Five years ago today, referees David Banfield and Dan O’Halloran had their hands full.
An eventual 9-3 Islanders victory saw the penalty minutes pile up. When the dust settled, a total of 346 penalty minutes had been handed out — 183 to New York and 163 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Through the first 20 minutes of play, the teams combined for a total of 30 penalty minutes, with two fights. The Islanders posted four goals over that span, leading to a frustrated Penguins team. Things only escalated from there.
Take a look at the final game sheet:
Linesmen Steve Miller and Scott Driscoll broke up at least seven fights on the night, jumping in between countless other scrums.
New York Islanders’ forwards Micheal Haley (39 PIM) and Trevor Gillies (34 PIM) led in penalty minutes, with Eric Godard (31 PIM) piling up the most minutes for Pittsburgh.
After the game, the league suspended three players.
New York’s Trevor Gillies was suspended nine games for a hit to the head of Pittsburgh’s Eric Tangradi, while teammate Matt Moulson received a four-game ban for punching Maxime Talbot from behind. NHL VP Colin Campbell called the Islanders’ players’ actions “deliberate attempts to injure by delivering blows to the head of players who were unsuspecting and unable to defend themselves.”
Pittsburgh’s Eric Godard was hit with an automatic 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation (Rule 70.11).
The Islanders were also fined $100,000 for “failure to control [their] players.”
While the 346 penalty minutes didn’t surpass the record-setting 419-PIM 2004 battle between the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers, no NHL game has come close since.
The boys in stripes are thankful for that.
(Stick-tap to /r/hockey and /r/penguins for the heads up)