Tortorella and Laviolette Have Different Opinions on Carcillo-Gaborik Fight

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IJanuary 22, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 21:  Daniel Carcillo #13 of the Philadelphia Flyers challenges Victor Oreskovich #65 of the Florida Panthers on December 21, 2009 at Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

"There's no honor, there's no honor in that. As I've always said, I don't play the game, I don't wear the uniform. I don't want to say too much about it but there's simply no honor. It's pretty embarrassing." said New York Rangers coach John Tortorella.

Torts quote comes after witnessing his superstar forward Marian Gaborik dropping the gloves against the Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Daniel Carcillo in the second period of the Flyers 2-0 win over the Rangers on Thursday night.

With Philadelphia leading 1-0 in a contest between two bitter rivals, Gaborik and Carcillo got tangled in a scrum in front of Ray Emery before separating themselves into the corner all alone, where Gaborik initiated the fight by dropping his mittens first.

It wasn't much of a fight as you would expect, as Carbomb peppered Gaborik with rights without taking any punches himself in what may have been his easiest victory in his career.

“I don’t know who was on that line that could help him, but yeah, it was weird. I wasn’t expecting him to drop his gloves and when he did, I was pretty much licking my chops," Carcillo said.

After hearing Carcillo's "licking my chops" comment, Tortorella sarcastically called Carcillo a "brave guy" for going after his best player. Maybe Torts missed something because the stone cold evidence shows that Gabby instigated the fight by dropping the gloves first.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette saw the fight how it really went down.

"That’s not the way I saw it. I saw a scrum in front of our net. We’re outnumbered. Danny came in and picked somebody off the pile and Gaborik dropped his gloves first. Danny can either get punched or drop his and fight." said Laviolette.

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi stood a few feet away from Gaborik and Carcillo as they were fighting, and simply spectated the bout like the rest of the building in complete shock that Gabby would dance with Danny Carcillo, who has 12 fighting majors this season.

There is an unwritten code in hockey that pretty much states that you protect your best players, which means you do not let them get in a fight if they aren't one to drop the gloves like Gaborik.

A perfect example of this "code" is what happened in a game between Washington and Tampa Bay on Jan. 12. The Lightning's Steve Downie—a former Flyer—and Alex Ovechkin took offsetting roughing penalties. Once they left the penalty box, more chirping led to Ovie and Downie squaring off for some fisticuffs.

Ovechkin dropped his gloves, took off his helmet, and Downie likewise. It was time for the Great Eight's second NHL fight with one tough customer in Downie. Except, it didn't happen because of Capitals forward Matt Bradley.

Without even thinking, Bradley left the bench—knowing that he would be expelled from the game—to come to the aid of the best player in the National Hockey League. He knew that if Ovechkin fought, the Caps would be without their best player for fight minutes.

Bradley received a two-minute minor for instigating, a five-minute major for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct, and an addition 10-minute game misconduct for leaving the bench.

The circumstances of Ovechkin fighting outweighs the positives. In fact, there are no positives of having Ovie drop the gloves because he'd be risking injury and taking Washington's best player off the ice for five minutes.

In order to do what's best for the team, Bradley decided to take himself out of the game by leaving the bench to come to Ovechkin's aid. He knew that taking No. 8's place, he was giving his team the best chance of winning.

Unlike Bradley, Girardi didn't have to leave the bench for any action to stop Gaborik from fighting. In fact, he didn't even have to do anything really since he was literally two steps away from the altercation. However, he didn't do anything. He was a deer in headlights.

The Rangers had a few players voice their opinions about the fight. Marc Staal said it showed "a lack of respect." Vinny Prospal said it was "gutless." Henrik Lundqvist described it as "disrespectful."

Maybe the Rangers should take a look in the mirror because it wasn't Carcillo who went after Gaborik. He was hunting down New York's best player. It was a mutual fight in which Gaborik was a willing participant.

Maybe someone needs to show Staal, Prospal, Lundqvist, and Tortorella the replay because then they'll know that Gaborik challenged Carcillo first by dropping his mittens.

How is accepting a challenge a lack of respect, gutless or disrespectful?

Danny Carcillo didn't do anything wrong.

For more Philadelphia sports coverage, please go to my blog: The Broad Street Scoop.