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Pens’ Bylsma insists comment about Hartnell picking on Letang was meant in jest

Apr 12, 2014, 6:58 PM EDT

In his second game back after suffering a stroke, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang managed to score a goal. He also got into a scuffle with Philadelphia Flyers winger Scott Hartnell, which spawned an … interesting set of comments.

Here’s video of the altercation:

At first, it seemed like Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was blasting Hartnell for the incident, prompting Flyers head coach Craig Berube to provide a reasonable counter:

Apparently the situation is more inflammatory in that context than it was in reality, as it appears that Bylsma didn’t actually mean it:

So, crisis averted? Probably, but that doesn’t mean these two teams (or those two players or the two head coaches) necessarily like each other.

Let’s all file this away in case there’s a second-round series between the Flyers and Penguins, though. You know, just to be safe.

Update: Here is the full Bylsma quote via the Canadian Press:

“I did have that thought when that was going on there,” Bylsma said. “(Letang) kind of had the play there and the puck on his skate to try to score a goal. It fell off his stick and the whistle and everything ensued after that. Yeah it does, a guy picking on a guy who had a stroke.”

  1. flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    I’m not sure how you could say that comment in jest or in a tongue and cheek manner, I’m thinking that’s actually how he feels

    • killerpgh - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:34 PM

      Did you see the video? Clearly his reaction isn’t serious. Unless you think whatever a player/coach says (without looking at it context) is true and how they feel. And if you believe that than Berube is a racist. He was suspended for calling a black player a monkey.

      • flyerspsu - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:52 AM

        what the hell does that incident w/ Berube from close to 20 years ago have to do with this??

        ill be honest I didnt see the video and Bylsma might have been joking and I just felt the comment was not something you throw out kiddingly or in jest, who the hell jokes about a player on your rival’s team “bullying” and guy on your team cus he had a stroke, it just doesnt seem like something you could say in a tongue and cheek manner, I could be wrong but that was just my initial opinion

      • killerpgh - Apr 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        About 2 minutes in starts the Letang/Hartnell question. Bylsma even laughs and has a smirk on his face as soon as he says it.

        http://video.penguins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=912&id=602089&lang=en

      • flyerspsu - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        just saw the video and I stand by my initial opinion, it seems pretty clear to me that he was pretty serious, he threw out a fake smirk soon after but his whole response and demeanor was serious about worrying about Letang and seeing him in the scrum

    • hockey412 - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:24 AM

      But who cares, really? Bylsma is entitled to his opinion, Letang’s entitled to be in the scrum, and Hartnell is entitled to be a POS like he always is – the guy’s made a living out of being a POS, so how do you fault him?

      The fact is all three of these guys hold blame, the only one that is accurate is Berube. Then he shouldn’t be playing.

      As long as Berube remembers those comments if all five guys on the ice at any given point in time start slashing Giroux’s wrists, in the same way that Hartnell did this – hopefully we agree on that.

  2. timmons94 - Apr 12, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    Hartnell only goes after smaller guys anyways. Runs from Lucic like a little girl. Flyers own pens this year. Not sure they beat rangers. That will be a great series. Pens outplayed flyers today. Flyers goaltending ESP mason in 2nd was difference. Fleury already in playoff form.

    • 7mantel - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Fleury already in playoff form. Sure is, the goal in over time proves that !

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:14 AM

      Yep, Beach ball Fleury is ready to go…Great saves followed up by beach ball softies. Have fun golfing.

      • cheesesteak75 - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:52 AM

        Like you have for the last 39 years?

      • hockey412 - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:26 AM

        You ever seen Mason in the playoffs, bud? What want to close your idiotic mouth, until you do.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        Actually, I haven’t seen Mason play in the post season. I have seen Beach Ball and his colossal choke jobs though.

      • hockey412 - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        Well look those stats up, bub…they make Fleury look Hall of Fame.

        As for the rest of the replies, good ones!

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Different team, different style of play, different defense. As for MAF, same ole Beach Ball.

      • hockey412 - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        We shall seeeeeeeeeeee…..WE SHALL SHHHEEEEE.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        Agreed.

  3. csilojohnson - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    who cares. just nbc manufacturing drama for a potential playoff matchup. great game today. i like the outcome. pens played hard. stayed focused for the most part. (exception neal) dominated the pace for most of the game.
    i would rather the pens see the flyers in second round anyways if they must.

