Saturday, October 10, 2009

There's No Biting in Hockey

by Jan Snyder

Just as there is no crying in baseball, there is no biting in hockey.

As if the Pens/Flyers rivalry isn’t heated enough already, in the first game of the season between these two teams, we have “Bite Gate”.

With just seconds left in the game, the Broad Street bully’s captain, Mike Richards, took a run at Fleury, to which the Pens’ defensemen objected – vehemently. Kris Letang and Scott (the hairy one) Hartnell slammed each other to the ice and a wrestling match ensued. Shortly thereafter, Letang skated off, holding his injured finger.

After the game Letang just said, “Ask him what he did, he knows.” He wouldn’t accuse him of biting his ring finger, but just implied it. Hartnell’s lame response was that Letang was giving him a face wash a lot of things were going on as they rolled around on the ice. But he didn’t think he’d bitten him.

What’s next? Will we see an ear bitten off during a game, a la a Mike Tyson boxing match? Will Letang need a tetanus shot? I love a good rivalry and there is no doubt both teams were up for this game. The game itself was really exciting, lots of scoring on both sides (and one that the Flyers scored for the Pens). Emery and Fleury were both good and Pronger held Crosby to no points. But let’s leave the biting out of it! I know the Flyers are bullies, but this is even beyond what I thought they were capable of doing.

There will be no discipline for Hartnell from the League. After a conference call with Colin Campbell, Hartnell was found “innocent.” How about looking at Letang’s finger? That should provide all the needed evidence.

Kris, in the immortal words of Shane Falco in one of my favorite movies, “The Replacements”

“Pain heals, chicks dig scars, but glory lasts forever.” You’ll have a scarred finger for chicks to dig, and the glory of last year’s Stanley cup will last forever.

Beating the Flyers in the remaining five games this season will be the best revenge.

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