During Monday’s battle of New York between the Rangers and Islanders, both teams saw players get tossed after a scrap during a stoppage.
Just 2:12 into the opening period, play was stopped for an offside with the Islanders leading 1-0. Immediately off the ensuing faceoff, Ross Johnston of the Islanders squared off against the Rangers’ Micheal Haley. The officials separated the players and things seemed to settle down on the ice. Moments later, as the teams lined up for another draw, Blueshirts defenseman Brendan Smith and Isles forward Matt Martin dropped the gloves.
The second scrap was a full 44 seconds of non-playing time after Johnston and Haley were broken up. What made this situation unique though, is that no playing time had elapsed. The two fights were technically during the same stoppage of play, and that was the problem for Smith and Martin.
Here’s the rule, which rarely comes into play these days:
46.7 Fighting After the Original Altercation – A game misconduct penalty shall be imposed on any player who is assessed a major penalty for fighting after the original altercation has started.
Martin and Smith looked to time their glove drop with the puck drop. Unfortunately for them, linesman Tony Sericolo never dropped the puck. He held off on the draw and was in the process of tossing Rangers center Greg McKegg out of the circle when the altercation began.
Referees Frederick L’Ecuyer and Steve Kozari checked in with linesmen Steve Kozari and Libor Suchanek before confirming the call.
No puck drop, no resumption of play.
The two combatants were both sent to their dressing rooms, their respective nights over. Martin finished with 10 seconds of ice time, while Smith was out for a whopping 29.