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Evening Line

Who led the league in fights entering Sunday’s games? The Penguins, with 61, according to hockeyfights.com. Who led the league in penalty minutes? The Penguins, with 1,101. Who led the league in majors? The Penguins, with 63. Who ranked second in game misconducts? The Penguins, with 10 – two more than the second-place Islanders. Who was one of four teams with a match penalty? The Penguins.

Oh, and then there’s Cooke’s old act.

Lemieux needs to re-think whether that should be part of the league, too.

-Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports on Mario Lemieux’s statement today.  Read more on this topic…

I wonder if Mario would have released that statement if Crosby was in the lineup?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mario+lemieux

Comments

cs6687's avatar

Never heard of the loser who wrote this article. He makes zero good points.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 10:12 PM ET

Puck's avatar

LOL, Mariowned

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 02/13/11 at 10:13 PM ET

BetterThanYou's avatar

Never heard of the loser who wrote this article. He makes zero good points.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 07:12 PM ET

It just means that the Penguins are the dirtiest team in the league.

Posted by BetterThanYou on 02/13/11 at 10:17 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

I didn’t tripping and fighting were on par with the Slap Shot tactics used by the Islanders on Friday. This writer blows. But anything to get hits on the KK blog.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 10:17 PM ET

Paul's avatar

But anything to get hits on the KK blog.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 07:17 PM ET

Right now it is the biggest story in hockey.  Wait until tomorrow!

If you think I am posting for hits, you really have no idea what I am about.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/13/11 at 10:20 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Lemieux is a reserved man, an owner who rarely speaks publicly. When he talks, we all listen and frankly, I don’t mind him prompting some debate over what’s acceptable when it comes to defending one of your teammates.
This has always been a league in which players are exalted for standing up for their teammates. But there is a big difference between one guy making someone pay a price for hurting one of his teammates and what the Islanders did.
This isn’t the first time Lemieux stood up against the NHL: During his career, he took the league to task for how the game was being played. Too much hooking and holding, he said. It took time, but eventually we all agreed with him.
If nothing else, Lemieux’s words could force us all find a consensus about what is appropriate and what is not when defending teammates

Paul, that was written by Kevin Allen, a well-respected writer as you know. Why couldn’t you post that instead of some hack from Yahoo?

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 10:21 PM ET

Paul's avatar

cs6687, maybe because I didn’t see it.  Post a link to it if you’d like and I am looking for the opposite point of view but have yet to find one.

That’s why I said wait until tomorrow.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/13/11 at 10:25 PM ET

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There really are very few voices that should get peoples attention… and Mario’s is one of them.  Mario campaigned his whole career against the style of hockey displayed during the Islanders game.  If people have zero respect for Lemieux then the game of hockey is far worse than i thought.  That goes for many of the red wing fans taking swipes at Lemieux’s statement.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 02/13/11 at 10:25 PM ET

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cs6687, maybe because I didn’t see it.  Post a link to it if you’d like and I am looking for the opposite point of view but have yet to find one.

cs6687 I think it is obvious at this point… it is not even worth arguing about anymore.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 02/13/11 at 10:27 PM ET

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PIMs =/= dirty/clean

To use fighting majors, especially when half of the fights are off a face-off and Engo inflated the number by trying to secure a roster, as a source of what team appears to be clean or dirty is pretty useless.

By converse is Detroit any more clean than others for not carrying a token goon who will fight 10 times a year off the faceoff?  Not really, that isn’t to say the lack of Matt Cooke would make them a cleaner team than the pens but to appeal to fighting majors or PIMs in general as any time of marker of how clean/dirty a team is, is just asinine.

Also its very convienient to use game misconducts as some way of showing guilt on the Pens hand but going down their roster, 3 of those came from fights after Haley went at Talbot, and the pens leader in misconducts would be one Eric Godard.  If we were to be agreeing with this author then clearly Godard’s two game misconducts would make him one of the most vilified players being called dirty.


But that hasn’t and problem won’t happen, are fans really fuming over Godard’s decision to defend his goalie, even if the goalie provoked the fight why wouldn’t Godard be there to protect his man.  I mean who needs to hear another one of Grapes rants like when Ottawa let Emery fight a skater.  Frankly, Godard, the PIM and suspension leader of this eventful game comes out one of the most clean in my mind.

