The Philadelphia Flyers as Victims. . . Yeah, Right
A Flyers' player took about ten steps and cross-checked Penguins' mega-star Sidney Crosby from behind. Crosby has suffered from concussions, so not only was this hit a cheap shot, it could have exacerbated a condition that Crosby has worked hard to overcome to get back on the ice.
So, later in the game, a Penguins' player took a hard shot at Flyers' star Danny Briere, which prompted a) all five skaters on both teams dropping the gloves and b) Flyers' coach Peter Laviollette up over the glass, gesturing to the Penguins' coach, calling him out for putting his goons on the ice when they hadn't been out for twelve minutes, and the breaking a stick over the glass. Oh, the Flyers won of course, and the two teams probably will face each other in the playoffs. You can read about the game here.
I saw the replays and heard Laviollette's explanation, but I think that he's just plain wrong. The Penguins had more than every right to dry to turn Briere into a one-dimensional poster board cutout to make amends for the cheap shot on Crosby. Sorry, Coach (whom I happen to like), but if one of your guys goons it up and takes a cheap shot at one of the best players in the game, what else should you expect? And if you and your boys cannot tolerate the type of hit put on Briere and the fights that ensued, then maybe you should reconsider having one of your guys put a cross-check on a player from behind.
Sorry, Flyers, but you started it, and, if I were the commissioner, I'd suspend the Flyer (Braden Schenn) who put the hit on Crosby for five games, dock him his pay and fine him $50,000. Sure, Crosby didn't get hurt, but that's not the point. The point was that that type of hit has no place in hockey, and this type of hijinks cheapens the game.
Victors? At least for today, yes.
Honorable? What do you think?