PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In the aftermath of a brawl-filled Friday evening for the Penguins at Nassau Coliseum, fans back here in Pittsburgh are having mixed reactions to a hockey game that turned into fight night.
Some fans watched the game against the New York Islanders in anger and disgust as one fight after another broke out on the ice.
“It’s kind of one of those things where you know there was a fight and all of a sudden a hockey game broke out,” said Penguins’ fan, Zach Sovek.
It all started last week when the teams met for a game at the CONSOL Energy Center, the Isles took exception to Penguins’ backup goalie Brent Johnson fighting their goaltender Rick DiPietro and taking him out in one punch. They also weren’t pleased with a hit by Max Talbot on one of their forwards.
When the clock finally ran out Friday night on Long Island, 346 penalty minutes were assessed and there were 10 ejections from the game.
“I thought it wasn’t hockey it was thuggery,” said Penguins’ fan, Rick Monti, Jr.
“I thought it was a throwback to the 1970s when we had Battleship Kelly and Steve Durbano and the slapshot hockey,” added fan Rick Moni Sr. “It wasn’t hockey as we know it today.”
Then, there were other fans that didn’t have a big problem with all the violence.
“I actually missed the beginning of the game,” said one fan. “I started turning it on after I heard all the fights were going on; it was interesting to watch.”
“It’s part of the game,” Tim Teachout, who is a fan of the Penguins biggest Western Conference rival, the Detroit Red Wings. “It’s not that much, but I still think it’s part of the game.”
However, many agree things got out of control, and to add insult to injury the Penguins lost 9-3.
“That really hurt,” said Monti. “If it was 9-3 us, it would have been a lot easier to take.”
Meanwhile, the puck is now with the National Hockey League as plenty of discipline is expected for both teams.
“I’m sure there will be some fines stemming from the altercations and retaliation,” said Teachout.
“We don’t need anymore fines on any of our sports teams. Let them fight,” added another.