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Mario Melodrama

Hockey legend and Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux dropped an unexpected bomb on the New York Islanders and the National Hockey League in the wake of suspensions and fines announced stemming from Friday’s night at the fights between his Pens and the Isles. In short, “Super” Mario whined in print to anyone listening that if the league doesn’t start X, Y and Zing to his liking, he might just take his ball and go home.

Sound familiar? It should, of course, considering this is the guy who once dubbed the NHL a “garage league” in the early nineties, as obstruction was on the rise, and swore he was close to retiring at that time because of it. (He didn’t, remember, not right away anyway and wouldn’t have for some time, if not for illness and injury.)

The game these days, without the hooks and holds that Lemieux once complained of is probably better, as a whole, but there are some who will argue that a little of that here and there, perhaps, might prevent some of the more serious injuries and questionable hits we seem to see every other game now. Case in point, a defenseman in pursuit of the puck in his own end is often a sitting duck for approaching forecheckers these days, with his partner unable to hold up the opponent in any way, shape or form as he once was.

That example carries some weight here only because Lemieux’s comments today centered around player safety, after New York’s Matt Martin suckered Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot and teammate Trevor Gillies took out Eric Tangradi with a head shot/flying fists combo.

One has to wonder, then, a few things:

A) Does Lemieux forget that he employs one Matt Cooke,

arguably

the NHL’s most guilty party in terms of headhunting, a lack of respect for the well-being of opponents and consistently filthy play, currently suspended himself (aaaaaagain) for a vicious run from behind on Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin?

And B) What more, exactly, did Mario want the league to do?

Gillies was hit with a nine-game suspension for his actions of Friday night and Martin, four. The two players will forfeit more than $65,000 in their absence while the Islanders organization was also taxed $100,000.

The vile antics of the guilty Islander parties were met with well-deserved and sufficient punishment. All involved should have then been able to move on.

But Mario’s power play is on, it appears.

Upon further examination:

“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.”

Surely, some - some - of that pain had to come from having to swallow a 9-3 loss to the lowly Islanders. Much like Penguins’ defenseman Kris Letang’s postgame moaning regarding Friday’s events, whether or not these comments ever would have been made if Pittsburgh had been on the upside of a six-goal victory has to be called into question.

“The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.”

These incidents pale in comparison to so many others in recent years when that message could and should have been sent. Cooke’s name, time and again, would emerge in that conversation, for starters.

This portion of Lemieux’s statement hints at lengthy, groundbreaking suspensions and fines. There’s no excusing what Gillies and Martin did but these two are way down the list of posterboys for that cause.

“We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players.  We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.”

Again, what did he expect? Nine games is no slap on the wrist. Nor is four for what Martin did.

“If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it.”

Please.

So, Lemieux’s going to sell his stake in the Penguins then and leave the NHL behind forever when, say, Cooke returns, railroads another unsuspecting opponent and isn’t kicked out of the league for good – his “clear and strong message” warning having been further ignored?

Please.

It certainly doesn’t have to be Cooke. A Phoenix Coyote could do the same to a Dallas Star before the season is out, with no message to Lemieux’s liking sent then either, and you wouldn’t see Mario bidding adieu to the Pens.

His statement today does nothing to tarnish his legend as one of the game’s all-time greats – top three, if this voice had a vote – and a two-time savior of the Penguins franchise.

But it does come across as nothing more than whiny drivel.

Suspensions were dealt out, fines levied. Nothing further, this statement included, was necessary.

And as long as Matt Cooke is part of his very own organization, Mario Lemieux should not speak again on anything regarding the integrity of the game and the safety of its players.

Glass houses, Mario.

That is all.

JJ
jj@kuklaskorner.com
JJ on Twitter
The Bolts Beat podcast archive

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL Talk, Cheap Hits, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+tangradi, mario+lemieux, matt+cooke, matt+martin, max+talbot, trevor+gillies

Comments

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cs6687's avatar

Mario should be quiet; his player plays reckleslsly every game,and he cries about being wronged in one game,bollocks

Cooke crosses the line, no doubt. He does it within the paramaters of the game. What the Islanders did on Friday was borderline assault within intention to severly injure Talbot and Tangradi. Do you not understand the difference, or will you continue to let your dislike of the Penguins cloud proper and logical assessment of everything?

