Saturday, March 24, 2007

Islanders vs Rangers: The Throwdown

This is it, what they have been waiting for. The Islanders and the Rangers play Sunday for the first time since the Chris Simon stick swinging incident.

This was the first incident in recent memory (followed quickly by the Jordin Tootoo sucker punch) that occured outside of Vancouver. Both the Marty McSorley and Donald Brashear attach and the Todd Bertuzzi ambush on Steve Moore both occured in Vancouver.

Why is this important? For a few reasons:
1) If you own or can grab Aaron Asham, Brendan Witt, Colton Orr or Ryan Hollweg off of your leagues waiver wire you are likely to get a few PIMs out of tomorrow's game
2) The NHL and the entire hockey world will be watching to see what happens.

In case you missed it, Chris Simon is out for the rest of the season so the remaining tough guys on both teams are Aaron Asham and Brendan Witt for the Islanders and Colton Orr and Ryan Hollweg for the Rangers. After Colton Orr's demolition of Todd Fedoruk and Ben Eager last week I pity anyone who steps up to the plate with Orr.

This game has larger implications than just who will fight who. The plethora of incidents over the last several weeks include: Wade Belak fighting Cam Janssen, Colton Orr fighting Todd Fedoruk and Ben Eager in retaliation for incidents which occured weeks in the past. Not to mention the Jordin Tootoo sucker punch that sent Stephan Robidas to the hospital with a concussion.

Todd Fedoruk was removed from the ice on a stretcher after being KO'd less than a minute into the game on Wednesday night and the following night John Sim was sent to the hospital with a fractured orbital bone after tangling with Mark Bell.

This rash of fighters injuries and retaliation has prompted Directory of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell to suggest that the NHL needs to take a look at fighting in the game and implement procedures to limit it.

So the question becomes... will there be a fight in tomorrow's game? And if there is, what will be the repercussions?

Perhaps even more importantly, if a hockey fight occurs in New York in the middle of the day and no one is watching... does it make any noise?


Anonymous said...

Like Mr. T says "I pity da fool" who steps up with Colton Orr!

hockey dude said...

This game was way too important in the standings for any types of revenge. Therefore no fisticuffs. It showed once again that fighting takes a backseat when the playoffs are on the line.