If it isn’t on thing this week with news related to the Penguins it’s another.
The NHL fined Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella $20,000 for his outburst following the Pens game last night. Fans of the Flyers and Rangers (and apparently their players and coaches) believe that the Pens are a bunch of whiners and are arrogant, however the only whining coming from anyone this week is from the opposing organizations. (And let’s not forget the class and composure of Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette and his stick breaking and his $10,000 fine.)
Tortorella was fined $30,000 for comments directed at criticizing the referees for their performance during the Winter Classic. So forgive me if I am completely off base here, but he is pointing the finger at Sidney Crosby for crying to the refs when his team’s Captain Ryan Callahan spent quite a good bit of last night complaining and he was fined himself for complaining… man I wish I had $50,000 to piss away because I felt like a good ol’ whine fest.
Brooks Orpik will not serve a suspension for the knee on knee contact with Derek Stepan. Fans are saying that this is favoritism toward the Penguins. Explain to me how? Let’s use some logic, shall we?
If Orpik has to serve a suspension for that, then Mike Rupp should have served one for his knee-on-knee contact that put Jordan Staal out of the game for a month (Derek Stepan returned to action last night, as I recall). The reaction from Staal wasn’t “Rupp is a dirty player.” It was more along the lines of “Come on, this is Rupper. I’m sure he didn’t mean it.” Same. Exact. Hit.
Also, can we please stop with “The Pens are dirty! They employ Matt Cooke!” First of all, Matt Cooke was NOT the last player to come into contact to put Marc Savard out of commission. Matt Cooke also served one of the longest suspensions in recent league history for being a “repeat offender” and the Penguins issued a statement SUPPORTING the league’s decision to make Cooke serve out the suspension. Cooke has changed his game and has been almost angelic this season.
The Matt Cooke argument is bunk. Shut up about it. (And for the record, Pens fans supported the league’s decision because we hoped it would send Cooke the right message. Our outrage is that that same standard has not been applied to other repeat offenders. Hi, Flyers! Didn’t you employ Dan Carcillo?? He’s been suspended HOW many times in his career? I believe we are now at 11 total suspensions and fines.) Oh, and let’s not forget your new kid, Zac Rinaldo. Man, he is a clean player. I believe he gave one of OUR players a concussion earlier this season and didn’t even have a hearing for a high hit to the head on open ice. Yeah. No cheap shotters on your team either. (I wrote about Rinaldo here. But just to show you how objective I can be, here is a blog I wrote PRAISING your other rookies.)
Also, Kris Letang and Deryk Engelland have served suspensions for the Pens this season and James Neal and Jordan Staal paid fines. I actually believe that Staal should have been suspended for his hit on the Flyer’s Braydon Coburn. I also supported and called for Zbynek Michalek serving a suspension for his hit on Alexander Ovechkin (which he did not serve a suspension for).
And for Pete’s sake, James Neal paid a fine for high-sticking PK Subban, one of the dirtiest players in the league. But the reason he high sticked him was because he stick swung up because he was being slew footed!!! And Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma issued a statement in full support of the fine because Neal needs to keep control of his stick at all times. (You can see the incident here.)
Spare me your claims of whiners and arrogance. Even Sidney Crosby issued a statement today admitting that when he came to the league, he gave the refs a hard time but has since corrected his actions as he matured as a player. (You can read his comments on the Pens Report from today, here.)
If the Pens wanted to complain about anything, it should be the blatant disregard for Matt Cooke’s safety that has been displayed this season by the league. Wanna see someone get head shotted and no one ever serves a penalty? Here’s some videos. And not a peep from Cooke or the Pens on this.
Every single team hits dirty. Every single team complains to the refs to try and sway the game their way. Every fan base boos and tries to influence the game. Every single coach freaks out now and then. This is not a new phenomenon in the NHL. This will always go on and the two teams complaining about it the most this week are not immune to this and neither are the Pens. (Montreal Typical, eh?)
Keep the insults coming. We are loving it here in Pittsburgh.
Oh and edit to note: Thank you to the @PensKnittngLady for having this sign behind Torts the whole game! Stevie would be me! <3 And thank you to reader Laurie for the photo!