Skip to content

Watch the madness that occurred late in Flyers, Penguins game

Apr 1, 2012, 4:51 PM EDT

If Sunday’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers was an indication of how passionately these teams will compete in a matchup for home ice advantage, just imagine how the crazy their first round series will get.

The game broke down with just over a minute left in the contest when Pittsburgh’s Joe Vitale delivered a big hit to Danny Briere. It got so out of hand that even the coaches got into a shouting match.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Pittsburgh certainly looked like a serious Stanley Cup contender in March, but they have struggled against Philadelphia all season. This first round matchup could be one of the best series of the 2012 playoffs.

  1. martysbetter - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Pierre standing awkwardly in the middle of the two coaches screaming at each other made me chuckle.

    • sabatimus - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      That was totally the funniest part about it. He’s supposed to keep his composure and behave like a good analyst should…while two coaches are irate and screaming obscenities 3 feet over his head.

  2. brian32556 - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Apparently Sid the Git is allowed to slash anyone he cares to without impunity, and Geno “A face only a mother could love” Malkin can punch anyone in the face who comes within arms distance! Unbelievable! No wonder sheen took out Crosby – the refs were letting him get away with anything he wanted to. IS THIS THE FACE THE NHL WANTS REPRESENTING IT?!

    • crosberries - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      Wahhhhhhhhhhh wahhhhhhh wah wahhhhhhhhh

      • hockinj25 - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        scoreboard

      • brian32556 - Apr 6, 2012 at 6:11 PM

        That seems to be the most intelligent thing anyone in Pittsburgh can say.

  3. pghships - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Classic case, if you smack the bully in the mouth, they cry like a baby. Vitalies’ hit was clean. Simmonds got his ass beat. Schenn was tough hitting 87 from behind wasn’t he? Then the coach puts on the water works when the pens respond. Funny how philly fans bring on the whining when teams fight back. Kinda makes us pens fans chuckle. Oh and don’t act like rinaldo ain’t gonna take a run at one of the pens on Saturday either. But I’m sure Philly fans will look right past that. Should be a great series.

    • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      Simmonds took a puck to the face yesterday and has 6-7 stitches holding a cut together. The fact that he was even willing to fight makes him a beast.

      Schenn was tough hitting Crosby all game. It wasn’t just that hit and he was the first to stand up for Briere. Don’t make it seem like he hit him and ran.

      There were no water works from Lavy. Craig Berube of all people had to hold him back from climbing into the Pittsburgh bench.

      Vitalies’ hit was clean. You’re right about that, but you don’t send your 4th line out at the end of a game to try and get a big hit on someone. That’s classless.

      • pghships - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:19 PM

        Clean hit, it was schenn, simmonds who went after vitalie. Pens didn’t start that brawl. You act like Craig Adams and Joe vitalie are tough guys. Asham was out there to make a statement to schenn for his cross check FROM BEHIND! Not cause schenn played crosby tough all game. I know simmonds took a puck to the face and still went at it never said he didn’t have balls. He Still got handled. I just find it odd that flyer fans are talking about class. Like they have a bunch of saints on the ice. Lavys already crying. It’s hockey! playoffs are a week away a message was sent with a CLEAN hit. Get over it.

      • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:57 PM

        What are you talking about? At least 60% of what you just wrote makes no sense. “Clean hit, it was schenn, simmonds who went after vitalie.” What does that even mean? “Like they have a bunch of saints on the ice. Lavys already crying. It’s hockey!” Are those thoughts supposed to go together?

        I’m only going to comment on the things I understand:

        “Asham was out there to make a statement to schenn for his cross check FROM BEHIND! Not cause schenn played crosby tough all game.”

        Did I say anything about Asham? I talked about Schenn playing Crosby hard all game, as a way to show you that he was tough and wasn’t going to just hit him from behind and run away (like Crosby would). You made it seem like Schenn was trying to be a tough guy by only hitting him from behind.

        Also how do you know Asham was out there because of that? Asham didn’t even touch Schenn until after the hit on Briere and it was Schenn that went skating toward him. Don’t make stuff up.

