The result? 346 penalty minutes. Two Islanders were fined - for 4 and 9 games, respectively - and the Islanders as a franchise got slapped with a $100,000 fine. Stick that in your Lighthouse and smoke it.
As for the Penguins, their enforcer, Godard, got a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench. And that's where sanity ends.
League disciplinarian Colin Campbell had this to say: "With respect to the Godard suspension, there can be no circumstance that allows for a player to leave his bench for the purpose of coming to the aid of a teammate."
...for the purpose of coming to the aid of a teammate. WHAT?
This is a league that hypes these guys as warriors, as bands of brothers for 82-plus games who bleed and sweat for each other in pursuit of the Stanley Cup. Guys who, despite the instigator rule, figure out ways to extract revenge when their compadres are aggrieved. Yet the official line for the suspension was that Godard helped his teammate. Campbell could have said plenty of things, even just, "He left the bench to join a fight." But instead he linked the penalty to helping a teammate. Insane.
One can say that I'm overreacting on Campbell's statement, but this was the voice of the league making a statement on one of the most talked-about happenings in the league since the Winter Classic. Campbell (and, presumably, his bosses) had to have known that the thoughts were going to be read. And despite all that, the callousness of the League toward its players is on display for all to see. Whatever.
I was going to end there, but then Penguins owner Mario Lemieux goes and steps in it, too:
“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.
“The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.
“We, as a league, must do a better job of protecting the integrity of the game and the safety of our players. We must make it clear that those kinds of actions will not be tolerated and will be met with meaningful disciplinary action.
“If the events relating to Friday night reflect the state of the league, I need to re-think whether I want to be a part of it.”
This, from the owner of the team that employs one of the more notable cheap shot artists in the NHL, Matt Cooke.
Who would've thought that, in the aftermath of that mess, the Islanders would emerge as the classiest of the parties involved. As the title says, insanity reigns.