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Flyers coach Laviolette calls Penguins counterpart “gutless”

Apr 1, 2012, 6:40 PM EDT

As you might have noticed during the massive brawl that occurred towards the end of the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh game, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and Penguins coach Dan Bylsma were even more pissed than their players. If you missed the team’s coaches shouting match, you can view it below:

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Laviolette was mad that Pittsburgh’s Joe Vitale delivered a big hit on Danny Briere and he wasn’t in the mood to sugarcoat his opinion after the Flyers’ 6-4 victory.

“Those guys hadn’t been out there in 12 minutes,” Laviolette said. “It’s a gutless move by their coach. It’s gutless.”

Bylsma on the other hand felt that Vitale’s hit was clean, but Brayden Schenn’s crosscheck on Sidney Crosby earlier in the game was not. Bylsma claimed that Crosby was targeted and struck by a cheap shot “well after the whistle.”

For his part, Crosby sided with his coach and added, “If that’s a sign of what’s to come it’s going to be a pretty tough playoff series.”

If this match is a sign of what’s to come, then we could see the coaches get into a fistfight before the first round is over.

  1. kingjoe1 - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Let’s skip right to round one, I have my popcorn ready.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Apr 2, 2012 at 9:23 AM

      Couldn’t agree more. As a Pens fan, nothing gets me more amped that a series with the Flyers. I hate them, they hate us – it’s fantastic.

      The Vitale hit was clean – no question there. I also think that if the roles were reversed I would expect the Pens players to jump in the Flyers’ face after the hit so I have no issue with that. The Pens 4th line being on the ice doesn’t suprise me – in a physical game like that there’s no sense putting skill guys out there.

      Watching Laviolette and Bylsma/Granato screaming at each other was awesome – love to see the coaches getting into it just as much as the players.

      Cannot wait for round 1 – it’s going to be a BAR ROOM BRAWL. I hope it goes 7.

      • michiganhockey11 - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        What was better was looking at Pierre inbetween them to see how long he could keep his composure and not crack a grin or smile at what he was hearing.

        Best seat in the house Pierre.

  2. atb4 - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Seriously, how was it gutless? Why would Bylsma put out his star players if the Flyers cross check them in the back after the whistle?

    It’s not even like he put out “goons.” Arron Asham would be the closest thing to that if anything and even that’s a stretch. Vitale’s hit was clean, plain and simple. Perhaps it’s just gamesmanship for what’s to come, but I have to disagree with Laviolette here.

    • spiffy53 - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      vitale’s hit on briere was clean. his hit on grossman might be reviewed.

      • stevierod - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM

        I will admit I am a bit bias since I’m a flyers fan, but you are correct. It was a clean hit… and I think the one on Grosmann is more of an issue. But the game was well in hand for the Flyers… They actually should have seen it coming there were signs of it throughout the game. Malkin giving Giroux the business, the 2x they slashed Jagr and broke his stick.

        That said, how is Crosby going to say anything about Brayden Schenn’s hit, Crosby hit him well after he had gotten rid of the puck… Get over it, you know what you did, accept it.

        Personally Saturday is going to be very interesting, and a great first round series.

      • hockeyknowledge - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        Vitale hit Briere’s head and no one thinks he did.

    • redux12 - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      Let’s flip it around here. If the Flyers were down by a couple of goals, and Lavy sent out Rinaldo for the sole purpose of taking a shot at a star player (Crosby perhaps?), would you be singing the same tune?

      • atb4 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:03 PM

        Vitale is a much different player than Rinaldo. He’s just a 4th line grinder and not even much of a fighter. However, hypothetically, if the hit was clean, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

        I don’t think Bylsma sent out anybody to take a shot at somebody. Vitale saw an opportunity to hit a guy coming across the middle, and he took it. 3 players swarmed him afterwards and started the fight.

      • bcs1283 - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM

        If it were a clean hit, just like Vitale’s, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

        On a side note, Bylsma wouldn’t have been foolish enough to send his star players out with a minute left in a 6-3 game.

      • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:50 PM

        Penguins fans would be crying because of Crosby’s concussion problems and you both know it. Don’t act like you wouldn’t.

