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Del Zotto claims he was bracing himself during Neal hit

Apr 5, 2013, 11:31 PM EST

mdzottogetty Getty Images

While there’s no debating the fact that Michael Del Zotto elbowed James Neal late in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2-1 shootout win against the New York Rangers on Friday, there’s plenty of debate about his intent.

Del Zotto told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he was just bracing himself during the collision, but admitted that the NHL might perceive the exchange differently.

“I think they just dumped (the puck) in, and I knew I was going to get hit on the forecheck,” Del Zotto said. “I just tried to kind of reverse hit and brace myself. I’m not sure exactly what happened.”

The Penguins provided mix reactions. Head coach Dan Bylsma didn’t really give the 22-year-old defenseman a free pass and didn’t provide a lot of detail about Neal’s status.

“Don’t have an update right now,” Bylsma said. “I don’t think there is any question what the contact was and where (Del Zotto) made contact.”

Depth forward Craig Adams was a bit more diplomatic.

“I can’t say that it was intentional. But the fact is, he elbowed him right in the chin. That’s not good,” Adams said. “You have to give the refs the benefit of the doubt. If they would have seen it, they would have called it.”

Either way, a Neal injury could be a dirty blow to the Penguins’ chances.

Check out the video one more time:

116 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. friedberg7 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    I don’t think it was intentional and since he isn’t a repeat offender he shouldn’t be suspended. Hope Neal is ok and doesn’t miss much time.

    • sportsfreak13 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:50 AM

      Not true he was fined in 2011 for $2,500. Although small it is still a repeat offender. I don’t like the hit, and my main concern is Neal recovers. Whatever the league decides I’m fine with. I see both sides.

      • crosberries - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:08 AM

        Yeah I brace myself with flying spinning elbows too. Just like players sticks they should be held accountable for their body too. I’m pretty sure if you “brace yourself” that means you try and get compact to absorb the hit.

      • solador78 - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        Krejci’s blindside elbow on Crosby was intentional. This one, I’m not so sure.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      If Iam Del Zotto I own up to it, it was a sweet move ! Come on man a flying behind the back elbow placed right on the chinster of that creep neal ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,beautiful man ! I give him an 11 on a scale 1 to 10 just on difficulty alone !

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        Don’t be that guy that rejoices in another player’s injury. Have some class man. You represent the kind of hockey fans I cant stand. If Hartnell went down today with a similar hit I would never rejoice. Injuries suck, and to find joy in the fact that another person is suffering physically is disgusting.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        Never said glad to see someone hurt just saying one of the better elbows I ever seen thrown so don’t twist my words and I do think Neal is a creep ! Lets stop with the hollow fake act about seeing guys get hurt its part of the game and is gonna happen can we please quite with this Iam suppose to fall apart because a guy got hurt ! Sack up bro !

      • fbothharbaughs - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        sportsfreak13, you expect class from a Filthy fan?

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        Fall apart no. When opposing fans are happy to see another player injured is what I have a problem with. Maybe I misunderstood your comment, but still saying good job to dell zetto for that hit is disgusting. If that happened to vorachek you would be singing a different time I’m sure. It’s not a matter of having a sack, it’s a matter of showing class. Comments like your is why flyer fans get a bad rep. Just saying.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        Flyers fans don’t get a bad rap this fan base was voted #1 HOCKEYTOWN USA ,,just sayin !

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        Haha where was that at? I have to see this.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        Laugh away fool based on attendance Detroit and Philly practically tied at the #1 spot ,,,,,,,,,,,Pittsburgh 12th

      • sportsfreak13 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        Article or link please? I know pens currently have 274 consecutive sell outs right now. Not sure how many other teams have a streak like that going right now but I’m curious.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        Its all semantics the Well Fargo holds about 1500 more for hockey than the Consol Iam sure the Pens could get 1500 more per game if not more ! Its just bs to say on this site !