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 09:38 PM ET

edillac's avatar

I dont dislike the Penguins,thought they were awesome in Madagascar

Posted by edillac from isolation on 02/13/11 at 09:40 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Should we expect a statement from Mario concerning the game against the Rangers today?

“Hockey is a fast game. When it is played fairly, it is wonderful to behold. But the actions of some New York Rangers today were inexcusable. There is no place in this sport for three powerplay goals in one game.

Artem Anisimov and Ryan Callaghan crossed the line by scoring while our team was a man down. It’s embarrassing to the league every time we get a penalty. It becomes even worse when we get scored on.

For the good of our great game I ask the NHL to crack down on penalty calls against us.”

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 02/13/11 at 09:45 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Red Winger also suffers from retarditis.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 09:58 PM ET

Avatar

He does it within the paramaters of the game.

Oh.

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 02/13/11 at 10:00 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Point is, Cooke isn’t trying to sucker punch or kill someone. But thanks for another positive contribution.

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

Avatar

But thanks for another positive contribution.

You are more than welcome.

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 02/13/11 at 10:03 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

not sure how anyone can defend matt cooke.

jesus, pens fans are disgusting.  can’t even consider them human.

Unless you’re illiterate, no one is defending Cooke. Just saying there’s a difference between cheapshots and full-blown barbarianism that the Islanders employed on Friday. Neither has a place in the game, but there’s a very big difference between the two.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 10:07 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Again, and us Wings fans get called homerific whiners.  Guess because Mario says it it must be gospel, eh Pens fans?

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 02/13/11 at 10:08 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Again, and us Wings fans get called homerific whiners.  Guess because Mario says it it must be gospel, eh Pens fans?

I’d say if someone as respected as Mark Recchi agrees with Mario, that Mario is pretty much spot on. The only people I see disagreeing with him are people who dislike the Penguins. If those people had any sense, they’d admit he’s right.

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

BetterThanYou's avatar

I’d say if someone as respected as Mark Recchi agrees with Mario, that Mario is pretty much spot on. The only people I see disagreeing with him are people who dislike the Penguins. If those people had any sense, they’d admit he’s right.

Recchi played with Lemieux. Good game son you tried.

Posted by BetterThanYou on 02/13/11 at 10:33 PM ET

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Okay to be honest I could care less about the pens or the islanders. I am a Lightning fan and ill make the very clear before I post anything.

Now in regards to the pens I truly worry every single time we play them not because of there talent but because im worried that Cooke has the mentality to actually injure any number of our talented players such as Marty Stammer or Vinny (again). I dont think the Pens have a dirty team but just 1 dirty player. Crosby is a baby and flops around like a fish out of water from time to time as well(that being said I think he is great for the game and has unbelievable talent)

but I have never thought that team as a whole is looking for career ending hits minus Cooke.  The islanders are never really a dirty team in my opinion from the games ive seen this game just seemed like a chance to try to send a message to a good team that we will stand up for our players even if they are at fault. but the Pens are just as much at fault with a guy jumping of the bench and there goalie instigating the fight he got into.

Now the whole reason I wanted to respond on here was to say to anyone who thinks Downie is a dirty player you are flat out wrong. He does play the line from time to time but hasnt crossed it really since he came to Tampa. Pens fans will disagree with me but when he landed on Crosbys leg he and Crosby were both rushing to get to the puck first and can clearly see he just fell on Crosbys leg not intentional just happened. and if you watch the replay with this mind set instead of thinking ITS DOWNIE HE MUST BE TRYING TO HURT SOMEONE!!!! you would see the same thing I see.

Now for the angry thing I want to say anyone who says Downie and Cooke are the same type of player is a complete and total moron im so sick of people who dont watch the lightning commenting on Downie. he has done nothign dirty in forever but yet because of what he did in his first 2 years people will never be willing to see he has changed and works hard.

He has every ref and every hockey news caster not in Tampa thinking he is a dirty player which he did earn but he changed and has done everything to change his image but until people are willing to spend more then 2 seconds watching him and actually try to see his development instead of watching a small clip and making a judgment of him from that he will sadly be doomed to this unreasonable and unfair mindset and I dont see it ever changing.

