NHL: Penguins and Islanders, What In The Name Of Georges Laraque Is Going On?
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For the second time in as many hockey nights, we've had full line fights as well as two goalie fights.
Wednesday night, the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins, two original six teams and bitter rivals, played in a game that can only be described in one word: awesome.
A full-line scrap broke out in the second period before Canadiens goalie Carey Price agreed to drop the gloves and mask with Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, although you can argue it wasn't much of a "fight."
In the third period, chaos erupted again when Canadiens forward Travis Moen and Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference dropped the gloves leading to the second line fight of the night. In total, both teams combined for over 182 penalty minutes.
On Friday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders topped the Canadiens and Bruins and added 10 ejections to go with it.
A week after Penguins goalie Brent Johnson sent Islanders goalie Rick DiPiertro to the injured reserve list for the (fill in the black) time in his career, the Islanders and Penguins meet again for what turned into a royal rumble more than a hockey game.
In the second period, Islanders winger Matt Martin attacked Penguins center Max Talbot who poked Islanders goalie Mikko Koskinen. The attack lead to a full-on line brawl that resulted in six ejections.
Then the third period happened, and all hell broke loose on the rink.
After a brutal check by Islanders winger Trevor Gillies, a second, more intense line fight broke out. Talbot, who, for all intents and purposes, turtled when Matt Martin jumped him, got into a scrap with center Micheal Haley, who dropped Talbot with a big right hand.
And it wasn't over.
Haley, after knocking down Talbot with a right hand to the chin, strolled down the ice and engaged with Penguins goalie Brent Johnson, who might be the coolest goalie in the league after his second scrap in less than 10 days.
As Haley prepared to scrap with Johnson, Penguins enforcer Eric Godard jumped from the bench to protect his goalie, although for all intents and purposes, Johnson pretty much held his own.
At the end of it all, both teams combined for 15 fighting majors, 10 ejections, 20 game misconducts, 65 penalties and 346 total penalty minutes.
Three days, two major hockey scraps.
After the hockey strike of 2004, the NHL implemented new rules to create more offense. They got rid of the two-line pass and created a goalie trapezoid, which in turn meant that the players on the ice had to be quicker and more agile. Many fans believe this resulted in the loss of the enforcer, which had been a staple of the NHL.
With two full-line scraps and three goalie fights in the last 10 days, is there a chance that we could see a rebirth of the enforcer? What NHL fans have witnessed the last couple of days has been a throwback to an era when line fights were common in comparison to today's fast-paced, enforcer-light hockey squads.
In the name of former hockey tough guy Georges Laraque, what is going on out there?
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