This week’s installment of the The Instigators: LIVE featured TomC moderating the discussion between BillyJ, BarryP, and Mark Mowers.
The line brawl that occurred off the opening face-off of the Devils @ Rangers came was a hot topic. There was a question of whether these type of incidents are good for the league, or whether or not the coaches should be fined for orchestrating such a brawl off the drop. As visitors, the Devils set their lineup first. The New Jersey starting five included Eric Boulton, Cam Janssen and Ryan Carter, who between them came in with three goals, four assists and 252 penalty minutes this season. New York countered with Mike Rupp, Brandon Prust and defenseman Stu Bickel, who actually won a faceoff for the first time in his NHL career. Predictably, a brawl ensued. Only four penalties were called after the first period and there were no subsequent fights.
Events like this certainly encourage the fans to arrive on-time, and line brawls happen very infrequently. This was just good olde thyme hockey. Two teams with a strong distaste for each other attempting to send a physical message at the start of the game.