        And Bylsma sent his star players out there for the rest of the game after that. It kind of hurts your point.

      • atb4 - Apr 2, 2012 at 7:58 AM

        They were on a powerplay, that’s why Bylsma did that.

    • penscup2012 - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:27 AM

      The Flyers’ personnel saying any other team’s personnel are classless is laughable. Bobby Clarke and the flyers of the 70s did nearly irreparable damage to the game. The former one-dimensional goon, er, skill player Craig Berube is their assistant coach? As long as Clarke is part of this organization they will never win the Cup.

      Flyers fans……just ask Rick Tocchet which city he preferred playing for and living in….Pittsburgh or Killadelphia.

  3. spiffy53 - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    let’s face it, the schenn hit on crosby was a tap. if crosby thought it was anything more serious, instead of looking at the ref, go confront schenn. saturday should be interesting. i doubt shelly will be a scratch if the game means nothing.

    • emoser - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      In the end, it’s all gamesmanship. It’s fun to watch, but any fan who is so emotionally involved that they take this stuff personally needs to check their priorities. That said, I can’t wait til the playoffs.

  4. Buffalo Grumblings - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Ken Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff had the same type of exchanges in ’99.

  5. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Crosby is a punk ! The Flyers owe the Penguins no respect when it comes to him ! I remember Lindros was targeted by Kasperiatis and the Penguins back in the day after returning from being concused ! Sid the skid will be seeing stars by the time this first round is over !

  6. bcisleman - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Maybe its time the NHL stopped giving Bylsma and the Pens a free pass. He does this crap all the time and gets away with it.

    • atb4 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      What crap?

  7. njdevils44 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    The crying flyers funny stuff have fun not winning again year after year Hahahahahahahahahaha

    • spiffy53 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      enjoy 6th place and your 300 fans (of which, 295 are not sure what offsides means).

  8. njdevils44 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Ok ill enjoy that and my 3 cups and watch u guys choke for another year that always bring a smile to my face

    • spiffy53 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      i am sorry, i must have missed you on the ice enjoying your “3 cups”. were you on offense or defense? typical small market fan, never use terms like “my” or “we” unless your playing or your talking about the mouse in your shirt pocket.

      • njdevils44 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        Ya ok your an idiot then i enjoyed the team I root for 3 cups how bout u chump u enjoy losing to Chicago huh? Fckin loser

      • spiffy53 - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:01 PM

        you smart be much very. thanks for the broken english.

    • illbringdabeers - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:13 PM

      Well here’s the numbers for the franchises. I’m glad the Flyers playoff appearances make you laugh, even though they’ve been historically better then BOTH teams

      Philadelphia Flyers:
      2 cups
      8 conference championships
      16 division titles
      36 playoff appearances

      Pittsburgh Penguins
      3 cups
      4 conference champs
      6 division champs
      24 playoff appearances

      New Jersey Devils
      3 cups
      4 conference championships
      9 division titles
      20 playoff appearances

      • martysbetter - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:32 PM

        Not to mention the Devils have done all of that in 15 fewer years.

      • bcs1283 - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:38 PM

        The Flyers have been historically better except for the stat that matters most, Stanley Cups.

      • jobotjones - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:46 PM

        Philadelphia Flyers:
        2 cups

        Pittsburgh Penguins
        3 cups

        New Jersey Devils
        3 cups

        What was that you were saying? This is the only number that matters clown.

      • illbringdabeers - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:51 PM

        wow jobot, you really showed me! You are so smart! I bet you have a really good job where you get paid a lot of money per year and probably even stock options!

      • ml3939 - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:31 PM

        The Pens only have Cups and a franchise because they are intentional LOSERS. The Devils should have got Lemeiux. The pathetic Pens lost on purpose so they could draft Lemeiux. The Flyers make conference finals as often as the Pens miss the playoffs, every 2-3 years. The Pens overall are losing franchise that has lost more games than they have won.

      • jobotjones - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM

        So the fact that you have more division titles, more playoff appearances, more conference championships and LESS cups makes you feel good?

        Typical philly loser…. how bout them eagles I bet you talk trash about all those nfc championships you got with no lombardi’s to back them up…give me a break!