  4. jpen66 - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    I don’t know what the refs were watching,but Hartnell deserved an extra minor. He’s a cheap shot artist,along with uber punk Wayne Simmons. Pens will handle Flyers IF they meet in round 2. Go Pens.

    • elmerbrownelmerbrown - Apr 12, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Did pierre mcguire hand out any flyer penalties today for crosby

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:17 AM

      You must have Hartnell and Simmons confused with Scumbag Neil.

      • tru2joelu4eva - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:28 AM

        its “neal”

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:31 AM

        Sure it isn’t Kneel?

      • hockey412 - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:20 AM

        The Flyers strategy has ALWAYS been to get under the Pens skin by throwing cheap shots and doing it for no reason. This isn’t made up, it’s what they do. You really think Hartnell and Simmonds, and especially Rinaldo, are any more honorable than Neal? Keep dreaming, Nancy.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 14, 2014 at 9:52 PM

        All three of those players are above and beyond more honorable than Neal. Agitating, playing hard, and yes even the occasional boneheaded, undisciplined plays. Don’t even come close to how Neal time and time again head hunts and tries to intentionally injure other players.

        He can’t even bring his sorry self to take responsibility for his actions (Marchand knee to the head).

        Rinaldo at least acknowledge that his hit last week was reckless and took full responsibility for it.

  5. timmons94 - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Does it matter who the flyers play rd 1. Another year without a cup in that dump Philly. At least the Sixers are good. Oh nevermind

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:27 AM

      Just out of curiosity have you ever been to either city? If you have, then you know Pitt has the dump advantage over Pniladelphia.

  6. mangoman1966 - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    I’m sure letang doesn’t want anyone holding back. The guys tough as nails. Another loss late in the game. Happening too much lately

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:29 AM

      Letang is the exact opposite of tough as nails…unless you mean toenails.

      • hockey412 - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:17 AM

        wait wait wait…letang and hartnell have a history…letang was kicking his ass a few years ago when hartnell had to resort to biting him to get him off….letang also made a certain Dman look silly two years ago.

        Here’s the point. Letang most certainly didn’t want any parts of Bylsma’s comments, they were stupid – but correct – you’d have to not just be a bad hockey player, but a bad PERSON, as Hartnell is, to pull his crap. But NO ONE, even his wife, ever said hartnell is anything other than a bad person. He was just doing what he does, that’s all. Letang was fine with it, and stroke or not I wouldn’t put money on Hartnell to even be able to stay on his feet during a fight, with anyone but craig adams on the pens roster. The pens don’t want these situations, just stay away from him, gad knows he’s no threat otherwise.

      • hockey412 - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:18 AM

        But i LOVE your “tough” user name and tough guy comments….I feel so safe around you. Tough guy. hahahahahahahaha

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 14, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        Damn son, you are terrible at this trolling business. You’re too much of a bad ass for me. Now hurry up and get back inside, Mommy is looking for you.

  7. SergeantKabukiMan - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    I hope Bylsma was really joking. If he wasn’t, he should be thankful Scott Stevens doesn’t play anymore.

  8. muckleflugga - Apr 13, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    it is a shame penguins caught the blue jackets in the first round …

    a team wrought with jealousies and full of doubt while letting in shockingly-bad goals and taking mindless stupid penalties playing under-achievers out to prove the world wrong … tres bummaire

    were penguins able to get through and meet flyers, we could forget the carnage from the civil, war and look forward to real blood in pennsylvania

    but nooooooooo

    jackets in six, maybe less

    • cheesesteak75 - Apr 13, 2014 at 6:58 AM

      I guess the Pens 5-0 regular season record vs the Jackets had a lot to do with you prediction.

  9. holeecowman - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    lol why did cindy run from simmer??? I noticed the head head shots came quick in this game. its a shame the league turns a blind eye to this piss poor excuse of cheapshot artist or they would all be in jail. the ice chickens only set out to hurt other players. that their style.

  10. notmrknowitall - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Regardless….I highly doubt Berube saw a video when he was asked the question about the comment so how do you morons expect any coach would react to that. the lack of common sence on these boards is hilarious.

  11. hockey412 - Apr 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Eh. Non issue. Even the comments from flyers fans indicate that all are in agreement that hartnell is a greasy POS doing what he gets paid to do. Go curl your hair, pretty girl.

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