In short screw you if you think Downie is anything like Cooke. The pens are okay minus Cooke and the Islanders just snapped. sorry its so long.

Posted by TBL FAN on 02/13/11 at 11:15 PM ET

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Posted by TBL FAN on 02/13/11 at 08:15 PM ET

So easy to knock down. Since entering Tampa’s organization Downie has sucker punched Alex Ovechkin, wrenched Crosby’s knee and broken a linesman’s foot over a call he didn’t like. Even saying he’s been better this year is BS, as he’s missed half of it injured and not a month ago lost his mind over nothing and had to be restrained by four officials. He and Cooke are the two most similar players in the NHL.

If homerism’s such a blinding factor, then let’s bring it closer to home: Steve Downie got 20 games for an incident that was less bad (he didn’t punch an unconscious McCammond) than Gillies’ 9 game incident.

Here’s Gagne’s quote from then “If Steve’s the first guy to have to take all those games for it, hopefully the league’s going to be consistent if something like that happens in the future. I hope they will be severe like they are with Steve. I hope Steve’s not going to be the only guy.”

How do you think Downie feels about league discipline, in light of this?

Posted by StevieSteve on 02/14/11 at 07:01 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

JJ, you are so unbelievably wrong. Again, the only people who side with the Islanders and the NHL are Islanders fans, neanderthals, and people who hate the Penguins.

Posted by cs6687 on 02/13/11 at 04:05 PM ET

The only people who could possibly interpret JJ’s post as “siding with the Islanders” are Pens fans, neanderthals, or illiterate. Or all three. How’s that?

Back above board… the point is that you’re being hypersensitive to the argument JJ is making. When did he ever say he was on the side of the Isles? His argument isn’t about choosing sides between the Isles and Pens—his argument is about the value of the suspensions and fines, and his view that Lemieux’s statement is over the top and sits on top of a house of cards. Which is very much a true statement, not an opinion. Might be easier for you to see that if you weren’t a Pens fan.

I will disagree with JJ in one respect. I don’t think the suspensions were enough, and four two reasons:

- First, both Gillies and Martin should be suspended longer than Godard. I know that Godard broke an explicit rule with a rigid, letter-of-the-law penalty, and so his 10 games cannot be diminished. My point is that despite Godard breaking that rule, I still find what he did far less embarrassing for the sport, and far less vile than what Gillies and Martin did. So I was hoping to see 12 games for each player. I would’ve felt that more fair.

- Second, if you ignore the result of the play, how is Martin’s sucker punch attempt not in the same discussion as the Bertuzzi incident? The Bertuzzi incident was worse, no doubt, and not just because of the result. But even so, 4 games doesn’t really get Martin in the same neighborhood as Bertuzzi’s penalty. Granted, Bertuzzi theoretically absorbed a lot of his penalty unfairly due to the lockout, but if we take the league at face value on that (which I know is impossible to do, but for the sake of argument), I don’t see how Martin doesn’t deserve at least 8 games.

And like I said above, I think 12 is the right choice if Godard has to sit 10.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/14/11 at 11:42 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

I will disagree with JJ in one respect. I don’t think the suspensions were enough, and four (for) two reasons:

Christ, I wish this site had an edit button. smile

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 02/14/11 at 11:44 AM ET

Jon Jordan's avatar

Russian Rocket:

I don’t blame you for criticizing Lemieux.  That is your opinion.  I do wish he had chose his words better, but I also like that he is an owner who is going to bat for his team.

 

It’s all good. It’s a simple and friendly debate (for the most part). What you said here makes all the difference in the world. In fact, had Lemieux left out the last part of his statement, I probably would have left the whole thing alone. Then, it would have simply been him expressing displeasure about the length of suspensions and amount of fines to the Islanders and their guilty players. Instead, it comes across as hypocritical whining, sadly.

StevieSteve:

If Mario is objecting to an apple, you can’t criticize him for not talking about an orange.

Again, his fault for using the exact words, “We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players,” which encompasses any and all actions that endanger league integrity and player safety. And that’s where he (or his PR staff) should have stopped things, realizing that a look inside before passing judgment like this was necessary. Include the Simons, the Grattons and the Bertuzzis, as well as the Martins and the Gillies(es) here, but also include Cooke and friends.