And I believe most people commenting on this website can support that, I mean are you really sitting there upset about Godard? Or is it Cooke’s maybe not so borderline hits or Crosby’s unmentionable ability to lead the league in points and slashes?

I know that as a pens fan I’ve seen countless more dirty retaliatory slashes at the hands of Crosby or headscratching hits by Cooke but I’d never consider what Eric Godard does to be dirty.  Dirtyness is something you see, its when the player crosses the line in a way that is far more severe that usual and deserves more than just a trip to the penalty box to make right.

The case towards the Pens level of dirtyness can be made, but appealing to PIMS is probably one of the worst ways it can be attempted.

Posted by JBM on 02/13/11 at 10:32 PM ET

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Jeez, anyone who thinks Paul has EVER run this site for hits, with bias, etc. is completely off base.  Ever do some soul searching and realize that the reason it might feel like only one side is being posted is because YOU’RE biased? 

CS, it’s also entirely possible that OTHER PEOPLE realize that Mario’s off base here as well.  By the way, nice job responding to my comments in the other post.

Posted by BrandNewDream on 02/13/11 at 10:42 PM ET

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Also, CS, way to claim that Constonika is a “hack”.  He’s written numerous great articles this season, including a glowing profile of Crosby earlier this year.  He’s very good.

But you’re not one for character attacks or name calling, right?

Posted by BrandNewDream on 02/13/11 at 10:44 PM ET

BetterThanYou's avatar

To use fighting majors, especially when half of the fights are off a face-off and Engo inflated the number by trying to secure a roster, as a source of what team appears to be clean or dirty is pretty useless.

By converse is Detroit any more clean than others for not carrying a token goon who will fight 10 times a year off the faceoff?  Not really, that isn’t to say the lack of Matt Cooke would make them a cleaner team than the pens but to appeal to fighting majors or PIMs in general as any time of marker of how clean/dirty a team is, is just asinine.

Also its very convienient to use game misconducts as some way of showing guilt on the Pens hand but going down their roster, 3 of those came from fights after Haley went at Talbot, and the pens leader in misconducts would be one Eric Godard.  If we were to be agreeing with this author then clearly Godard’s two game misconducts would make him one of the most vilified players being called dirty.

But that hasn’t and problem won’t happen, are fans really fuming over Godard’s decision to defend his goalie, even if the goalie provoked the fight why wouldn’t Godard be there to protect his man.  I mean who needs to hear another one of Grapes rants like when Ottawa let Emery fight a skater.  Frankly, Godard, the PIM and suspension leader of this eventful game comes out one of the most clean in my mind.

And I believe most people commenting on this website can support that, I mean are you really sitting there upset about Godard? Or is it Cooke’s maybe not so borderline hits or Crosby’s unmentionable ability to lead the league in points and slashes?

I know that as a pens fan I’ve seen countless more dirty retaliatory slashes at the hands of Crosby or headscratching hits by Cooke but I’d never consider what Eric Godard does to be dirty.  Dirtyness is something you see, its when the player crosses the line in a way that is far more severe that usual and deserves more than just a trip to the penalty box to make right.

The case towards the Pens level of dirtyness can be made, but appealing to PIMS is probably one of the worst ways it can be attempted.

Cool Story Bro

Posted by BetterThanYou on 02/13/11 at 10:45 PM ET

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It’s pretty amusing to see how far down the rabbit hole Pens fans will apparently dive in order to excuse their blatant hypocrisy.

When you are a fan of a team that carries the dirtiest player in the NHL and are a team that is 1st or 2nd in every category which defines illegal play it defies the bounds of common sense to then go on to whine and rail against dirty players and illegal play.

The Capitals may as well complain about too much scoring in the NHL.
The Red Wings may as well complain about teams not wanting to fight.
The Rangers may as well complain about their not being any good GMs in the league.
The Coyotes may as well complain about having too many fans at their games.
The Flames may as well complain about how teams always choke.
Sean Avery may as well complain about players yapping out on the ice.

For Lemieux to come out and whine about the dirty play his team suffered after staying so stoically silent about the dirty play his very own team has been committing all year long is just as hypocritical, and his feigned unwillingness to continue to be involved in the ownership of a team that is only solvent and/or in Pittsburgh at all is through the herculean efforts of the NHL to keep them there is just plain old fashioned stupid.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 02/13/11 at 10:45 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

I agree with Mario Lemieux. I also think he should’ve waived Matt Cooke a long time ago.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 02/13/11 at 10:51 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Mario is a partial owner, so he is entitled to speak about any league issue that he wishes. Leonsis certainly spouts his opinions quite frequently for all to enjoy. However, Mario’s opinion is just that, and nothing more. His stature as a player and his legend does not make his voice any more important than Sean Avery’s.

