Goalie Fight on the Island; Islanders obliterate Penguins

At one time, a goaltender fight would be a rare occasion, let alone twice in one week by the same guy. Brent Johnson apparently wants to make a name for himself, as he got in his second scrap Friday Night in just over a week against the same New York Islanders squad, except this time, his team had the last laugh.

Last Wednesday, with only seconds remaining in the game, a scrap between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders ensued after Matt Cooke ran into Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro as he went for the puck off a dump in. With tempers running high, all the players got into the fight, including the two goaltenders, as Johnson skated down the ice, where he started a short tilt with DiPietro, which ended quickly after Johnson delivered a solid blow to the face of Dippier, a blow which has the Islanders goaltender out with an injury to his face.

This week, much of the same would happen, except instead of a 3-0 Pittsburgh victory, the Islanders decided to turn the tables, and obliterate the Penguins.

The Islanders would strike first as Travis Hamonic beat Johnson with 8:51 gone in the first period. Then, the Islanders would take a 2-0 lead as Jesse Joensuu scored his 4th of the season at 12:52 of the first of a costly changeup mistake by the Penguins. New York would eventually take a 4-0 lead into the dressing room as Pa Parenteau and Micheal Grabner both scored for the Isles.

Much of the same would occur in the second, as John Tavares scored his 20th of the season just 3:16 of period. Micheal Haley would then score his first of the season for the Islanders for the 6-0 lead.
After the 6-0 deficit, the Penguins had enough as a major fight ensued at the 5:21 mark, which saw a total of 104 penalty minutes handed out to both teams together. This fight broke out as Matt Martin jumped Max Talbot in the neutral zone, as Talbot was marked by the Islanders after hitting Blake Comeau last week, which saw the Islanders forward injured. 6-game misconducts were handed out in the fight.

This would spark the Pens as Pittsburgh would finally get on the board at the 6:08 mark of the period thanks to a goal by Kris Letang. Jordan Staal would score his 5th of the season to cut lead to 6-2 three minutes later. But, the Islanders would restore their 6 goal lead before the period was out thanks to Matt Moulson who scored his 20th and 21st respectively.

Another scrap would start at the 4:47 mark of the third period, which saw 92 penalty minutes handed out. This again sparked the Penguins, as Tyler Kennedy tallied his 11th of the season to cut the lead to 8-3.

Michael Grabner would bury things with just over 3 minutes to play, as his 21st of the season capped off a 9-3 blowout of the New York Islanders over the Penguins.

Johnson was originally chased out of the net at 3:46 of the second after giving up 6 goals to the Islanders. But, after Marc-Andre Fleury gave up 2 goals in relief of the second, Johnson would return between the pipes. But, at 4:47 of the period, a hit by the Islanders resulted in another fight breaking out. Micheal Haley got into two fights in the brawl. The first fight was with Max Talbot, before he decided to fight the Penguins netminder Johnson, who had skated out towards the blue line. Haley charged after him, and the two players dropped the gloves and started fighting. Eric Godard would eventually jump off the bench and grab Haley away from Johnson, and start fighting him. An action which will see Godard suspended for two games.

After the smoke cleared and the dust settled, the Islanders walked away with the 9-3 win, Johnson had his second NHL fight, and 346 penalty minutes were handed out, a great night on long Island to say the least.

Islanders surprise goaltender Mikko Koskinen made 35 saves in the victory. Brent Johnson made 20 stops on 27 shots for the loss.

This may have been the third goaltender fight in the last week, but I have to admit, they’re starting to grow on me, and I look forward to them, why not let backups fight if they want?

Adam Reid


Adam Reid's picture

Mike, I absolutely have to agree with you for the Martin on Talbot incident. Talbot was only skatin through the neutral ice, and for no reason Martin decides to try an jump him? That just wasn't right, no wonder for everybody on the ice to jump into it, that was extremely dirty. If Martin would have succeeded, we might have had another Steve Moore incident.

As for Godard, he is suspended for two games, but backup or not, Johnson is still a big time player on this pens roster, with everybody else tied up, Haley was free to attack Johnson, which could have been bad, tough or not, he is still only a goaltender. I believe Godard did the right thing.

George Prax's picture

I found it funny that Talbot turtled the way he did but you can't blame him when someone jumps you and starts pummeling you. These incidents are starting to get out of hand.

Rob McGowan's picture
George Prax wrote:

I found it funny that Talbot turtled the way he did but you can't blame him when someone jumps you and starts pummeling you. These incidents are starting to get out of hand.

Not because I'm an Islander fan, but I thought Talbot turtling made Martin's "jump" look worse than it was. The Penguins announcers were so quick to call it a Bertuzzi incident - I think not guys. Bertuzzi grabbed Moore by his jersey, punched him straight to the back of the head and then smashed him face first into the ice.

Martin grabbed Talbot's jersey and went to reach in front but Talbot dropped so quick that it's hard to say if Martin even made contact once he went down - and by the way, Martin held his fist back once Talbot went down and did not start firing away on him. That's not Bertuzzi-esque.

I'm not saying that it isn't a dirty play that ignited several brawls that isn't worth of a suspension, but let's not jump the gun here.

Adam Reid's picture
George Prax wrote:

I found it funny that Talbot turtled the way he did but you can't blame him when someone jumps you and starts pummeling you. These incidents are starting to get out of hand.

-Yeah, I agree, but I guess Talbot just didn't want to get hurt. I think he could have been seriously hurt if the jump would have been excuted.

The fights and battles between the two clubs are becoming out of hand, and too many grudges are being held, and the media is blowing things way out of proportion between two players after something happens such as a fight or a cheap shot, resulting in retaliation.