Red Winger:

(Fake Mario): “For the good of our great game I ask the NHL to crack down on penalty calls against us.”

I get that you’re joking (and it was funny!) but one has to wonder if this might come somewhere down the road, given the childish nature of the actual statement.

cs6687:

Point is, Cooke isn’t trying to sucker punch or kill someone.

He may not be trying but headshots and runs from behind could certainly lead to as much.

StevieSteve:

Since entering Tampa’s organization Downie has sucker punched Alex Ovechkin, wrenched Crosby’s knee and broken a linesman’s foot over a call he didn’t like. Even saying he’s been better this year is BS, as he’s missed half of it injured and not a month ago lost his mind over nothing and had to be restrained by four officials. He and Cooke are the two most similar players in the NHL.

Suckered Ovechkin? He was ready to go with him last year, squared up, man-to-man (as was OV) until Matt Bradley came off the bench and interrupted things.

The Crosby play is what you’re mad about and I’ll give you that one. Marginally dirty, definitely irresponsible. Should never have happened.

As for the AHL suspension involving the linesman (who was NOT hurt, by the way), that incident was up for much debate, as Downie swears he was trying to hack at the opposing center. Shouldn’t have been attempting to do that either but that happens all the time. Knowing Steve just a little, I have an awfully difficult time believing he intentionally whacked at the official and the argument fizzles as the video’s murky, at best. The suspension handed down at the time was given largely on reputation and the lack of any benefit of the doubt for Downie, who hadn’t come close to earning as much. That was, what? Nearly two years ago?

And we’re talking far more than this year. Downie had a fine season a year ago.

JJ

Posted by Jon Jordan from Tampa, FL on 02/14/11 at 12:16 PM ET

Avatar

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma defended Cooke’s latest infraction after the game, saying Tyutin could have avoided it. “The player looks him right in the eye and knows he’s coming and makes sure he keeps his numbers turned towards him,”

This is the same advice he should have given Talbot. When Martin challenges him to a fight, it is a bad idea to turn your back, or maybe Talbot should learn the proper sucker punch etiquette from Staal.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/14/11 at 12:22 PM ET

awould's avatar

Pens fans are so very sensitive. Pretty much every single Cooke-related article on this site is filled with Pens fans defending him. They parse every second of video to “prove” that Cooke’s latest dirty play wasn’t dirty, or that the victim should’ve had his head on a swivel, or that Cooke is just so darn passionate and the game so fast that, ya know, what are ya gonna do? Of course, there are hundreds of other guys who skate around in the NHL who are passionate and play in the same fast game that don’t get suspended multiple times per year but I guess Cooke is just REALLY passionate.

Now, when ranting about the barbarism that was the Islanders/Pens game, they have to give an inch on Cooke to highlight how truly out of bounds the Islanders were and what huge victims the Pens are (again, surprise!).

So, now, for the first time ever anywhere, you have a Pens fan acknowledges that Cooke is a dirty player. Sort of:

“Cooke crosses the line, no doubt. He does it within the paramaters of the game.” - cs6687

So, he’s GOOD DIRTY, whereas other players are BAD DIRTY.

Posted by awould on 02/14/11 at 02:36 PM ET

pensfan29's avatar

So, he’s GOOD DIRTY, whereas other players are BAD DIRTY.

Posted by awould on 02/14/11 at 11:36 AM ET

Here’s how I view the Cooke/Isles thing. People can disagree but this is my opinion.

Yes, Cooke is “dirty”. If you wanna pull apart every play he makes, go ahead. The hit on Tyutin was a “hockey play” during the natural flow of the game. Had he only been 10 feet behind instead of 20, theres no suspension. He made a play to hit the man with the puck. Borderline legal or not, no one can say its not a “hockey play” that they see variations of multiple times a game.

What the Isles did was not even in the realm of a “hockey play.” Punching someone in the side/back of the head while the play is down the ice, then attempting to fight said player, is thuggery, not a “hockey play.”

