Pressure from the NHL and a backlash from "purist" hockey fans has caused the MSG Network to scrap plans for the rebroadcast of a brawl-filled New York Islanders-Pittsburgh Penguins game at a "viewing party." The infamous Feb. 11 contest was filled with fight after fight after fight. Both teams combined for 65 penalties, 346 penalty minutes and 10 ejections in the 9-3 Isles victory.
Critics claimed this particular game shed a bad light on the sport.
Is it so bad that a hockey game actually had 12 goals, had more punches than a Wladimir Klitschko heavyweight fight and filled a normally boring arena with excitement? The NHL thought so. Anyway, here's a sample of what fans will be missing.
The Islanders/Penguins cage-match had 15 fighting majors and 20 misconducts. It set records for both teams for most combined penalty minutes and almost left both teams with barely enough players to finish the game.
The NHL suspended Islanders Trevor Gillies for nine games, Mark Martin for four and handed the club a whopping $100,000 fine.
It's not every night-- actually it's not any night-- the Islanders can fill an arena-- never mind a bar. The last time the team won a championship "Tron" was boring people at the theaters-- the original Tron.
Tonight's viewing party is at a Champions in Long Island and was part of an eight-game series to promote the team and relive last season's few highlights. MSG-Plus will now air a rebroadcast of an Islanders game against the Buffalo Sabres. You remember that game...yawn.
It's just foreplay before the team joins the Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a couple of years anyway.
Tonight, if fans wanted less thugs and more hugs, they could have headed over to Citi Field instead.
The first 100 fans who arrive at Friday's Mets game against the Milwaukee Brewers get free admission, if they take part in celebrity Nick Cannon's "Hug It Out," in an attempt to set a Guinness world record for most hugs in an hour. I guess Johan Santana was considered too brittle.
Cannon, singer Mariah Carey's husband, should get home more often. How else can you explain why the host of America's Got Talent and a NYC morning radio show would want to touch over 1,800 desperate Mets fans. He'll be covered in tears.
So head out to Citi Field and hug the new Ryan Seacrest and get a free T-shirt to prove it.