        If it was true, however, does that make it ok to send out your fourth line in a 6-3 hockey game with only a little over a minute to play? No. Schenn’s hit could have easily been in response to Crosby’s multiple slashes to Giroux, or Malkin shoving Giroux’s head into the ground multiple times. Does it make it right to retaliate? no, but you don’t send out a guy to rough up a player who made one dirty play in response to about 3 or 4 dirty plays on your side.

        “He Still got handled”

        You try to take a hit to the face when you have stitches holding it together. It’s kind of tough to fight.

        “You act like Craig Adams and Joe vitalie are tough guys”

        It was more Asham and Engeland than Adams and Vitale, but while were at it let’s take alook anyway. Asham is 2nd on the team in penalty minutes, Engeland is 4th in penalty minutes and 3rd in hits, Vitale is 5th in penalty minutes and 8th in hits, and Adams is 2nd in hits. Let’s also keep in mind that these guys (aside form Engeland) rarely play, and yet Bylsma sends them out there at the end of the game. Hmmmmm

      • pghships - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM

        Makes no sense?? “clean hit” meaning it was a CLEAN HIT.

        “it was schenn , simmonds who went after vitalie”. Meaning after the CLEAN HIT they went right after Vitalie after his LEGAL AND CLEAN HIT!

        What are you not getting?

        “Flyer Fans talking about class like they have a bunch of saints on the ice”. Meaning Philly plays a clean, flawless game no dirty\cheap shots nothing like that. Flyers are all straight arrows. Your seriously coming off as if the flyers do no wrong.

        Moaning and groaning about Giroux getting hit by Malkin\Crosby yet when the shoes on the other foot Pens fans are called cry babies. So the Pens star players can get hit with cheap shots, and hit after the whistle. when it happens to a Flyer that stuff doesn’t fly…….I get it now

        You accuse me of making stuff up on why Asham was out there. Yet you assume Bylsma put those guys out there to start fights and send a message. Did it ever cross your mind that Niskanen, Engo, are the 5th and 6th defensemen? And the 3 forwards were our 4th line. Maybe he was protecting his star players. Seeing how things heat up during Pens\Flyers games afterwards. And a tough playoff series is a week away. Did you ever think of that? or are you just assuming like you accused me of doing with Ashams intent.

        Once again about Simmonds. i never had a puck to the face nor do i plan on taking one to the face. Where did i say he wasn’t a tough S.O.B? He knew he just got stitches, yet he chose to throw with Engo. it is what it is.

        would you rather have Engo just not throw at all seeing that Simmonds was just hit in the face with a puck. Then you’d be praising Simmonds for taking out Engo with stitches in his face. And when Rinaldo takes a run at a Pens player saturday, your gonna be cheering and clapping your hands when he does it.

        Bottom line like i said before. When we do it (flyers) its Old school flyer hockey. But when its done to us, “its classless, and cheap shots”. Some things never change. Smack a bully in the mouth he turns on the water works.

      • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:08 PM

        ok first of all, try using things like verbs, and articles, and conjunctions when writing a sentence. You can’t just throw a bunch of random thoughts together and call it a sentence. I get it now, when you break every part of the sentence down, but a normal human being would have said “It was a clean hit. It was Schenn and Simmonds who went after Vitale. The Pens didn’t start that brawl.” Commas aren’t substitutes for words.

        Second, I said it was a clean hit in my first response so I don’t understand why you’ve felt the need to drive home that point in the past two posts. I admitted it. I even said you were right about that.

        Third, I didn’t make up the “Pens sent their fourth line out to send a message” notion. Pierre McGuire reiterated what he was hearing from the coaches arguing above him. He never said anything about Asham going out there to hit Schenn for the cross-check. You made that up. it could be true, but you talk about it like that is common knowledge.

