

It is for this reason that fighting in hockey is important. This is how players police themselves.

The Penguins may be mad right now but I guaranty you that the next time Talbott approaches Blake Comeau, he doesn't hit him in the head from behind.

Posted by: ChivasIrons66 | February 13, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

For the few remaining BB fans out there:

The difference between a good coach & a bad one: NJD

McLean: 33 GP: 9-22-2-20 pts
Lemaire: 23 GP: 13-8-2-28 pts

These two stats should end the discussion if a coach & his system can make a difference.

Posted by: chriscaps | February 13, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

the pens got deferential treatment from the league again. how can anyone claim otherwise?

Posted by: bcatron11 | February 13, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I guess Ted doesn't have a "take" yet on yesterdays disgrace.

Must still be in bed, using a Mytics Attendence banner as a blanket.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I guess Ted doesn't have a "take" yet on yesterdays disgrace.

Must still be in bed, using a Mystics Attendence banner as a blanket.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It is for this reason that fighting in hockey is important. This is how players police themselves.

The Penguins may be mad right now but I guaranty you that the next time Talbott approaches Blake Comeau, he doesn't hit him in the head from behind.
Posted by: ChivasIrons66

There are more efficient and effective ways to enforce those rules than allowing a brawl to break out the next game. Do you remember the Todd Bertuzzi ordeal? Allowing that to be your enforcement is stupid and leads to chaos.

If you want to get players to stop making certain hits all the NHL has to do is suspend players a long period of time (30 games, 50 games, etc.) for dirty hits to the head(the details of the rule can be written a little more eloquently than that).

No player is going to risk that much of his salary to give a cheap hit(2 or 4 games, sure 30 or 50 games, no way). The pocket book is always the most effective means of preventing players from acting in certain ways.

It's a preventative rule. Make the punishment so severe that almost no one would risk committing such an act in fear of getting punished so severely.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 13, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@chriscaps

Since 1998, Lemaire has won a playoff round in only ONE season. Just one. It may be that his coaching only leads to regular season success.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 13, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Semin and Schultz should be moved before the road trip. I like the idea of guys joining the team going into a 9 day road trip.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

sgm3 - I agree there may be a better way to enforce the rules. Perhaps, this is a symptom of what happens when you don't.

Also, if you look at what Matt Martin did, although wrong and entirely suspendable, cannot be compared to Todd Bertuzzi. In reality he barely touch him as Talbott went turtle on him.

Posted by: ChivasIrons66 | February 13, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

As long as guys like Talbot & Cooke run around cheap shotting players, these events will happen. Certain teams & players get away with cheap play all the time. (staal with blow to the head against prust on rangers, no fine or suspension) Not sure what the hell colon campbell thinks about when he hands out suspensions.
Get rid of instigator rule & a lot of the stick work and cheap play will go away.
I love what the Isles did the other night. Won't see the Penguins laughing it up like the last time they faced isles, when Talbot knocked out comeau with a concussion & johnnson fractured dipietro's face. Can't wait for the rematch on April 8th!!

Also, how can the isles be fined $100,000 for losing control of their players when Godard left bench?? No suspension for Blysma? no fine for the Penguins? I hope Cindy Crosby dresses for rematch game against Isles......

Posted by: bomber2428 | February 13, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@ underpants

I noticed that too. His last entry marvels at the Egypt revolution. I don't have an issue with that but it does give Capital fans an opening to release some frustration.

Why don't all the 20-30 something Caps fan gather on the top deck of the Ballston Mall garage, outside Ted's office, and demand that management changes are made! I would like to read his "Take" on that.

Posted by: puckman | February 13, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

20-30 as in age.

Posted by: puckman | February 13, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I noticed that too. His last entry marvels at the Egypt revolution. I don't have an issue with that but it does give Capital fans an opening to release some frustration.

Why don't all the 20-30 something Caps fan gather on the top deck of the Ballston Mall garage, outside Ted's office, and demand that management changes are made! I would like to read his "Take" on that.

Posted by: puckman |

If I could get 18 days off work, I would be with you.

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps

DJK to me does nothing...there are other players out there that can fight and play hockey. King's fight, while it was a decent fight came at an awful point in the game. We were up 1-0, neither team had anything going, but we had the lead. The fight gave the Kings energy and left us lifeless, so yeah in my opinion agreeing to fight there was stupid.

It wasnt a fight to defend our guys, nothing bad had happened. It was preplanned as he and Bradley switched spots before the faceoff. So yeah to me it was a dumb fight and very poorly timed.

Like I said yesterday, while Hendricks isnt a heavyweight he will at least fight at the right time of the game or seek retribution for something. Add to that he can play the game. To me that is 100 times better than DJK.

Posted by: ThePat | February 13, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

If you actually watched the Islanders game that night you would understand why it happened. It wasn't about the play offs. It was about all the dirty hits Talbot delivered on the Islanders players all last game the two teams played, and the refs looked the other way - no penalties. The penguins were laughing about it on the bench as their players with the floor with islanders with illegal hit after hit and no one did nothing. Not the refs, not the NHL. Because no one ever does anything against the penguins or flyers. So the players took it in to their own hands, instead of falling victims to NHL favor-ism.