      • sombostevo - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Wells Fargo holds 1600 more seats than Consol. Pitt does nothing but sell out. The Flyers have the 4th largest capacity in the league. Pittsburgh has the 16th largest capacity. That kind of reflects in attendance numbers. You can’t use straight numbers to tell who has a better fan base especially if the teams are selling out.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        Flyers have and always will have the better fan base accept that just like Flyer fans must accept the Pens have 3 recent cups !

      • flyersfan82 - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Remember when the pens were going to relocate bc they had no attendance? Pens fans have really short memories

      • jamestherealdealneal - Apr 6, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        that was a awful move by del zotto and he should be suspended for 4 or 5 games. and to some it might not look like it was intentional but I think it was because you can see him look at Neal before delivering the hit. and also he left his feet while delivering the hit which also results in a suspension. and to say flyers fans base is ranked first and pens fans in 12th is very hard to believe saying that when flyers are losing in the first period in there own arena you can see almost all of the fans leave. I also know that they have booed there own goalie off the ice. were as pens fans have never left a game even if the pens might be losing 6-1 and never have they booed there goalies off the ice.

  2. Stiller43 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    You prepped for the hit by looking where he was coming from and raising your right elbow? As a fellow ice hockey player, i must say i think thats an odd reaction.

    • stakex - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      Probably because you have never played anything but non-contact D league hockey.

      Try playing hockey at a much higher level, and you might understand what Del Zotto was talking about. Its very common to “reverse check” an attacking player when you are a defensemen going back for the puck. You see plays like that all the time. The only difference here is that while DZ is expecting strait on contact, Neal actually tries to avoid contact and it results in Neal lineing right up with DZ’s elbow.

      Its an unfortunate play, and such things will happen in a fast paced sport like hockey. Anyone who things it should be a suspension, or that it was intentional, really should go watch a different sport… because you obviously don’t get hockey all that well.

      • Stiller43 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:27 AM

        I actually dont see people elbowed in the face “all the time” like you said. Maybe i should go “watch another sport” because the hockey usually watch doesnt usually consist of IDing the man youre hitting over your right shoulder, then raising that shoulder to hit them.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        So here’s the bottom line to all of that BS…you are saying the rules should be changed, to where headshots are ok as long as it’s an accident. Del Zotto is responsible for his elbow as well as his stick. You DON’T brace (and it was Del Zotto that cut off Neal’s line to the puck…not Neal going in to HIT Del Zotto) with a spinning elbow.

        Just be clear on what you are saying – you are fine with that hit if it would have been Neal that elbowed anyone else. That, is EXACTLY, what you are saying.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Fellow ice hockey player,,,,thats funny !

    • biffnasty - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:06 AM

      Lol really? You play in the NHL? I know you and del zotto must be so alike being that you are *fellow ice hockey players*. Speaking of which i was captain of my high school baseball team, so my fellow captains know what a clean hit is and is not….idiot

      • Stiller43 - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:51 AM

        When did I say i play in the NHL? All i said is that as someone who plays the sport, it didnt look like a natural reaction to him coming behind you.

        I actually said at first glance that i thought it was purely incidental, but on slow mo, he looks over his right shoulder right at Neal before he brings his elbow up.

  3. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    It looks like you can see Neal say “what happened?” at the end of the video. He really got clocked. It looked iffy when I watched it live, and re-watching it makes me question it even more. It really looks like MDZ sees Neal coming then tries to brace himself, but in the process throws up an errant elbow. I don’t know if it was intentional but it’s possible. In my opinion it looks like it could warrant a game or two, but who knows. After all, Nash got away with a blatantly dirty headshot. I’m sure there will be plenty of debate on here.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 6, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      my gut reaction was oh thats intentional. but then i thought, i couldnt land a reverse elbow on someone’s chin like that if i tried 100 times, and i dont think delzotto could either. just a sh** luck play thats gonna cost the pens ANOTHER pp guy. crosby, neal, letang, martin…they’re stacking up quick. neal hasnt done much lately but he still commands respect out there…could be a big loss if he is out any length of time

  4. hockeyfan28 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    That didn’t seem to be intentional considering how close the game was at the time of the hit but what I’d be worried about if I where a Pens fan is that spaced out look he had when he left the ice that sure looked like a possible concussion and they have alot of depth but they cannot lose Neal