        Fourth, I agree that Schenn’s hit was a cheap shot, I tried to insinuate that in my last post, but i guess i failed to. My point was, the cheap shot was in response to multiple cheap shots thrown throughout the game by Malkin and Crosby. Penguins fans want to crucify the kid because he hit your star player from behind, when your star players were taking cheap shots at our star all game long. What makes the Penguins cheap shot more classless (notice i said more. I’m not insinuating that Schenn’s hit was classy), was that it was unprovoked. Schenn took a shot at Crosby as a way to stick up for his teammate. he should have done it in a cleaner way, but you can understand his motives. it wasn’t a completely dirty play (again, notice i said completely) because he was just sticking up for a teammate. Crosby and Malkin were unprovoked. Tell me what Giroux did during the game to deserve to get his head shoved into the ground or to get slashed like that multiple times. What did he do that one game to get an elbow thrown at his head.

        As for Simmonds, I just don’t want you to get a big head because your player beat up and injured player. That’s all.

        Finally, when we refer to Old School Hockey, we don’t refer to dirty plays. I think that’s what Penguins fans don’t understand. Flyers hockey is about playing tough, clean, hockey and sticking up for your teammates. Guys like Recchi, Primeau, and Kapanen, epitomize Flyers Hockey and were never considered dirty players. I haven’t seen anyone say that the Schenn play was “Flyers Hockey.” Sure we have our fair share of dirty plays. Everyone does, but the dirty players like Downie, Boulerice, and (to an extent) Carcillo, we’re either non-factors on the team, or we’re quickly shipped out. Your dirty players are the faces of your franchise. They put that label on your entire team. It makes your coach look dirty and everyone that plays for him.

      • pghships - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:55 PM

        It really wasn’t that hard to read, so for that i apologize professor, College life was about 8 years ago, i was also unaware we were being graded on our usage of the English language, i’m not worried how my comments show up, on a message board, if it bothers you once again, for that i apologize,

        I admit i assumed when the skirmish broke out and Asham went after Schenn it was for the hit on crosby, maybe i did think it was common knowledge but i would like to think that most of the people watching the game that seen asham immediately go after schenn “assumed” like i did it was for the crosby hit, so it might of came off as common knowledge to me.

        Crosby and Malkin were unprovoked? How so?how do you know Giroux didn’t do\say anything to Malkin, they’ve had a history of going at each other in the past. Things could’ve been said i don’t know, you dont’ know, they play each other a lot, tempers build up, things carry over, the flyers don’t give that extra push\face wash\slash when they have the opportunity?,

        For when malkin went after girouxs head they BOTH slashed each other Giroux gave him a bump Malkin tried to respond. If he would’ve connected he should of and would of been suspended.

        Also from my perspective when flyer fans refer to “old time hockey” and “flyer hockey” its not the mark recchi days or Primeau days,their referring to the Broad St. Bullies, and lets face it, they weren’t exactly Lady Bing Candidates, but thats just me,,,

        Might i add i never, once, claimed Geno, or Sid to be angels, Yes we do have matt cooke who is the poster boy for head shots,(cleaned up his act this year) But back to my original point was hartnell(bit letangs finger last year), rinaldo, simmonds, carle and at times pronger(when playing) aren’t angels either,

        Flyers are used to being the big bully on the block, when teams become physical back at them all of sudden that team is dirty and cheap shot artists, but when philly does it its “tough, physical, sticking up for your teammates Philadelphia flyer hockey”

        Bottom Line your coach got mad at a clean hit. End of discussion,,,

        should be an exciting series,

        comma,comma,,,,,,,,,

      • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 11:47 PM

        For all in tense and purposes, yes, they were unprovoked. Sure there could have been trash talk, but it’s coming from both sides. You didn’t see Giroux slash Crosby or wash Malkin. He didn’t even do that after they cheap shot him. He kept it clean. If a player cheap shots your teammate, i think it gives you the right to go after them (cleanly), but there’s not enough talking in the world that gives someone the right to shove a players face into the ice.

        Yes, when people bring up Flyers Hockey and Old Time Hockey they are referring to the Broad St Bullies, and no, they weren’t angels. However, when people talk about the Bullies, they are referring to the combination of skill and toughness, not dirty plays. When I named those players , I was just using them as more modern examples of players who epitomized that style of play. John LeClair is another guy who played Flyers Hockey, and he was one of the classiest guys out there. I hate the notion that the Flyers are dirty. They are tough and physical and they might hit a guy illegally once in a while, but they never fight with their stick or hit a guy when he’s down.

