By Jon Fucile
There are some events in hockey that dont happen every day. Rare events that fans talk about for months. A single player scoring five goals in a game. A good, thunderous open ice hit that sends an opposing player flying. Blake Wheeler staying onsides.
But the rarest of them all . . . is the goalie fight.
Yes, every time there is a brawl everyones eyes immediately go to the goalies. Hearts race if the goalie even moves. Is he going to sprint down the ice and attack the other goalie? Is he going to pummel the other goalie with his blocker?
Bruins fans may fondly remember Lord Byron Dafoes willingness to drop the gloves . . . er, glove and blocker and throw some haymakers.
Generally we go home disappointed as the goalies just watch the action unfold. On Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh crowd was treated to one of these rare events and Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro is still searching the Pittsburgh ice for his manhood.
With less than a minute left in the game, the Penguins dumped the puck into the Islanders zone and Matt Cooke chased after it. DiPietro waited for Cooke to skate by and then he took Cooke down WWF style.
Were sure Bruins fans love that, but take the fact that it was Matt Cooke out of the equation for a second. Basically, an opposing player just happened to be skating near the crease and Rick DiPietro closelined the guy. There are so many reasons why that was stupid.
First, why did Ricky boy think he was going to get away with that? Could not have been more blatant.
Second, did he think there would be no retaliation? His team was getting beat on the scoreboard and apparently he wanted his team to get beat down in their faces and DiPietro doesnt exactly have a reputation for being tough. His teammates saved him from the wrath of the Penguins . . . temporarily.
Third, the guy is injured every other week. Seriously. Look up DiPietros history. There was a 90 percent chance he would shatter his elbow throwing that hit. Big risk he was taking.
While a scrum developed in the corner and DiPietro watched on, a wondrous sound came through the TV. The crowd was erupting and it wasnt because of the fights in the corner. Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson had left his crease and was making his entrance WWE style!
Then Rick compounded his stupidity by engaging the approaching Johnson. Huge mistake. The two circled each other briefly and then locked.
What DiPietro didnt know is that Brent Johnson throws a punch like Mike Tyson in his prime.
What was going through Rick DiPietros mind during all of this?
1) Brent Johnsons fist.
2) Wow, its been a week since Ive been on the IR. I should get my face punched.
3) I hope he didnt mess my hair up. Gotta look pretty in the press box.
4) I have to call my mom . . . Im going to be on SportsCenter!
5) Playing for the Islanders has some positives . . . Im already used to losing!
The best part of this clip is DiPietros face the second he realizes Johnsons fist is a centimeter away from his face. Fantastic.
Picture courtesy of The Pensblog
On the plus side for DiPietro, instead of being known as that overpaid goalie with the ridiculously long contract that is always hurt hell now be known as that overpaid goalie with the ridiculously long contract that went down like a punk after one punch.
Solid decision Rick. If you can remember what just happened to you, maybe youll make better life choices next time.