  5. broadstbully33 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Neal a scumbag and is always looking to injure a guy whenever he can. He got what he deserved. Then another scumbag was dupius. Also tryin to injure a player. Dirty dirty team

    • huberdeau11 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      Haha is this guy for real? I’m a little new here commenting but saying another human deserved to be hit in the head, knocked unconscience and likely concussed? Wow

      • handsofsweed - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        Oh, you just met Broadstreetbully, resident jacka$$. You’re going to get sick of him really quickly. He is a grade-A, low-life creep.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:01 AM

      Yes Neal has done some headhunting himself in the past (especially against the Flyers) but it’s hard to say anyone deserves a concussion. Wishing injury on opposing players is pretty bad karma in itself. As for Dupuis, he’s usually a pretty clean player, I think he was just frustrated with some of the antics that went on in this hard fought game. The Pens are our most hated rivals but try looking at it objectively.

    • Kristenaux - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:27 AM

      This coming from a person with the username broadsbully33? Oh PUL-EEEEEZE! Neal is not known as being anything but a decent hit scorer & the only time the Pens play dirty is against your team…we CAN give as good as we get. Don’t like that?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:39 AM

        Look I don’t agree with what he said but that doesn’t mean you can just revise Neal’s history. James Neal has repeatedly targeted players heads on questionable (at best) hits. That is fact.

      • somekat - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:55 AM

        lol, neal is known as a dirty player by everyone that isn’t a pens fan

        I think the yellow lens in your glasses is cracked

    • fbothharbaughs - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      So says a fan of a team w/the “Broad Street Bullies” moniker…

    • jamestherealdealneal - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      pens are not a dirty team. neal doesn’t try to hurt people and neither does dupuis. you must be a flyers fan because you act like one. and the only thing the flyers would be ranked first in is being a dirty team and the team that sucks the most

    • flyboys12 - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Dude…seriously? I’m a huge flyers fan…I am assuming you are too. Neal…okay, can be dirty at times. Dupuis…hardly. Guy is one of the classiest players in the league. I hate the Pens just as much as any Philly fan, but c’mon. Neal has his moments. But so do our guys. Danny B with the slashing etc… Every team has them. Every team is dirty to a point.

      Unfortunately, this looks like a freak accident. You see Del Zotto brace, but it looks like the timing was off so full contact wasn’t made, thus allowing Neal to go along the back of Del Zotto leading to the elbow contact. If you watch any decent hit, both arms usually come up to brace/balance on impact. The timing was off like I said, which allowed Neal to come into contact with the elbow. Freak accident, just like Cooke and Karlson when he stepped on his achilles. Sh*t happens.

  6. huberdeau11 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Based on Shanny’s videos on the suspensions (or lack there of) I think he deserves a game or two. Seems pretty unintentional but he was in an elevated position and made clear contact with the head. I don’t know if the rule is interpreted similar to high-sticking where it’s your responsibility to be in control of your stick, or in this case your arm/elbow.

    • jamestherealdealneal - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      if you watch the video closely you can see that Del Zotto turns his head and looks strait at Neal before delivering his hit. Del Zotto also leaves his feet while making the hit which is illegal. I do think he should be suspended for at least 2 or three games. no less.

  7. hockeygal67 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:57 PM

    Del Zotto doesn’t play dirty and Neal did go in for the hit on him. Really in that split second as he braces bringing his arm up to protect himself and the puck, Neal went in and the alignment of them colliding was just unfortunate. Each side is going to read into it what they want to see, but it is pretty obvious it was accidental.

  8. sjsharks66 - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    Makes eye contact with Neal and throws his elbow back. 2 games.

    • stakex - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      Try watching it at full speed… not super slow motion. Then think two things to yourself:

      1. Why would a guy whos never been a dirty player, and hasn’t had any recent dust ups with Neal, suddenly think to throw a cheap shot on him?