  Funny how silent Mario was after that bully ( sarcasim !!) johnson beat up Dipietro in an ugly display that no doubt scared young hockey goalies across North America from every wanting to play goal again.


  You live by the sword and you die by the sword. You want Matt Cooke ( and his 23 points) on your roster to intimidate the oponent and create space for you teams better players? Well then don’t start whining about it after the fact when crap like this takes place.

And just for the record, I miss the old time bench clearing fights which you to take place.

If the league had them more often, players who pull crap like cooke does, might be less inclined to take runs at other players knees.


Hey Mario, nothings changed. You were a whiner as a player, and now too as an owner.    hmmm

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/13/11 at 10:54 PM ET

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Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 02/13/11 at 07:51 PM ET

Are you OK with the Wings employing Bertuzzi?

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 02/13/11 at 10:54 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Hey Mario, nothings changed. You were a whiner as a player, and now too as an owner.

You are one clueless individual.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 10:58 PM ET

Avatar

Bertuzzi did a dirty play in the past, Cooke is a dirty player consistently in the present.

Posted by herschel c. wollmack on 02/13/11 at 11:01 PM ET

edillac's avatar

Are you OK with the Wings employing Bertuzzi?

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 02/13/11 at 07:54 PM ET

?
you got to be kidding

Posted by edillac from isolation on 02/13/11 at 11:02 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Are you OK with the Wings employing Bertuzzi?

I can’t say I followed the NHL back then the same way I do now, but I don’t remember any other vile action by Bertuzzi.

He certainly did an awful thing, with even more awful results (though that was obviously not his intention). In one play, he redefined and entire league’s opinion on him, and he paid the price for that. As a Red Wing player, I can’t remember a single dirty play related to him.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 02/13/11 at 11:03 PM ET

Avatar

To clarify, no, I would not be ok with the wings employing Bertuzzi if he attempted to injure anyone as a member of the wings, or played the way Cooke does.

Posted by herschel c. wollmack on 02/13/11 at 11:05 PM ET

Avatar

For the life I me, I can’t figure out why he chose the medium he chose.  If he has concerns, why wouldn’t he request an audience with Bettman/Campbell/ et al?  I’m quite certain they would welcome his thoughts.  But the use of a posting is quite astonishing.  And from a PR perspective, clearly his handlers have Sunday off. 

I wonder if the League is considering fining him for his actions?

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 02/13/11 at 11:08 PM ET

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Post a link to it if you’d like and I am looking for the opposite point of view but have yet to find one.

The more prominent writer from the exact same website.

Sure, he’s defending one of his guys in leaving Cooke out of the scope of his complaints. But I imagine Mario would separate Cooke’s dirty work—dangerous, illegal hits during the course of play—from that of the New York Islanders or another team, in which they’re reckless and premeditated.

And he’s right.

Cooke has no respect for his peers. The Islanders were like a bad Steven Segal movie on Friday night: Out for blood and justice because of previous unpunished transgressions, and waiting until it was 4-0 to draw it. Cooke lacks the comportment to make the right decision when seeing another player’s numbers as he faces the glass. The Islanders seemed like they were waiting for the right moment to do what they did, and then did it a second time in the third period.

Posted by StevieSteve on 02/13/11 at 11:08 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

You are one clueless individual.

Just like Mario, that’s your opinion.

Not that I have to justify the comments I make here to anyone, but I have been watching/playing hockey for 40 years. I watched the entirety of Mario’s career, and anyone who did and can say with a straight face that Mario wasn’t always complaining about hooks and interference is lying.

However, Lafontain, Yzerman, Savard… and everybody else who played in that era, played with the same hooking and clutching and grabbing.

Look you love Mario because he is your “guy”. Doesn’t change the fact he is being incredibly hypocrtical when he cries to the media about the antics of the Islanders players actions.

I say either be consistent, or just shut up already.

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/13/11 at 11:11 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The Pens went out and made sure they signed or retained a handful of players who are nothing but goons.  Nobody should be surprised at these numbers.

