By now anyone who follows hockey knows about the Rangers v. Islanders game last night. A fight filled affair that saw the "enforcers" as well as the common players, and goaltenders drop the gloves. On one hand, it was great to see the players, preseason or not, stick up for each other. On the other hand, it was disgraceful to watch. Here's my take on everything:
Chris Simon. We'll start with the worst I guess. Because of loopholes in the NHL rulebook, Simon was able to play preseason games, even though he still has an outstanding suspension to serve. One has to think, if Simon is not in the lineup last night, half of the fisticuffs that occurred would have been avoided. Give it up for Orr, who stuck up for Hollweg by scrapping with Simon early in the first and then again on Simon's unnecessary, dirty hit from behind on Hollweg setting off the brawl. The league should be reviewing tape right now, and tacking on 10 more games to Simon's suspension.
Ted Nolan. The Rangers had their lineup posted 3 days in advance. Each team plays about 6 preseason games. Simon could have played in any of the other five and not this one. He knew there would be fireworks if Simon was in the lineup. It surprises me that with the players that he did dress, that Brendon Witt wasn't also in the lineup.
Rick DiPietro. Was there any reason for him to jump in? And why did he have to bait Montoya into the fight. It was apparent the Monty didn't want to fight, he has a spot to win. I give him all the credit in the world for sticking up for his team.
Tom Renney. Anyone read his post game comments? Sure the elbow to the head of Callahan was dirty. And sure it was probably a contributing factor to the rest of the night's activities. But to dismiss blame on Simon just makes no sense to me. He did it with the stick incident last year and then again last night. He should be saying how much Simon should be suspended, and how proud he is of his players for sticking up for each other. Here's to hoping Orr, Hollweg, Strudwick and Avery are all in the lineup come the first regular season game between these two.
Just my opinion on the game. Give it up to players like Dubinski, Pock, Hossa, Strudwick and Orr. I enjoy the occasional scrap. Especially when it comes from sticking up for your teammates. Without them, there would be no way to police the sport, ridding the league of incidents like Marty McScorley, Todd Bertuzzi or Chris Simon. I don't even hold anything against the rest of the Islanders, minus Simon and Sutton. Anyone else feel like sharing some thoughts?