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Tired of taunting? So is the NHL; Stiff penalties to come for future finger wagging

Jun 7, 2011, 2:46 PM EDT

Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows Getty Images

While there’s already been an insane amount of things to take away from the Stanley Cup finals, one of the more unique and silly things we’re going to remember is the taunting. It started when Alex Burrows got away with biting Patrice Bergeron in Game 1. That was followed up by Maxim Lapierre taunting Bergeron by holding his gloved hand in his face daring him to take a bite. Not to be outdone, Milan Lucic got a bit of revenge on Burrows himself by holding up his bare fingers in his face during a scrum daring the biter to take another shot.

When you add those things up and tack on the uncharacteristic taunting from Mark Recchi after scoring last night, you’ve got yourself a good old fashioned taunt-fest. If you’ve grown tired of these things though, you’ll be happy to know that future instances will be treated harshly.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun found out from NHL VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy that officials will be instructed to give out a two minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and assessed a ten-minute misconduct on top of that for any future instances of finger wagging in a scrum.

When asked during the press conference discussing Aaron Rome‘s four game suspension for his hit on Nathan Horton about whether or not some of the side show antics and chippy play could’ve been avoided had they suspended Burrows for his initial bite, Murphy spoke his mind.

“We made the right decision on Alex Burrows. I spoke with Alex. But I’m not here to speak about that. I’ve dealt with that. We’ve moved on past that. We will deal with the issues of the series, the chippyness that’s going on.

“Kris King is in charge of the series. We’ve addressed it. We’ve addressed it with the teams as early as this morning. I will be speaking with both general managers and coaches before the day’s over about what we are seeing, the garbage that is going on, some of the issues.”

Murphy was stern about wanting to put a stop to the silly stuff that both teams are taking part in on the ice. After all, this is the league’s biggest stage and while dealing with a serious incident like the Rome hit and the games themselves, having this ancillary stuff distracts from the game even more. Sure we get a laugh out of it and sure it’s pretty amusing to see these guys acting so silly but hockey’s a serious thing when it comes to the Stanley Cup finals.

  1. manhorse69 - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    It was always going to get to that kind of behavior as soon as the league let it go and Vancouver began taunting because of it. So far the Bruins have only responded in kind to what the NHL demonstrated was ok based on their handling of Vancouver.

    • bruins18 - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      couldnt have said it better myself

  2. bobwsc - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    if someone from Vancouver would man up and fight Lucic or Thornton, they could get past this.

    • hystoracle - Jun 7, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      Vancouver doesn’t have the backbone. Heck, the Lightning’s Moore had more courage than the Canucks he actually exchanged with Horton and Lucic at the end of games even thought they probably each outweigh him by 30lbs or more.

      The last big hit Vancouver gave resulted in them losing 3 in a row to Chicago. Vancouver has the talent to beat Boston, but I’m not sure if they have the heart.

      At this point in the season, will wins over skill. The team with the most will usually wins.

  3. cannonblast14 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Its Murphy’s fault. If Burrows got one game even this would not be happening. Players have been allowed to make a joke of it

  4. murraychadwick - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    The article said it best, if the NHL would have suspended Burrows for only 1 game like they should have this stuff would not be going on. It makes it even worse when in game 2, the game Burrows should have been sitting out he gets 2G and 1A in a 3-2 victory. The NHL made their own bed on this and now they have to sleep in it. Can anyone remember a biting incident that didn’t result in a suspension? I can’t.

    • gallyhatch - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      Just to add insult to injury is the “vegetarian” comment by Sedin & the original taunting by LaPierre during game 2…how did they expect the Bruins to react? NHL has some serious issues to figure out.
      They are getting back a lot of the viewers they lost because of the work stoppage, & they are going to drive them all away as soon as they’re back.

    • canuckdude82 - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      Really ? Let me assist you then Marc Savard last year. Remember now ?

  5. cannonblast14 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    p.s anyone see D Sedin run into Boston player last night and then go down holding face? Not a big fan of that stuff.

    • spiffy53 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      yes. as an impartial observer, the diving is really getting to me. it really cheapens the product and makes it look more like european soccer. i am on the east coast and watch a lot of hockey, but not a ton of games with vancouver. i hope they did not do this all season.

      • stoankold - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:35 PM

        They definitely did it in the Nashville series. Luongo bought a high sticking call when, in fact, he was never touched by the stick. He just threw his head back like he took a bullet and the ref blew the whistle. Kesler also bought a cheap call that won Vancouver a game in OT.

        It’s systemic with that team and is clearly driving a lot of disrespect and ire (deservedly so) their way.

  6. gallyhatch - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but if Murphy took care of business from the get-go & suspended Burrows, this series would not have devolved to this. Period.

    Let’s play hockey.

  7. hockeyisourgame23 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    The hypocrisy of these debates is tiresome. Both teams have done equally offensive acts in recent times. Even this series, the viscous slash by Chara on the back of Bieksa’s legs in game 1….Lucic slashing then punching Burrows in the head when he was on his knees…..yes, the late hit by Rome. Of course the Bruins have never done anything like that. Come on people, all teams have committed these acts, let’s stop pretending it’s only the other guys….as far as the series goes, it is very good hockey to watch, nothing close to the viscousness that was the 70’s broad street bullies etc….enjoy your one victory. Canucks in 5.