Doing a Macho Man Randy Savage impersonation, again to the side/back of someone’s head, is not a “hockey play.” That was a deliberate action and attempt to injure a player. Then mocking and jawing at the player writhing in pain on the ice, with a trainer, is inexcusable.

I don’t think anyone here can say they see the Isles’ actions several times during games. Why? Simple, they are thug moves, not “hockey plays.”

We see OV, Richards, Cooke, Avery, Sid, et al hit people in what some would consider penalties or suspendable offences. And often times they are. But they are HOCKEY PLAYS. Hockey is the fastest sport around, sometimes players do stupid things. Sometimes they cannot react fast enough. But to lump Cooke’s actions in with the actions from the Islanders is laughable.

If you still cannot see the difference, then i’m not sure what human have become.

Posted by pensfan29 on 02/14/11 at 03:33 PM ET

Avatar

Again, his fault for using the exact words, “We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players,” which encompasses any and all actions that endanger league integrity and player safety. And that’s where he (or his PR staff) should have stopped things, realizing that a look inside before passing judgment like this was necessary. Include the Simons, the Grattons and the Bertuzzis, as well as the Martins and the Gillies(es) here, but also include Cooke and friends.

The first paragraph exists. It sets the context of the later remarks. He’s talking about a circus in which the Steve Downey hit on McCammond was repeated and the Todd Bertuzzi travesty was attempted (in the same game!), not a knee by Bryan Marchment.

And again, Bryan Marchment was not the same thing as Vityaz Chekhov, and apparently the Islanders (considering Snow’s sickening and bizarre statement), are now.

Suckered Ovechkin? He was ready to go with him last year, squared up, man-to-man (as was OV) until Matt Bradley came off the bench and interrupted things.

The Crosby play is what you’re mad about and I’ll give you that one. Marginally dirty, definitely irresponsible. Should never have happened.

As for the AHL suspension involving the linesman (who was NOT hurt, by the way), that incident was up for much debate, as Downie swears he was trying to hack at the opposing center. Shouldn’t have been attempting to do that either but that happens all the time. Knowing Steve just a little, I have an awfully difficult time believing he intentionally whacked at the official and the argument fizzles as the video’s murky, at best. The suspension handed down at the time was given largely on reputation and the lack of any benefit of the doubt for Downie, who hadn’t come close to earning as much. That was, what? Nearly two years ago?

And we’re talking far more than this year. Downie had a fine season a year ago.

He sucker-punched Ovechin on the play before the one he tried to fight him. And I’m not angry about anything Downie has done, but denying the parallels between him and Cooke requires blindness. Even worse, you’re criticizing Mario for not addressing an Orange while talking about an Apple then exercising in excuse-making when presented with an orange closer to home.


So, now, for the first time ever anywhere, you have a Pens fan acknowledges that Cooke is a dirty player. Sort of:

I’d read any article about Cooke from this site. He gets thrown under the bus by homers consistently.

Posted by StevieSteve on 02/14/11 at 03:34 PM ET

awould's avatar

pensfan29 - kudos for the Macho Man Randy Savage reference. I agree completely that the Islanders antics were abhorrent and not on par with Cooke’s usual dirty play.

“Borderline legal or not, no one can say its not a “hockey play” that they see variations of multiple times a game.”  Really? Again, there is nothing “borderline” at all about Cooke’s hit on Tyutin, or most other things that have gotten him suspended (or not). Was it a hockey play? Sure. It’s in the NHL rulebook as an illegal hockey play.

This is the frustration with Pens fans. The failure to just admit that Cooke is a dirty player. Period. Is he YOUR dirty player? Yes. So I guess it’s hard to admit it fully. But jeez, it’s getting old.

As a Wings fan, I was very unhappy when they signed Bertuzzi. I think he should’ve been banned for life. However, in the spirit of giving a guy a second chance, I think Bertuzzi is an example of a guy who turned things around. He’s not dirty anymore (maybe other’s see something I don’t?). Hell, this season is the first season he’s stopped being a total weakling on the ice and started using his body again. I think the Moore incident really shook him because, until this season, he seemed very tentative out there. But Cooke, man, he just keeps up the “borderline” play no matter what.