      2. How in the hell would DZ decide to do that with about three tenths of a second? Yeah he sees that Neal is coming at him…. but from that glance back, to the contact isn’t even a half second.

  9. revansrevenant - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    I can sympathize with Del Zotto. The last time I braced myself for a physical impact, I certainly made sure that my elbow was in a position to take the guys head off. You can’t do it any other way.

  10. ndrick731 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    When you see Neal coming at you you have to assume that he’s going to take a cheap shot probably to the head so you have to do whatever you can to protect yourself. It’s not the right way to play but Neal’s history makes it necessary.

  11. crashtheboards55 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Look I am a Pens fan and a hockey fan. Neal has done some
    Questionable things and he has taken some
    cheap shots. All teams have these players but he has done some stupid s***. But i don’t want to see anyone get injured. I was at the game when Lindros got elbowed from Kaspiritis and I can tell you it was nothing to laugh about. It was scary. Look i get why ppl hate other teams. Its the nature of sport but don’t wish that on anyone. I play hockey and what del zotto did wasn’t exactly routine. That elbow was pretty blatant. It was reckless. Kunitz got 5
    And a game for a very marginal call against NYI for a reckless play. A hit to the head is a
    Hit to the head. I have condemned what matt cooke has done and what all
    Pens players done when its been dirty. But if matt cooke sean avery zach rinaldo chris neil would have done the same thing would it be looked at the same?

  12. valoisvipers - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:17 AM

    Just another hockey play gone bad.
    Maybe a fine but even that I kinda have my doubts.

  13. nashernation - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    Neal and Cooke are cheap shot artists. Cooke is out there every night trying to take out players. That slash on Lunquist was garbage. Neal got a little taste of reality with a little elbow to the chops. He was taking a run at MDZ on that play.

    • somekat - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:51 AM

      This

      Neal has been a cheap shot artist for years. Can’t cry when you get some of your own medicine

      It would be like the 90’s Devils complaining about clutch and grab hockey

    • pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      So I guess Rick Nashs slash on Cooke was clean? He must have a LOT of balls to slash a guy while sitting on the bench with his tail between his legs. As for Lundquvist he tried to sell two penalties that the refs never bought.

    • valoisvipers - Apr 7, 2013 at 12:52 AM

      Nashernation You are sir, 100% percent wrong about comrade Cooke. Check his stats for the last few years and get back to me and tell me what a solid two way goal producing clean player that his is.

  14. chanceoffleury1 - Apr 6, 2013 at 3:16 AM

    Just for some further insight into this before making your decision, I think people need to consider some pretty thought provoking information. Neal introduced Del Zotto and Brad Richards when Richards signed with NY because he is friends with both, and Richards has been mentoring Del Zotto since. If MDZ was gonna throw a dirty hit, wouldn’t he go after somebody who he/his teammates don’t know and have a personal friendship with outside of hockey? Just seems weird that he could have easily gone after Cooke or Malkin or Niskanen or somebody else who he didn’t know. There are 19 other guys on the ice that MDZ could go after and he picks the one guy who he is friends with off the ice? I don’t really buy it. Here’s an article about it. 6th paragraph. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/sports/hockey/rangers-del-zotto-rebounds-with-help-from-richards.html?_r=0

    Del Zotto is just a young player still learning how to take/give hits. It was really reckless, but I don’t think he meant any harm. He’ll probably get at least a fine and maybe a game since I think it’s pretty clear Neal was knocked out and will most likely be missing some time. I’m not gonna throw a fit if they don’t give him anything though. I see both sides.

    Neal was due, though. Letang is due back on Tuesday. The Pens wouldn’t be the Pens unless they had $20+ million dollars in cap hit tied up on the IR. Kunitz, Sutter and Dupuis better watch their backs. When is somebody gonna make a Pens-top liners injury bingo game. I’ve got 71, 87, free space, 58, and 29 for diagonal bingo!!