        And Lavy wasn’t mad at a clean hit. He was mad that they put a line in that hadn’t played in 12 minutes, assuming that they were out there to try and hurt someone.

  4. barkar942 - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Looks to me that the only team the Pens don’t want to face is the Flyers in the first round. They would probably have a good chance to roll over anyone else, but the Flyers look to have their number. Should be interesting!

  5. schenntheturtle - Apr 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Schenn cheapshots Crosby and then turtles when Asham takes him up on it. Typical Flyer. On top of that, Schenn doesn’t even get a penalty because of the NHL’s bizarre rule that you can commit any minor offense between the time an unrecognized goal is scored and when the clock is stopped. I’m sure Schenn knew that was the case and took his free shot. And Pierre calls him “a character guy.” Pierre’s a joke and NBC should be embarrassed to be employing this clown.

    • sabatimus - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      Pierre’s should just go coach Montreal—being a clown, he’d fit right in.

      • habsman - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:06 PM

        Stop trying to be funny drew.

    • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:27 PM

      When did Schenn “turtle?” Did I miss something? I seem to remember Schenn skating up to Asham after Briere got hit and then got punched in the mouth with another Penguin on his back. He never fell to the ground and “turtled” as you put it. You can even hear Pierre Mcguire say “Schenn pick the wrong guy.”

      • schenntheturtle - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:07 PM

        Instead of relying on your memory, watch the replay. Asham comes after Schenn, not the other way round, and as I said in another post, Kubina grabbed Asham before Niskanen grabbed Schenn. If you are fond of quoting Pierre, you’ll note he says “Kubina steps in.” You can’t blame Asham if Kubina was ineffective. But who cares what Pierre says? The man’s an idiot.

        Schenn may not have turtled in the traditional sense but he did nothing but duck and cover. If you are going to hit a team’s star player from behind after the play, you have to realize that you will be called on it and when that happens you better answer the bell. Otherwise, you are just a coward, a la Claude Lemieux.

        Despite all this, the fact remains that the Flyers played their game and schooled the Penguins behind a strong performance by Bobrovski. Give them credit. They took what the Penguins gave them and made the most of it. Just don’t paint Schenn as the victim here or as some “character guy” who deserves respect.

        It ought to be an awesome series.

      • tcclark - Apr 1, 2012 at 9:29 PM

        Looking at the replay, Schenn skated after Vitale, and almost ran into Asham on his way. Asham side stepped him and turned around and grabbed him from behind. Who knows if Asham was doing it because of the cross-check, or because Scheen almost ran into him, or because he was the closest Flyer to him, or because there was a brawl and he wanted in. We can’t say that Asham was sticking up for Crosby then when we just don’t know.

        As for Kubina, yes, he got in there and tried to tie him up. The fact still remains that Asham was punching Schenn while Niskanen held him down.

        As for the turtling, he did nothing that even resembled ducking and covering. Asham grabbed him from behind and Schenn went to fight him, but Asham landed 2 hard rights to his face. He was dazed, not ducking. He still had ahold of Asham like he was going to fight him, but he couldn’t. Niskanen then grabbed him and Asham punched him a few more times. He didn’t duck and cover, he fought and lost.

        I appreciate you giving credit where credit is due, but i felt the need to stick up for a tough player. He’s not a coward, nor is he a victim, but most of all he’s not a turtle. His shot on Crosby was dirty, but it doesn’t make him any less of a character guy. He was sticking up for Giroux who had been getting slashed by Crosby all game long. He did it in a bad way, but that doesn’t make him dirty. Schenn’s a tough player and doesn’t deserve the label of a “turtle.”

  6. sabatimus - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    As a B’s fan, I’m looking forward to these two teams meeting in the playoffs–could have more fireworks than last year’s Finals.

  7. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    How can you say Vitale’s hit was clean!? It was knee-to-knee. Only him and God knows if it was intentionally or not but there is no denying where the contact was made. I hope Grossmann is good for the playoffs. The Flyers need both him and Mesz on the blue line.