“Hockey is the fastest sport around, sometimes players do stupid things. Sometimes they cannot react fast enough.” - I’ll reiterate my previous statement: “there are hundreds of other guys who skate around in the NHL who are passionate and play in the same fast game that don’t get suspended multiple times per year…”

I agree that the Islanders BS was total BS and basically just assault. But your post was just more defending Cooke, a straight up dirty player. Does he go out and sucker punch guys, or stomp on their legs with his skate (pronger), no. But he takes high speed runs at guys, slew foots guys (slews foot?), and generally likes to connect elbow to head a lot. He’s dirty.

Stop with the wishy-washy defense, it erodes your credibility.

Posted by awould on 02/14/11 at 03:51 PM ET

pensfan29's avatar

I don’t think I was defending Cooke. I admitted he was dirty, but his dirty plays are hockey plays where he crosses the line. The Isles’ commited assault, not illegal hockey plays.

Posted by pensfan29 on 02/14/11 at 03:56 PM ET

Avatar

I’m sure when a player is paralyzed or killed from being hit head first into the boards he’ll be glad it was on a “hockey” play.

As kids we were taught not to instigate because you never knew where it would lead. Once you start you never know how far over the line it is going to go. What Gillies did was stupid and irrational and there is no excusing it, but the same can be said for Cooke. It is the constant justification of stupidity that makes it so rampant.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 02/14/11 at 04:02 PM ET

awould's avatar

I don’t think I was defending Cooke. I admitted he was dirty, but his dirty plays are hockey plays where he crosses the line. The Isles’ commited assault, not illegal hockey plays.

I took it as defending Cooke. Every time I read a Pens fan post about Cooke, it’s always couched with terms like “borderline” and “hockey play” and other things that make it seem like he’s just unlucky or misunderstood. Maybe I’m too sensitive about it, but it annoys me when the entire hockey loving world can just say he’s dirty, plain and simple, but Pens fans just can’t do it without all the qualifiers.

Anyways, I agree the Islanders actions would’ve ended up with jail terms if they happened anywhere but an NHL game.

I also agree w/ JJs main point about Lemieux casting stones from his glass house. There are problems in the league and they start with guys like Jordan Tootoo and move up to guys like Cooke. And then you have the Islanders actions, which are above and beyond dirty and should be handled as such.

Posted by awould on 02/14/11 at 04:06 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t think I was defending Cooke. I admitted he was dirty, but his dirty plays are hockey plays where he crosses the line. The Isles’ commited assault, not illegal hockey plays.

Posted by pensfan29 on 02/14/11 at 12:56 PM ET

I mostly agree with you but don’t get the “hockey plays” reference. In any case lets say I completely agree with you.  In fact I’d like to go further and say you keep defending your point of view on this, but your defending it to no one, because everyone here agrees with you.  They are different.

We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players

Did the Isles actions jeopardize “the integrity of the game”?  YES
Does Cooke’s actions jeopardize “the integrity of the game”?  YES

Did the Isles actions jeopardize “the safety of our players”?  YES
Does Cooke’s actions jeopardize “the safety of our players”?  YES

I don’t think anyone here is using Cooke to defend the Isles’ actions.  We are just calling out Mario that if he’s going to preach, then he needs to practice what he preaches.  You keep saying apple vs. orange.  But in the context of Mario’s statement and wording there is NO orange.  It is purely Apple vs. Apple.

The only reason people are calling out Pen’s fans for being homers is because they are defending Mario (not Cooke) and attacking JJ for calling him out, when in fact JJ is totally correct.

Posted by Dahrken from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/14/11 at 05:32 PM ET

Jon Jordan's avatar

StevieSteve, we’re just not seeing or hearing each other here and I suppose that’s fine. You’ve been polite and I appreciate that in any argument. Your team was involved, so there’s no sense trying to get you to agree with me, especially when we’re so far apart on some of the issues here.

But, to be clear. I’m no homer. Whether Tampa wins or loses or Downie gets 0 PIM or gets a 20-game suspension means next-to-nothing to me. In short, I just work here. (Now then, I would like to cover some playoff action and that’s looking pretty good right now, thankfully.)

Cheers.

JJ

Posted by Jon Jordan from Tampa, FL on 02/14/11 at 09:51 PM ET

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