  15. ironman721 - Apr 6, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    🚨⚠Warning we have a Troll Advisory! Broadstreetbaby🚼🍼 has been spotted trolling on yet another Penguins article. This loser is considered extremely stupid! Do Not engage him in direct conversation! Doing so can cause severe loss of IQ points. You have been warned.🚓🚔

  16. ironman721 - Apr 6, 2013 at 5:56 AM

    It was a dirty hit. Period! The NHL should be calling that young man to the principal’s office.

  17. whiteqbs - Apr 6, 2013 at 6:05 AM

    I agree Michael Del Zotto, clean hit! Who cares anyway Neal is a goon that finally got what he deserved. Cheers!

  18. mpops86 - Apr 6, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Intentional? Seriously? It was behind his back.

    The team that employs Matt Cooke is going to whine about an elbow. Rich.

  19. malkinrulez - Apr 6, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    Bracing for impact and throwing back your elbow are two different motions. That being said only MDZ knows if it was intentional.

  20. johnstone17 - Apr 6, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Earlier in the year, when Nash laid his flying forearm, I was adamant that it was a hit that warranted a game or two. I watched the game last night & have watched this replay repeatedly. I don’t think there was intent to injure on Del Zotto’s part. Just my opinion.

  21. markeatonslits - Apr 6, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    everyone wishes they had a sniper like neal and the best grinder in the league cooke. be jealous SCA

    • somekat - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      ahhh pittsburgh. Were goons are “snipers” and “the best grinder in the league”, and rapists are “classy”

      heck of a city there

  22. kgun80 - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    I don’t think it was intentional. It was careless. I think it’s the same premise as a player not controlling his stick, and getting a high sticking penalty. If anything he should get 1 game for just being reckless.-

  23. flyersfan82 - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    That’s what he gets, too bad for del zotto he doesn’t play for the pens as it would only be a 1 game suspension. See this video from last years playoffs, 2 different attempts to injure same shift and 1 game suspension-what a joke..I’ll just leave my feet to hit a player without the puck who isn’t even looking and then go after girouxs head as a freeby. He got what he deserved, it’s unfortunate it took this long

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      Yeah no one else (Schenn, Rinaldo, Couturier) did anything else during that series. I guess Giroux’s a scumbag too, huh…suspended vs. the Devils. This is about Del Zotto’s hit, not your feelings, bub. Not everything is about you and the Flyers…tough concept I know. Del Zotto is not a clean player, he DOES have a history, it should be a game. Unless the league would be fine with it if Neal did it to Giroux….and long as YOU would be fine with it if Neal did it to Giroux.

      • flyersfan82 - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        this is a forum right? Where people post opinions? My opinion is that Neal is a dirtbag who got what was coming to him.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

        That’s fine bub. As long as you are ok with Neal laying that hit on Giroux. Otherwise you’re just an incredulous bag of hot air wasting people’s time, and just as much a dirtbag as Neal. That’s my opinion.

      • flyersfan82 - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        who are you wolverine? I’m ok with it bc Neal is a dirty player, giroux is not, it isn’t a difficult concept. And apparently I’m only wasting your time bub

    • pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Neals hit on couturier was dirty ill give you that one but the hit on Giroux was nothing more than him flopping onto the ice like a fish out of water.

      • flyersfan82 - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        Haha a pens fan calling another teams player out on flopping….it’s also very typical for these guys who’ve skated their entire lives to fall or wobble after flopping, almost like he was hit in the head?

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 7, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Did you seriously say Neal is a dirty player and Giroux is not? How many times has Neal been suspended for hitting someone in the head? How many times has Giroux? Where was Giroux when the Flyers got booted last year? He had a temper tantrum and elbowed Zubrus in the head. The only difference between the two of them is that Neal will crush you from the front, Giroux will slink up behind you and take your legs out like a coward.

      Either way – no one wants to see your videos of Flyers…no one cares about irrelevant teams this close to the playoffs.

  24. jaredo10 - Apr 6, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Clearly was an accident . del zotto isn’t that type of plater. hope Neal and The King are Ok

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 7, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Del Zotto is as dirty as they come.

  25. ironcity6pak - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Would expect anything else from a flyers fan. Classless bunch of fans they are. I have lots of flyer fan friends and they talk the same way when it comes to the pens. They are classless too.