    • schenntheturtle - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      That thing at the top of the arm is called a shoulder, not a knee. Seriously, a knee-to-knee hit causes the leg to fly backward and the player to pitch forward. Briere’s legs stay in one place and his torso goes backward, providing clear evidence of a shoulder-to-shoulder hit.

      • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM

        Pretty sure the commentor was discussing vitale’s hit on grossmann. The hit on Briene was clean.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:54 PM

        Haha yea Vitale’s hit on Briere was clean. The beef was more with the line selection than the hit itself.

    • schenntheturtle - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:11 PM

      I think you are right, flyersgoalscoredby88. My bad.

  8. somekat - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Asham was hitting Schenn with another guy hanging on Schenn’s back. Or does that not count? If anything, Asham (or whoever the 2nd pen was) should get an automatic suspension for the 3rd man in. He won’t, they are the pens, he won’t get suspended for instigating at the end either.
    The Pens did what they did, they went out to take a shot because they had been dominated for 55 minutes of hockey. They got their shot, the Flyers answered. To pretend like it is anything other than it was is a joke. Crosby was playing dirty all game, the only difference is that Schenn’s pentalty got called, and Sindy’s didn’t. If you are going to go around breaking your stick on people, you are going to get run.
    Bottom line, Pens got all the calls, and were still utterly dominated for 55 minutes. Which team is better is clear right now. Pens better get it together this week, because with Bryz back, this looks like a 5 game series right now, and crosby can heal up again

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      Good point. None of the TV broadcasters mentioned Asham’s sucker punch on Schenn. Asham should be suspended for his instingation but we are talking about the Pens here. We will see if the NHL will do the right thing.

    • schenntheturtle - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

      And you missed Kubina grabbing Asham before Niskanen grabbed Schenn? If anything, Kubina was 3rd man in.

      I agree that Crosby should have been called at least twice for slashes. This one is on the refs for losing control of the game.

    • justahockeyfan1 - Apr 1, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      Dominated for 55 minutes? Philly was out shot 50 to 25, Out hit by 15 out chanced by 11 THEN slapped in the mouth in the last 5 minutes. The goalie stood on his head and won the game. If you saw domination……………………time for new glasses!

      Can someone tell me when Philly became spineless? This use to be a 2 sided blood bath, now they look like the CAPS!

      • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Apr 1, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        None of that was spineless, and the caps don’t win.

      • justahockeyfan1 - Apr 1, 2012 at 11:30 PM

        brier went to the bench, schenn looked like a punching bag, and the real fight had me turning my head so i didnt have to watch the complete POUNDING simmonds was getting.

        Lavy was upset he put danny on the ice and couldnt get him off with the pens having last change……….AND i think he had a tear in his eye!

        nothing about hartnell here either? one of the dirtiest players in the league that wont drop the gloves……………………….and as for winning, u havent won it yet.

  9. Rick Keene - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    http://laforumdemontreal.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/russian-roulette-with-roy/

  10. Buffalo Grumblings - Apr 1, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Remember when players could throw hip checks and actually play smart positional play. Now everyone has to hit someone with their elbows up under the chin. The NHL continues to allow this cheap stuff and this is what we get.

  11. michiganhockey11 - Apr 2, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    I just don’t get the support of Crosby can do no wrong. Milbury (gas bag that he is) become the ‘n-th’ person to publicly decry that Crosby has to stop the cheap shots or people will still try to take a run at him.

    Fact: clearly saw him elbow a guy in the stomach or near his junk yesterday. Ref looked right at it, no call.

    Fact: Hacked at Voracek coming up the ice. Stick broke (which is almost an immediate call for slash now (as composite sticks are sh@t). Ref was right there, no call.

    Then he gets crosschecked and knocked down, and here come the waterworks. Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  12. govtminion - Apr 2, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I never thought I’d ever find a reason to offer an olive branch to Rangers fans, but…

    …hey Rangers fans, share some popcorn? For once we B’s fans and you guys should be enjoying the hell out of this. ;)

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Quick (1366)
  2. S. Bennett (1295)
  3. A. Ovechkin (1122)
  4. B. Schenn (1096)
  5. K. Timonen (1079)