Posted by: Readbetweenthelines1 | February 13, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

------------------------------

The Islanders always play hard against the Penguins...I agree with this assessment - I am not so sure about your take that the Flyers get any special treatment....but Pittsburgh has been the most penalized team all season and perhaps they have earned some sort of reprieve to get away with stuff because they are missing players and we are used to it....I can see how the Islanders get frustrated playing them.

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 13, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Do you think the NHL made the right disciplinary moves?
-----------------------------
Katie, do you have an update for us as to what preceded GMGM's angry exit from the Cap's locker room after the last Montreal game? I'm going to have to reference that game by a date soon.

Posted by: FloridaCapsFan | February 13, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Since 1998, Lemaire has won a playoff round in only ONE season. Just one. It may be that his coaching only leads to regular season success.

Posted by: sgm3 | February 13, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

*****************

Lemaires teams have looked exhausted by April the last few years...

Posted by: yesisaiditfirst | February 13, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

Give me some reason to hope. You seem to have some inside info. Are there gonna be some major changes?

Posted by: underpants2 | February 13, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

@joek444 - agreed with you! It is bush league...

Far as I can tell, fighting has increased in the game over the last two seasons; the hockey commentariat has not only bought in, they've encouraged it. The Bruins and other teams aim to fight their way to a championship.

Some of this may be an unintended consequence of the enforcement of obstruction fouls (which have led to more violent collisions); some of it may be a very misguided attempt to appeal to the MMA set.

There is an attention-challenged, distracted fandom that hockey wants clicking over to their channels more often. The attachment of this fandom to fighting is shallow and whimsical; it is a big mistake to encourage the fighting in the game. It tells young athletes that this is a sport that cannot and won't protect its players and it sends a message that it's not a real sport but a spectacle and ultimately this will undermine whatever illusions of purity might remain about it (or other sports).

I don't think all fights can be removed from the game but the league was in far better shape when there were fights happening on only one of four or five games instead is almost half of the games...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | February 13, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

DJK to me does nothing...there are other players out there that can fight and play hockey. King's fight, while it was a decent fight came at an awful point in the game. We were up 1-0, neither team had anything going, but we had the lead. The fight gave the Kings energy and left us lifeless, so yeah in my opinion agreeing to fight there was stupid.

It wasnt a fight to defend our guys, nothing bad had happened. It was preplanned as he and Bradley switched spots before the faceoff. So yeah to me it was a dumb fight and very poorly timed.

Like I said yesterday, while Hendricks isnt a heavyweight he will at least fight at the right time of the game or seek retribution for something. Add to that he can play the game. To me that is 100 times better than DJK.

Posted by: ThePat

I agree. The Caps had the better of the play at that point. Nothing bad was committed against any Caps player either. It was a pointless fight that gave the Kings a little bit of energy.

The Caps were up 1-0 and the Kings were listless. The Caps were playing okay up until that point. Why give the other team an opportunity to get a jump? It was a stupid play by DJK.

I always resort back to the Pens/Flyers series the year the Pens won the SC. It was game 6, the Flyers won game 5 and are up 3-0 in the 2nd period of game 6. The Flyers have all the momentum in the world. Then idiot Carcillo decides to get into a fight with one of the Pens(maybe Rupp or Adams, I can't remember exactly). No cheap shot was committed beforehand, so Carcillo was not sticking up for his teammates. The Flyers already had all of the momentum, so there was nothing to gain from fighting. Yet Carcillo got into the fight, the Pens were fired up from that and ended up coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win the game.

I completely understand why a team playing horribly or uninspired hockey would want to try to get into a fight to try to stir things up. But if you are winning and have the momentum, why would you even give the other team a chance? Why not just say "no thanks" and keep on playing the game with all of the momentum?

Posted by: sgm3 | February 13, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't trying to sing Lemaire praise songs. I was just pointing out that a coaching change can make a big difference with a team.

If a team has a fat, lazy coach who doesn't require players to practice & uses lip service instead of action. The type of coach would run a system he doesn't understand or believe. The type of coach wouldn't push the players hard & would be voted the easist coach to play for.

Replacing that coach with a man teaches a defensive system he understands & believes. A coach who demands players play within the system. A coach that backs his words with actions. For example, telling his captain to keep his shifts short. When the captain ignores the coach, the coach sit him for the rest of the game. The next day the coach puts the entire team (led by that captain) thru a puke practice.

Do you think that type of change could help a team?

Posted by: chriscaps | February 13, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone on the Island cared what the NHL was going to do to them after that game.

It is completely idiotic to think that they would. They felt (I believe legitimately) wronged by the NHL for the liberties inflicted by Max Talbot, with no recourse from the NHL.

This is and always should be a self-policing sport. It was an exciting game, and frankly if the Caps had half of the tenacity of EITHER the Pens or Isles, they would be heading into the playoffs with a whole heap of steam and self-confidence instead of tail-tucked.

I think this type of game reminds us all that out there on the ice, guys with business suits may make the rules, but have no control.

Posted by: rdatman | February 13, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

in case you missed. mario complaining about the Islanders being dirty. enjoy

http://www.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2011-02-13/mario-lemieux-calls-penguins-islanders-brawl-a-travesty

Posted by: pkme | February 13, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I wish the Caps exhibited HALF the passion the Islanders did. They stuck up for one another. Think the Caps will do anything about Cooke's attempt to injure Ovie? Nah? Passivity as usual.

Posted by: poguesmahone | February 14, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

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