What's Buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Why the NY Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Lightning opening faceoff fights happened

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning did something incredibly entertaining (at least in theory) or absolutely deplorable in their Monday matinee game on Long Island, depending how you feel about off-the-opening-faceoff fights:

When B.J. Crombeen and Pierre-Cedric Labrie are lined up for the Lightning against Matt Martin and Joe Finley, one gets the sense the opening draw will be a sideshow. Which, in fact, it was.

Many have asked “what purpose does this serve?”, as they often do after any staged brawl?

Well, via Lightning Strikes, the Lightning and Islanders attempted to answer that:

"We knew we needed to win this one," Martin said, "and we wanted to do whatever we could to get the crowd going and get our teammates going."

"He looked at me during the national anthem and I was planning on looking at him, too," Crombeen said of Finley. "Both sides were ready and willing, and it was something that was going to happen. We're not going to let teams push us out of their building. If we have to do that, we'll happily do that."

Both sides believed the fracas did its job. Martin said the agitated Nassau Coliseum crowd was like "a sixth man for us," and Stamkos gave kudos to Crombeen and Labrie because they "answered the call."

Looking at the benches during the fight, you can see the energy infusion – sort of essential when you’re playing a 1 p.m. game on a Monday. (A game the Islanders won, 4-3.)

So while the validity of these stunt fights will be debated until the sun explodes (or fighting is banned, whichever happens first), the combatants at least claim some method to their madness. Even if it’s simply justifying some barbarous entertainment to kick off the game.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (87)
  • OHL Roundup: Alex DeBrincat leads Otters in 3-2 victory over Rangers

    ERIE, Pa. - Alex DeBrincat's empty-net goal 17:54 into the third period stood as the winner as the Erie Otters edged the Kitchener Rangers 3-2 on Thursday in Ontario Hockey League action. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 46 minutes ago
  • QMJHL Roundup: Carozza scores OT winner as Remparts edge Sea Dogs 4-3

    SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Massimo Carozza scored 2:26 into overtime to lift the Quebec Remparts to a 4-3 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Thursday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. … More »

    The Canadian Press - 1 hour 49 minutes ago
  • Flames-Coyotes Preview

    The Calgary Flames are near the bottom of the NHL's overall standings, and they'll likely stay there unless they find a way to improve their play away from home. With coach Bob Hartley potentially shuffling his lines, the Flames seek just their … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 1 minute ago
  • Penguins-Blue Jackets Preview

    An angry Sidney Crosby refuted the idea that there is a rift between him and Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux. An angry John Tortorella called the Columbus Blue Jackets' latest victory lucky. The Blue Jackets managed to shut down Crosby and … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
  • Oilers F Yakupov out with ankle sprain

    EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Edmonton forward Nail Yakupov is expected to miss two to four weeks after spraining his left ankle in the Oilers' 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 hours ago