Mario Lemieux is a god amongst men in terms of hockey ability. The guy could skate down the ice with his eyes closed, get a feed from Jagr's delicious mullet and tickle the twine with the best of them. His career numbers attest to that. In 915 career games played, Lemieux scored 690 goals and had 1,033 assists which ranks him 7th all time with 1,723 points.
After the Friday night beat down in New York, where the Islanders beat up the Pens both physically (15 fighting majors and 346 penalty minutes) and on the scoreboard, Lemieux offered a statement out to the media, which read:
"Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be but what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn't hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.
"The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed."
Let us first state that we agree with what Mario is saying. What happened on Friday night in Long Island and what happened Wednesday night in Boston wasn't hockey. It was an MMA fight on ice. That being said, when the NHL does something like this, it draws fans. We sat down with 10 juvenile, basketball loving delinquents when Boston hosted Dallas and they watched the entire hockey game because of the fights. If the NHL is looking for an "in", this is it.
With that being said, we think the enforcer/goon role is ridiculous. There's no place for it in the game. Guys like Sean Avery, Steve Ott, Matt Cooke and a handful of others have no place in the game. They do nothing for it except cause controversy.
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