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Video: Kopecky decks Del Zotto in final seconds

Dec 30, 2011, 10:46 PM EDT

Tomas Kopecky

Starting a fight in the final five minutes is a big no-no in the NHL. That’s the lesson Tomas Kopecky should have learned when he received a match penalty for his punch to Michael Del Zotto’s face with only seven seconds left in New York’s 4-1 win over Florida on Friday night. It’s a lesson that should have been reinforced when Mike Rupp took exception and returned the favor with his fists to Kopecky’s face afterwards. It’s a lesson that may conclude with a call from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. His attendance for Saturday night’s game against Montreal hangs in the balance.

Right now, Rangers fans are probably convinced that the “A” on the front of Kopecky’s sweater doesn’t stand for “alternate captain.”

After the game, Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen added a little more fuel to the fire when he said that Del Zotto “deserved to get smashed in the face” and “he got what he deserved.” for delivering a butt end to the back of Kopecky’s head.  In a related note, Kopecky also got what he deserved—the aforementioned match penalty for his right cross to Del Zotto’s mug.

Take a look for yourself.

  1. hulkhogan69 - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    Shanny has become as bad as Colin Campbell so I doubt anything happens to Kopecky.

  2. scottfmullin - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    With seven seconds left, I don’t think Del Zotto should have been cross-checking as hard and often as he was. Kopecky looked like he was just fighting for position in front of the net, nothing really illegal or dirty or uncalled for.

    Del Zotto should have waited out those seven seconds and taken two points into the locker room and left it at that. Don’t know why he started bashing Kopecky when his team dominated the whole game.

    • scottfmullin - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:57 PM

      Although that punch was not smart at all either

  3. jkay1818 - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    come on scottmullin, find me a player no matter the time of the game that doesnt push and cross check like that no matter what time of the game it is. I read your comment first before watching the play. I was expecting multiple cross checks and something insanely dirty. That’s typical. The punch in the face was because his team was getting smoked.

    • scottfmullin - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:48 PM

      I know it’s typical to battle like that in front of the net, but up three with seconds remaining? Especially for the situation, it seemed like too much pushing and shoving from a not incredibly physical defenseman in Del Zotto. I think he was getting after him from something earlier.

      • ravenscaps48 - Dec 31, 2011 at 1:27 AM

        He punched him because Del Zotto slashed the back of his fucking head! What were you watching, JKay?

  4. kingbilly1 - Dec 31, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Del Zotto should have expected a physical response for what he did to Kopecky in the dying seconds of a game that his team is winning handily . . and he got one. It’s not a sucker punch if you hit the other guy twice to provoke it. As for Rupp attacking Kopecky, that’s all well and good, but the Rangers should be prepared for Gaborik to take a few punches from a 4th liner if they want to play it that way.

  5. yettyskills - Dec 31, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    Cross check him in the face late in a game? MDZ had it coming

  6. chibimike - Dec 31, 2011 at 4:58 AM

    Kopecky might get 1 game for it.

    Rupp will get 2-3. Once a player is wrapped up by the linesman you are not allowed to jump him.

  7. jpelle82 - Dec 31, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    del zotto gets pwn’d by kopecky and kopecky gets pwn’d by rupp for pwn’ing del zotto. no suspensions necessary. it worked itself out like it usually does. stepan and versteeg wrestling like little girls was funny though

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