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DANIEL FEUERSTEIN: On Friday, February 11th at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum the Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin-less Pittsburgh Penguins came into Long Island to face the New York Islanders after they defeated this same team in Pittsburgh with a three goal shutout victory and of course Rick DiPietro getting injured in a goalie fight with back up Brent Johnson.
It was revenge on the scoreboard and there was revenge on the ice by the Islanders as they had a rare blowout victory with the final score of nine to three. But while that was a positive result for a young and struggling team like the Islanders, what happened during the game besides the scoring was something we haven’t seen since slap shot the movie.
We all don’t mind good clean hard hockey on the ice, but honestly there are times when fighting is a must and at times doesn’t need to be there. Trevor GIllies, Matt Martin of the Islanders & Eric Godard of the Penguins got hit the hardest with multiple game suspensions by the NHL and out of all people who thought it wasn’t hard enough was of course the so called saint who can’t even touch Wayne Gretzky’s skates, sticks & records is Mario Lemieux.
His high and mighty speech about how much he loves the game and will walk away from it if these things aren’t being taken out of is a bunch of crap and he should know better. Unless he forgets he has the all time cheap shot artist on his team in Matt Cooke. Cooke has gone after opponents knees, ankles, and of course blindsided head shots. We all remember what he did to Boston Bruins center Marc Savard as he cowardly skated hard and blasted him with a shot to the head.
Even though the NHL is trying to stop those types of hits and did make a new rule about blindsided head shots, it hasn’t really stopped Matt Cooke changing his game. He will go for hits from behind and as we saw it on highlights or on you tube he has returned to cheap shots to the knees and ankles like he did to Alexander Ovechkin. If Lemieux would be serious about this, he should’ve cut Matt Cooke from his hockey team but sadly he can’t because while he doesn’t want to be seen as a hypocrite, he already became one in that letter he addressed to the NHL.
But if Mario seems to forget since he hasn’t skated in an official NHL Competitive game, he is also a cheater and doesn’t deserve the respect from his fellow hockey alumni or the NHL. If we all remember the second round of the 1991-92 Stanley Cup Playoffs it was Lemieux who pulled a fake injury during the playoffs.
Yes it was the slash by Adam Graves that the Penguins doctors said Lemieux’s wrist was broken, which it was a penalty and deserved two minutes, but it wasn’t a career threatening injury. The original report said four to six weeks and you saw at the old igloo in the rafters the cast over his right hand for all to see. Graves suspended for the rest of the series because Mario cut the cuffs off his long hockey gloves to get a better feel for his wrist shot. The Penguins all fire and brimstone screaming like their dog died.
Once the Rangers were eliminated by the Penguins it took game two of the old Prince Of Wales Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins for Mario to make a return to the ice. Four to six weeks became four to six days and isn’t it interesting that the New York Times reported after the Penguins won their second Stanley Cup that Lemieux’s wrists wasn’t broken, but bruised against the Washington Capitals was alright.
So not only is Mario Lemieux a whiner, but he too has cheated the game he so called loves. This so called great is not like Gretzky, Messier, Jagr, Coffey, Maurice Richard, Steve Yzerman or the many others that have played the game of hockey the right way. If the NHL was smart they would stop protecting Mario Lemieux’s precious Pittsburgh Penguins and let them face the music like a real hockey team should. Lemieux should also throw away his soap box because whatever words he speaks is honestly static.