  26. Nofoolnodrool - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    somekat | Apr 6, 2013, 9:27 AM EDT
    ahhh pittsburgh. Were goons are “snipers” and “the best grinder in the league”, and rapists are “classy”

    heck of a city there

    Sure is a great city and we are very glad you don’t live here. We don’t want to deprive a village by taking their idiot.

  27. broadstbully33 - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    The scumbag got what he deserved. Now that Neal knows what it feels like maybe he will clean up his headhunting ways. It’s a shame that the talent on Pitt resorts to dirt ball play when games don’t go their way. Good on del zotto for not just waiting to be injured by this douche

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      You clearly are upset because Neal put two of your precious kids on their as*es. They weren’t losing – but you seem ok with headshots, since you are ok with this. So I guess it’ll be ok whenever they meet again, for someone to elbow Giroux in his cowardly little face. He elbowed Zubrus, which makes his a scumbag, and also makes him fair game…just as Neal was. It’s clear they won’t meet this year in the playoffs seeing as how the Flyers aren’t good enough to get in, but someday.

  28. broadstbully33 - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Withdrawl Neal tries to lay that hit on Giroux an couturier every time they play. Go back to the last Pitt game and watch Neal for the the first two periods. He did nothing but headhunt and try to injure a player. It was so blatant he should have been suspended on intent alone.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 7, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      That’s a bunch of sh*t. Neal’s allowed to make friends, isn’t he? He can hit whoever he wants…just can’t hit them in the head. You clearly don’t want anyone to touch Giroux or Couturier, legally or otherwise. He may have tried to check them, but he didn’t go after anyone’s head. And I think it’s hilarious that anyone that calls themselves a Flyers fan is actually calling ANY other player in the league dirty. Schenn/Giroux/Rinaldo/Harry Z/Simmonds/Hartnell….now THAT is dirt.

  29. Nofoolnodrool - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    broadstbully33 | Apr 6, 2013, 10:40 AM EDT
    Withdrawl Neal tries to lay that hit on Giroux an couturier every time they play. Go back to the last Pitt game and watch Neal for the the first two periods. He did nothing but headhunt and try to injure a player. It was so blatant he should have been suspended on intent alone.

    Rather odd for a bully to be complaining about rough treatment. Oh, it must be because you are a moron sir. Can’t have it both ways…..smh

  30. spavs412 - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Giroux has been suspended for head shots too. When Neal is angry he can be stupid but he plays hard and always finishes his checks… I honestly don’t think Neal hits Claudia in head if he doesn’t turn and duck it was lined up for a shoulder.. Cooke is very different now and since he changed he has 0 fines.. 90% of players make bad decisions on occasions and that was def an elbow. He clocked him bc he was going to get hit while playing the puck..

  31. broadstbully33 - Apr 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    There is a dif between tough physical play and what Pitt does. Pitt are cheap shot , late hitting, headhunting fairies who turn into scum when they are being out played or being playe to hard on the ice. But nice try douche

    • hockeywithdrawal - Apr 7, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Are you being SERIOUS? Why do you think the Flyers are the second most penalized team in the league? The Flyers are NOTORIOUS for their late hits and hits to the back…or hits to the head. How many suspensions have Flyers gotten for hits to the head this year?

      A Flyers fan saying the Pens are dirty is ridiculous.

  32. dchambers144 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    I’m a Pens fan and I actually don’t have a proble with Del Zotto’s explanation. That being said, a fine is probably in order as he did deliver an elbow to the chin. Intent doesn’t always have to matter. Remember when Subban slew footed Neal? It caused Neal’s stick to hit Subban in the face as Neal fell and yet Neal was still fined. Only different here is stick vs. elbow.

  33. broadstbully33 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    I’m not rejoicing I’m saying he was due because of his dirty play. It finally came back to him and he deserved it. If he would play the game with class I wouldn’t be commenting at all. Fact is this guy has turned dirty ever aince e got comfortable in Pitt. He knows Pitt players don’t get fined or suspended as much as others teams because they get away with a lot more than any other team. He got what was coming and now he will think twice about headhunting and targeting players heads.