Never heard of the loser who wrote this article. He makes zero good points.
Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 07:12 PM ET

I’m sure you haven’t.  He’s written for newspapers.  He’s written books.  He’s also written in various places online and was recently picked up by Yahoo.

I don’t think reading, enlightenment, or education outside of the Jerkatorium is very high on any Pens’ fan’s list.

Posted by Primis on 02/13/11 at 11:17 PM ET

Puck's avatar

Maybe Mario is just trying to draw attention away from the fact that Sid, Malkin and Kunitz are out with injuries and his team has been playing .500 hockey since New Years 2011.

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 02/13/11 at 11:45 PM ET

Avatar

The Pens went out and made sure they signed or retained a handful of players who are nothing but goons.  Nobody should be surprised at these numbers.


Did they though? Godard certainly, Rupp sucks at fighting and hockey so he’s just a bit useless even though he put up 13 last year, Asham’s at best a middleweight but he brings much more to the table than mediocre fighting skills, Adams fights but it’s hardly his cup of tea (see his fight before the Isles game blew up). Engo maybe another goon but he’s solid defensively for a #6/7 D spot.

So what, 2 or maybe 2.5 counting Rupp?

Hardly seems like an attempt to retain a goon squad.

Posted by JBM on 02/13/11 at 11:59 PM ET

Primis's avatar

What else does Asham bring to the table exactly?

And it doesn’t matter if you suck at fighting, look at Avery.  He sucks at it too, yet most would agree he’s still a block-headed goon.

Godard is self-explanatory.  They already had Deryk Engelland.  They have Cooke.

My God, how many of these idiots do the Pens think they need exactly?

Posted by Primis on 02/14/11 at 01:35 AM ET

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Penguins and their fans are really starting to show their true colors.  The Penguins have been the dirtiest team in the league and someone finally stands up to them and all we get is whining.  There’s no whining in hockey!  An interesting thing I found on the Islanders HF Boards.  There’s a thread there started by a flyer fan that includes fans from other teams thanking the Islanders for the beating they laid on the Penguins.
I have to say, the best part of the beating, is the feedback of all of the whiney Penguin fans.  I never realized how pathetic they were until now.  The responses have been hysterical and I hope they keep coming.  I’m loving it!!!

Posted by RogerNYLA on 02/14/11 at 03:38 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I think the real point, if people would quit with the inferiority complex, is that while Lemieux’s statement is totally fair and correct in almost every way, in order for it to truly hold weight, he needs to act on his own words. So, next time Cooke does something dirty (there will be a next time), does Mario suspend Cooke on his own? Next time Max Talbot jacks a flying elbow into someone, does Mario suspend Talbot on his own?

Everything Mario said was right on, but the danger is that by having said that, he’s now put himself in a position where if he doesn’t put his money where his mouth is next time one of his players does something wrong, he will be viewed widely as a hypocrite.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/14/11 at 11:22 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Joe Yerdon of Pro Hockey Talk gave a pretty good effort to tie up the two related, but separate points coming out.

If Lemieux would open himself up to questions to get to the bottom of his statement to make it abundantly clear who he’s addressing then we’d know just how big of an advocate for player safety he really is. Instead, Lemieux comes off as an angry owner advocating from the bully pulpit that problems only exist when his team is victimized. If that’s what it is in this situation, that’s selfish.
...
Don’t get lost in the discussion here. The Isles are wrong. Wrong in every way possible for what they did. Lemieux coming out from behind the desk to issue his statement made it clear that he’s not happy with how the league is conducting business and that’s good. Given how the league has handled their way of punishing players that have run afoul of the law Colin Campbell and the rest of the front office need a wake up call like that.

Bottom line is that Mario Lemieux owes us more answers or the very good message in what he did say becomes horrible tarnished by the blight of what he didn’t say.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 02/14/11 at 11:50 AM ET

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in order for it to truly hold weight, he needs to act on his own words.

More than that, for it to hold weight he needed to have ALREADY been acting on those words.  He wasn’t worried about the lack of respect or integrity of his own players BEFORE his team was the “victim” but he’s happy to speak out now that they are?

It’s very similar to the way that Crosby is now anti-head shots now that he’s the one with the concussion but he had no problem with these types of hits when others were the victims and his own teammate was the culprit.

Posted by Garth on 02/14/11 at 12:13 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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