      • redux12 - Apr 1, 2012 at 11:07 PM

        You forgot the bankrupt because nobody cares that they won three cups part.

      • ml3939 - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:19 AM

        The Pens would have only went bankrupt once if they did not lose games intentionally to draft Lemeiux. They would have closed up shop and moved to a city that matters. As I have said before, if Pennsylvania were to be portrayed as a living being, Philadelphia would be the brains, Harrisburg the heart and Pittsburgh the ass.

  9. dagnats - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    i dont like either team…vitale’s hit was clean, i dont have a problem with 1 team bringing on their tough guys to show they will not lose the physical battle at home…philly would and should do the same thing if roles were reversed…dont know what the big deal is

  10. stakex - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Hey I hate the Pens as much as the next guy, but I don’t have much of an issue with what went down. With that said I can certainly see Laviolette’s point, and if I was the Pens I wouldn’t be giving the Flyers a reason to perhaps take a shot a Crosby.

    The one thing I do have an issue with is Crosby acting like a baby after that love tap on his back and calling it cheap. First of all, he had just taken a sizable wack at Brayden Schenn with his stick (as far behind the play as Schenns cross check) which is what instigated the cross check. Second, it was such an obvious dive its not even funny. Crosby is suppose to be so strong on his skates, yet he looked like he was shot by a sniper from a little love tap? Give me a break.

  11. ynonamesleft - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Why on earth would the Penguins put any decent player on the ice at the end of a game that they weren’t going to win? Both sides had been taking cheap shots at each other all game. I watched most of the game, and I saw Crosby both give and take some.

    Vitale is a 4th line guy always trying to prove he belongs. He saw a chance for a hard but clean hit and took it. As far as I’m concerned, the Flyers swarmed him and starting that conflagration. Flyers evidently need to learn to win with class, and both sides need to stop acting like babies and just play the game.

    • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:55 PM

      The stars played the rest of the game after the brawl. Kunitz scoared from Malkin and Crosby.

      • ynonamesleft - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:27 PM

        Yea, because all the 4th liners that should have been on the ice were in the penalty box.

      • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 11:49 PM

        where were the third liners? Second liners? You had enough players to keep Crosby and Malkin off the ice.

  12. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    All you need to k now about the Penquins Organization and Crosby is next Saturday he won’t dress ,,,,,enough said !

  13. bobhpine - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Hey illbringdabeers, were you even alive when the flyers won the cup? Citing a 37 year old championship as proof the flyers are a great franchise rings a little hollow, no? Playoff appearances really do it for you, huh? Good job with that.

    • illbringdabeers - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM

      So the team won a championship 37 years ago, I can’t cite it? Do championships only won 36 years ago count? Thank you for letting me know that. I’ve been walking around this whole time thinking that winning a championship was winning a championship. No one’s ever told me about the time cutoff to where they no longer count!

      Oh, while I have you here, thank you very much for the compliment on my job performance. I’m so appreciative to have my hard work be pointed out by you, so, thank you again!!!!!

      • bobhpine - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:14 AM

        when there are more years since your last championship than there are teams in the league, it has been too long. The Pirates have won a world series more recently than the flyers have won a cup. Keep racking up those conference titles though big guy.

    • pmac26 - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      1975 is a really long time ago! Can you even remember the cup being in Philly?

  14. danphipps01 - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Man, the Flyers mafia is out in force in this thread. Usually it’s the Pens mob that plays the mass-downvote game. How does it feel knowing your fanclubs are the only two in the NHL with bigger insecurity issues than Boston and Vancouver?

  15. fcs34 - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    Grown men in suits acting tough.

    “Hold me back bro ”

    Spare me the drama ladies.

  16. expurg8d - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    So I’m confused. The hit was clean right? Syd the kid got cheap shotted, but not blatantly. So Vitale’s hit was clean, he could’ve avoided it but he’s not that type of player right? I don’t know that much about the Pens, but Vitale isn’t a goon, his line was out there because his team was down by 2. What’s “gutless” about that? Is this all just part of the show? Laviolette was upset about Vitale’s line being out for 12 minutes and then brought back in or something. I don’t understand what everyone is so upset about,

  17. penscup2012 - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    Flyers fans are only fair-weather supporters. For most of the March 18th game against the Pens they were booing both teams.