    • dchambers144 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      odd coming from a Flyers fan. Just recently I remember Dupuis getting hit from behind by Coburn. There was no penalty, fine or suspension even though almost everyone on NHL Tonight and TSN thought there would be. I’m not trying to claim that the Pens are always perfect angels, but the pendulum swings both ways.

  34. markeatonslits - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    i hope gayroux gets a career ebdibg concussion and has to suck his thumb the rest of his scumbag life. stamp it

    • flyersfan82 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      What’s an ebdibg concussion? Stay classy pal, stamp that

  35. buffhockeynutt - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    I saw a video clip of Neal doing that same ‘brace yourself/backward check’ to an opponent earlier in the week. Sent the guy flying. What goes around is going to come around, James!

  36. luvusa1 - Apr 6, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    @Kristenaux: Take the homer glasses off. Yeah, Neal is a talented scorer in addition to be a talented cheapshot artists just like Cooke and Malkin…so cry me a river..

  37. broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    I hope Neal is not hurt too bad from Del Zotto bracing himself. Clearly an unintentional act. He is bracing himself for the check and his elbow catches Neal right on the button freak accident if you will. I hate seeing any player injured hopefully being on the receiving end of having his bell rung Neal will think twice before intentionally targeting an opponent’s head. he is too good a hockey player to resort to that kind of stupidity. The same can be said of many other star players who have done the same in the past (Ovechkin, Malkin, Giroux and Weber).

  38. bricktop02 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Couldn’t have happened to a better guy.

  39. broadstbully33 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Karma is a bi$?&

  40. broadstbully33 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    On another note how is anyone able to listen to the announcers from root sports? Just terrible. I see where pens “fans” get their cockiness from. Maf made some pretty average saves last night and they made it seem like he stopped something amazing. Maf whips his glove seconds after catching the puck to make it look better than it really was and these announcers are already on their knees ready to blow him. Haha I had to mute the game because I was getting a headache. Players make average plays and these guys are all over it like it is sliced bread.

  41. markeatonslits - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    philthys full of child molestors.

  42. gamechangingjaw87 - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Typical cheap shot artist from the No-Danger Rangers..

  43. gamechangingjaw87 - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Look @ this geniouus arctitect who obviously has blewprints of every gathering place in the US. Go build urself a double-sided unit and use appropriately

  44. gamechangingjaw87 - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Floating sewer ravaged molesters in filly

  45. lockjaw87 - Apr 6, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    NHL wants the bloody rags in the playoffs cause they love watching a Cinderella story from a small town like New York make it big time. Just trashy people committing trashy crime with their trashy families watching their trash teams.

  46. lockjaw87 - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Nash for Byng. What a puss. Pull the tamp out you overpaid hack.

  47. csilojohnson - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    The real question here is not about whether it was dirty or not. Either way it was careless. History does not prove intent people. Most “dirty” hits are more about being careless then actual intent to injure. Del Zotto should be fined atleast. Given the leagues history of inconsistency he won’t be punished at all. Great game though. Nash is a big pansy, and a dirtbag. That slash from the bench was a b!tch move. Even worse how he hid behind his teammates. The league really needs to fine and suspend those refs and linemen. Horrible officiating. They had no control over the game. When they attempted to gain control, their incompetence was very obvious.

  48. csilojohnson - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    sombostevo, if your Googling arena capacity. Why don’t you also look up the cities population. Might regret wasting a perfectly good opportunity to sound intelligent.

  49. bricktop02 - Apr 6, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    markeatonslits you are a dope.

  50. gamechangingjaw87 - Apr 6, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Thats because The Franchise’s loyal fanbase has the girth to sustain the longest sell-out record in sports history.

    • flyersfan82 - Apr 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      You mean the same fanbase that almost caused the team to move the year before the pens were given Cindy by not going to any games? Not sure that’d be my definition of loyal. Flyers will never have nor never will have that problem. Pens fans are a joke.

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