First, for those who read the "In support... "blog a few days back, Average Girl decided that the support of her followers was greater than the disgust of the few, and resumed the contest. However, just minutes ago, she posted this:
My unbelievably beautiful, wonderful and incredibly kind sister-in-law had something horrific happen to her and she almost lost her life yesterday. She is currently in the intensive care unit, and as such, I will be delaying the Battle of the Blogs for a day or two or longer while our family deals with this.
I hope to join with all of you in praying for Tracy's SIL and their entire family. Some things really do take a back seat.
Two days ago, Scrappy and I bundled up, taking the mighty camera with us on a quest to see what the world under 16 inches of snow looked like. It quickly became more of a "if we get home alive" sorta ordeal whose exertion made several layers of bundling unnecessary.
As you can see, the aminals haven't kept up with local trail-shoveling laws.
and we TRADED him the next year for catcher Manny Sanguillen.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the hockey game that broke out in the midst of the brawls between my New York Islanders and my son's Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night. This nastiness, wrapped around a 9-3 Islander rout of the Pens, was brought on after the events of a few games past when their goaltender broke our goaltender's face with one punch. The Isles were bent on all sorts of revenge, and seem to have gotten it; 346 penalty minutes were mostly concentrated in 3 big brawls, and included 15 fighting majors, 10 10-minute misconducts, a 5 -minute elbowing with intent to injure, and 11 game misconducts, 2 of them on Eric Godard of the Pens. One guy for the Isles racked up 32 minutes worth in the one big fight, and a teammate got 29 in the same melee. One Islander found himself with a ten game suspension (Trevor Gilles) as did one Pen who came off the bench when his goalie and an Islander went at it. The Isles also got another suspension, and were fined $100,000, a big deal for the cash-poor wreck that the once proud 4-time cup champs have become. Not being afraid of violence for the greater principle in sports, I'm of mixed opinions on the incident; but, I will say, EVERYONE KNEW something like this would happen at this game. The fact that it happened to such a degree shows that nobody really cared until it got out of hand. If I were king of the NHL, and disposed to end such shenanigans, I would have also fined the refereeing crew- because this crap never, I repeat NEVER happens if the crew does a competent job of handling it. And I would have suspended BOTH coaches and fined BOTH teams. Although he can hardly be considered a neutral party, Pens owner Mario Lemieux seemed to agree:
"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," the Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner said in a statement released on Sunday. "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."
The NHL announced just before midnight on Saturday suspensions for Islanders forwards Trevor Gillies (nine games) and Matt Martin (four games), and Pittsburgh's Eric Godard (automatic 10-game ban for leaving the bench).Lemieux, however, said Campbell didn't go nearly far enough and the Hall of Famer who won two Stanley Cup titles as a Pens player questioned whether he still wants to be involved with such an outfit.
"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," he said. These remarks will surely irk NHL's front office, and Lemieux could soon be the target of his own disciplinary action in the form of a fine.
(Courtesy Fanhouse Sports)
One thing the league should look at is the fact that Godard got 10 games off for going to the aid of his goalie while all on-ice personnel were busy waltzing at the other end, while 2 Islanders drew instigator penalties, which cost just 2 minutes in the penalty box. Once upon a time, the man off the bench penalty was hailed as the cure all for bench clearing brawls, and it by and large works. If the league really wants to eliminate these ballroom events, then those who get hit with instigator and third-man-in penalties need to be similarly disciplined. Though not impartial, Lemieux was right about the league not going far enough. If they would have suspended goalie Brent Johnson for injuring Rick DiPietro in the FIRST PLACE, none of this would have happened. Once again, the NHL has tripped over that fine line they try to walk between what "puts fans in seats" and what "is an embarrassment".