    • hystoracle - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      I see the hypocrisy too.. And I don’t have a horse in this race. Could care less which one wins. Lets get it over with and get on to the Draft and Free Agency.

      • hockeyisourgame23 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:38 PM


    • spiffy53 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      i will take the broad street bullies and man up hockey over the diving, antics and embelleshment i am seeing in this series. i came in rooting for the canucks until i saw how they ruin the game. half the guys on the canucks look like they are getting shot out there. both teams are guilty to a degree, but vancouver is taking their thesbian asperations to a new level. the canucks need to either man-up and drop the gloves or just shut the hell up and play.

      • tommytd - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:14 PM

        Don’t forget the whining…

      • canuckdude82 - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:04 AM

        Leading the series 2-1 obviously they have spent some time playing haven’t they ?

    • nolesshabitual - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:15 PM

      Did Shawn Thornton fake slash Bieska’s knees? Did Chara say my favorite Guitar player is slash? Face facts, Burrows did something my three year old niece knows is wrong in biting another human being, got away with it, and then the Canucks rubbed Boston’s faces in it. If you get away with murder you don’t go back and piss on the grave.

    • stoankold - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:39 PM

      “Lucic slashing then punching Burrows in the head when he was on his knees”

      No one is accusing the Bruins of being saints. That said, I think it’s a bit naive to think that wasn’t a direct result of Burrows biting Bergeron.

    • tommytd - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:19 PM

      Don’t forget the whining…

      vi·cious·ness noun
      marked by violence or ferocity : fierce

    • cannonblast14 - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:35 PM

      There is lots of hyprocrisy. Let me just clarify that my above comment on D Sedin is from a mutual perspective. I would say that no matter who is diving. Im not really a fan of either team after watching the series so far and i went in to the series only barely favoring Boston because they are in an American city. Other than that small detail, i couldnt care less who wins.

    • mgp1219 - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:10 PM


  8. hockeyisourgame23 - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Here we go again…Gallyhatch, to use YOUR words, just how do you expect the Canucks to react? When just before the hit, the Bruins Thornton was over by the Canucks bench, taunting and goading Rome….so you can blame Horton’s injury directly on Thornton.

    • gallyhatch - Jun 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      I expect the Canucks to resort to cheap headshots & to dive around on the ice like soccer players. And true to form that’s how they’ve reacted.

      I most certainly don’t expect them to man up & play the game like it should be played.

      p.s. How did you like Sedin’s dive last night? I hope his face is okay after that should to shoulder hit.

      • tommytd - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:13 PM

        Dive or no dive, it’s great to see one of the Sedin sisters on his ass.

    • mgp1219 - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:13 PM

      Then why didn’t Rome take on thornton in a fight rather than to wait to hit an unsuspecting player without the puck?

  9. rushbacker - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    “We made the right decision on Alex Burrows.”

    Nope. Fail. It’s exceptionally clear that you did NOT make the right decision there. Nice try, though.

    And nice try by “hockeyisourgame,” but none of Boston’s players has friggin’ BITTEN anyone. That’s cowardly little girl tactics. Also, no Canucks players have been removed from the ice on stretchers after vicious cheap shots. Your attempt to blame Thornton’s taunting for Horton’s injury is unbelievably lame and weak. If the Canucks didn’t like Thornton running his mouth, drop the gloves and do something about it– don’t respond with a cowardly cheap shot against another player. Everyone knows some slashing and cross-checking’s going to happen in a playoff series, but the Canucks go way past the typical physical play and far into the territory of dirty play. No surprise from the organization that essentially condoned Bertuzzi’s assault on Steve Moore years ago. Some things don’t change, and the inherent goonery of the POS Canucks organization is obviously one of those things.

    • shaqattaqer - Jun 7, 2011 at 9:57 PM

      dont say “Fail.”. that’s unbelievably lame and weak.

    • canuckdude82 - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      Once again Marc Savard…… Bite with no suspension get over it guys its done.

  10. tommytd - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    You can bite a guy but you’re going to the box if you taunt him! Good grief NHL, get a grip.

  11. guypatsfan - Jun 8, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Burrows is lucky he’s not playing in the Terry O’Reilly era. O’Reilly, Wensink, or Jonathan would have taken care of that finger-biter.

    • savoirlaire - Jun 8, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      That’s hilarious…I was just telling my buddy last night what Wensink would have done in this situation! Unfortunately decorum prevents me from reprinting it here…

    • canuckdude82 - Jun 8, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      Good thing Lucic isn’t playing in the Odjick era he woulda got his butt kicked for rabbit punching Burrows. See how stupid you sound when someone else does it too ?

    • mgp1219 - Jun 8, 2011 at 5:14 PM

      My mother could take care of Burrows

  12. dbick - Jun 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    If you think Lappiere shoving his fingers in bergeron’s face wasn’t hilarious, you take hockey far to seriously.

    • dbick - Jun 12, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      Butchered Lapierres name

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