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Reason #1,829,572 For Caps Fans to Hate Mario Lemieux February 13, 2011

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

Caps fans, maybe you’ve got more reasons than I do, but that’s my number and I’m sticking to it. Kidding aside, you have got to admire this absolutely breathtaking display of chutzpah by Penguins owner Mario Lemieux.

Friday night’s Penguins-Islanders game was one for the record books, and not in a good way. Both teams ended up racking up an aggregate 346 penalty minutes, with the Pens getting hit with 163 of them. One of Mr. Lemieux’s employees came off the bench during a fight, which is one of the biggest no-nos in the NHL, and got an automatic ten-game suspension. It was the only suspension the Penguins would receive for their role in Friday night’s brouhaha. And 163 penalty minutes suggests that the Penguins weren’t exactly innocent bystanders in the NHL’s version of “That 70’s Show.”

From NHL Rule 70.10:

The Coach(es) of the team(s) whose player(s) left the players’ bench(es) or penalty bench(es) during an altercation shall be suspended, pending a review by the Commissioner. The Coach(es) also will be fined a maximum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

And yet, there was Dan Bylsma, behind the bench as usual, for this afternoon’s Penguins-Rangers contest.

And Mario Lemieux is complaining that the NHL didn’t throw the book far enough? Huh?!

Mario, if the NHL had thrown the book far enough, your bench boss would have been in the press box this afternoon, to say nothing of your players. Your team made off like a bandit on Rule 28, and you damn well know it. 4 players not named Goddard got hit with game misconduct penalties, and none of them were suspended. Considering how short-handed your team is right now, you ought to be thanking the NHL for taking it easy on both teams.

If the League had thrown the book, it would have had to be at both teams. Your boys are currently 4th in the East, and could have lost a lot of ground if the League had lowered the boom. Your only loss in the carnage was a five-minutes-a-game cement-head who’s got one shot and one assist in 17 games this year. If the League had thrown the book around, and suspended just the players who got game misconducts, you could right now be without Engelland, Rupp, Adams, and Dupuis–and more, if they’d suspended players who got misconduct penalties late in the game.

Mario, your bunch had more players get game misconducts, but who got no supplemental discipline. The Islanders got fined; you didn’t. And you’re complaining?! If the NHL had come down hard on both teams, you might have ended up with half your roster for this week on call-ups from Wilkes-Barre. Your boys weren’t exactly saints Friday night, and you know that just as much as every other fan of the NHL. Your team’s PIM total has a comma in it, you’re the most penalized team in the league, and the 2nd place team has four dozen fewer penalties than your team does. Your 63 major penalties–only two of which are not fights–are the most in the NHL. You’ve got the Capitals beat by triple digits in the penalty department.

And you want to get all sanctimonious about a game that got out of hand? When your team has been in five dozen fights already this year? Are you nuts?! When your boys are chronically allergic to their mitts, you’ve got absolutely no room to whine about the fallout from a game getting out of hand. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

But if you want to get out of the NHL over this, then go. Be my guest. Sayonara. Do svidaniya. And don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.




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