    • blkeskimo1785 - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:46 AM

      That’s a bogus statement. Philadelphia has always been known as a city that’s ALWAYS hard on their teams. I seem to recall a lot of vacant seating in the Mellon Arena in the early 2000s, when the Pens weren’t that great.

      • penscup2012 - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:26 AM

        You say it is a bogus statement and then you go on to make my point genius.

      • blkeskimo1785 - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        Clearly, you don’t know what the meaning of a “fair-weather fan” is, so I’m just going to disregard your opinion.

  18. blkeskimo1785 - Apr 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Troll-bots Activate! It was good to see this kind of passion between these two teams today. Pending a collapse by the Rangers, it’s pretty inevitable that they’ll be seeing each other in the first round of the playoffs. The hit by Vitale wasn’t dirty or a headshot, but I think there might have been a justifiable overreaction, simply because of the issues Briere has had with concussions. I’m sure there will be a war of words between the coaches and players, but I hope that they let their play do a majority of their talking.

  19. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    This Saturday when the Flyers have a 3 goal lead with 4 minutes to go AGAIN I wonder if Rinaldo hits the ice and takes out malkin or crosby with a CLEAN HIT how the penguins will react ? Oh thats right the sissy la la’s will not see the ice then but one annoying penguin will and that is asham ! When did asham become a tuff guy ? Asham needs to be rag-dolled and thats not hard to do, he lost every fight he was in when he was a Flyer !

    • chizmo - Apr 3, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      Perhaps, it’s just the culture of Philly that causes hockey players to uncontrollably crumple to the ice at the hands of the mighty Arron Asham, and the thunderous hitting JOE VITALE!

      I’ll keep saying it. How is Crosby/Malkin a fair trade for Danny Briere? I could see if it was Giroux that was the victim of Joe Vitale’s VICIOUS, HEADHUNTING, MURDEROUS RAMPAGE on the ice. Surely Kunitz or Dupuis would be a more realistic target for the Flyers goonies?

  20. fbothharbaughs - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Bottom line @ illbringdabeers, when’s the last time your Flyers won a championship? Approaching 40 yrs., if memory serves. In a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, Flyers haven’t won squat.

    And I believe the reason Laviolette was so upset is the fact that outside of Jody Shelley (who gets his ass handed to him on a regular basis), where have the Broad Street Bullies gone? Bobby Clarke must be furious…

  21. bergeronforselke - Apr 2, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    Ladies, it’s hockey. Stop getting your panties in a wad over a clean hit and resulting rough stuff. Guys like Torterrella and Laviolette have to know that you reap what you sow….stop being a hypocrite and stop whining about the other coaches for stuff that you and your team does

  22. benzoids - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Joe Vitale by no means has a history of being a dirty player–he barely even has a history for that matter. The Flyers have done the exact same thing in the past when they were on the other side of things. It is hockey. You send a message for the next game. Hulk Hogan should really consider dressing as BoBo the Clown for Saturday’s game. Hartnell would love it.

  23. brentlosee - Apr 2, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    The only real issue with what went down was Laviolette’s reaction, which was un called for. Throwing a temper tantrum like a child, breaking a stick over the boards. If he doesnt do that this is a differnt story.

    For everyone complaining that the Pens sent their “Goon” line out is stupid. It takes 2 to tango and I didnt see any of Phillys players backing down from a fight, in fact they started the fighting.

    Again, this would be a moot point in Phillies coach didnt over react. It would have just been some good pre-playoff punching and that would be it.

    • brentlosee - Apr 2, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      Opps, i meant flyers

  24. Rick Keene - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM

  25. wicky888 - Apr 3, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Flyers fan here …. hit was clean, Briere should stop crying. If you dont like the way the Pens hit you, hit them harder. Crosby: keep your head up. Should be a great series …… cant wait.

    Unfortunately the arguments about the Cup are true …… we havent won in forever. I would love to talk smack back, but I cant.

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