The New York Islanders embarrassed themselves and the NHL more in winning this game than they have in all the losing they've done over the past several years.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The game itself was a rout, almost from the start. The Islanders were clearly the better team and the Pens just didn't have it going tonight. Johnson was bad, and the players in front of him were worse during the first period.
Things really got out of hand when Matt Martin attempted a Bertuzzi-like sucker punch on Max Talbot (Bertuzzi-like because he skated up to him from behind, dropped his glove and tried to punch him in the face with no warning). Fortunately Max saw it at the last second and turtled to protect himself. Martin was kicked out of the game and the Pens wound up with a 5 minute power play.
You might think things would calm down between the second and the third, but that's when the Isles let Trevor Gillies out of his cage. He took a flying elbow at Tangradi along the boards, which hurt Tangradi. That didn't stop Gillies, who started punching and kept punching even after Tangradi was down. The linesman kicked Gillies out immediately, putting him out the door to the runway. Gillies still wasn't done. While Tangradi was receiving medical attention from the trainer, Gillies stood in the doorway yelling at him.
I can't possibly imagine a more classless human being than Trevor Gillies right now.
If you hurt a guy and keep punching him, that's bad enough, but to stand there and taunt him while he's down on the ice with the trainer right beside him? Really? In the NHL? Are you a human being or a caged animal?
Once the fracas broke out when Gillies hit Tangradi, Michael Haley took the opportunity to grab Max Talbot and fight him. Once that was separated, instead of going to the penalty box, Haley went directly after Brent Johnson. That was another case of "I can't belieive what I'm seeing". Eric Godard came off of the bench to protect Johnson, as there was no one else around. Godard will be suspended for leaving the bench, but it was necessary in this case. Haley is a clown who belongs in the AHL. You don't try to fight the goalie if you're a skater - that's another cheap, classless move.
The Pens' skaters didn't touch DiPietro after he cheap-shotted Matt Cooke last week. I'd say it didn't even enter their minds to do so. That's because they have respect for the game. The Islanders (some of them, at least) certainly don't.
Tangradi and Paul Martin (who blocked a shot) may be hurt. Bylsma said Tangradi had "concussion-like" symptoms.
I have to applaud whoever gives out the Three Stars at Nassau. They could have pandered to the crowd and named Haley one of the three stars. They didn't. That shows some respect for the lines you shouldn't cross.
I also have to applaud the Pens for not crossing the line tonight. Yes, they plastered some people, but it was all on the ice, in the context of a hockey game. There were no flagrant cheap hits (ala Gillies) or any nonsense about going after their goalie (since the Isles were so hellbent on getting to Johnson). The Pens certainly could have made this much uglier than it was, and they didn't.
I've got nothing else. The Isles are a joke.
Letang (8), Staal (5), Kennedy (11)
The Pens stay in New York to face the Rangers on Sunday afternoon. We should know some of the fallout from this game by then.