January 7, 2012
Cheaps: Doing what a guy's gotta do
By Don Brennan, QMI Agency
PHILADELPHIA - Sometimes a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.
Take Kyle Turris, for example.
The Senators centre is certainly no fighter, but that didn't stop him from obliging Danny Briere Saturday.
From what we saw, Briere started the feud with Turris when he speared him from behind, through the legs. Turris responded by falling on Briere in cross-check position. Briere stayed on the ice in apparent pain, but that didn't keep the ref from calling penalties on both players.
The Flyer fans were furious at the injustice of it all. So was Briere, apparently.
As soon as the two players stepped on the ice, Briere challenged Turris to a fight.
"We were just kind of going back and forth, giving each other shots, and he wanted to go," said Turris. "So we just kind of dropped our gloves and went."
When they were done, the fans roared their approval and chanted Briere's name as though he was the clear-cut winner. Maybe he was, but he was also the only one of the two bleeding (from the nose) after the scrap.
According to Hockeyfights.com, it was only the second NHL fight for Turris, who last traded punches with Kris Versteeg Dec. 7, 2008.
"I think that was my first fight in the National Hockey League," Turris said of the dance with Briere. "My first time was Versteeg, and it was kind of more that he jumped me. It wasn't really much of a fight."
Turris had one other hockey "fight" in the BCHL as a 17-year-old against Ryan Hill, who was 20. That math never really works well for the younger player in junior hockey.
"I didn't do so well," said Turris. "I got one punch in and he took over the rest."
While Turris deserves kudos for answering the bell, two other players exchanged words and shoves and dirty looks at each other but never did go at it in Philly.
Maybe Matt Carkner and Wayne Simmonds will take their hostilities one step further Sunday at Scotiabank Place.
STARTS AND STOPS
There are those who believe that the NHLPA's rejection of the owners' proposal for realignment doesn't bode well for the future, that if the two sides couldn't agree on what seemed like a decent plan then it's unlikely they'll shake hands on bigger issues for a new CBA. I'm one of them. Senators player rep Alex Auld told us what the players didn't like about the restructuring of the divisions. "I think the biggest thing is we were open to further discussion, (but) the league imposed this deadline," said Auld. "The uneven chance to make the playoffs was a huge thing for us. Guys' careers can be made in the playoffs. One or two playoff big runs and you're viewed as a playoff performer. There's obviously a lot of reputation and financial gain to be made there.
"The other issue was the potential for increased travel. There were no assurances made by the league that teams wouldn't have worse travel than they currently do.
"Those were the two big things. We were open to continuing dialogue, and looking for things like simple schedules that they'd be willing to offer, but they seem to think for whatever reason, I'm not sure what it was, that (Friday) was an important day for them."
Makes sense, I suppose. But if the players are digging in hard for something like that, I don't like where this is going.
STUFF I THINK I THUNK
A visit to the Wells Fargo Center reminds you it's way past time for the Senators to get on board with the ice girls idea ... This time the posts were Craig Anderson's friends. During a first-period flurry, van Riemsdyk hit one, then Simmonds hit the other. The third chance was stopped by Zenon Konopka ... Totally useless yet semi-interesting fact -- both Briere's goal in the first period and Milan Michalek's goal in the second were scored at the 11:05 mark. You're welcome ... The Senators were shorthanded 7:06 of the third period's first 10:10. And they still made it to overtime ... Briere just looked like he misfired on the shot before his first goal. "It was a good fake, I guess," he joked.
Erik Condra continues to lead the Senators in the plus-minus category. He was plus-1 Saturday and is now plus-11 on the season. "It isn't always indicative of how you're playing," said Condra. "But I've always been a plus guy and thought if you're on for more goals than against, you're doing your job." Nobody on the Senators has done their job better than Condra this season ... Jared Cowen was a plus-44 last season with the Spokane Chiefs. Was it indicative of how well he played? "I think so," Cowen said with a grin ... Zenon Konopka's sister Cynthia is singing the anthems at Scotiabank Place before the game Jan. 16.
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM ...
Sergei Gonchar has now gone 18 games without a goal, but he sure had his chances in this one. He wound up with four shots on goal, including a couple from point-blank range ... Paul MacLean says he didn't like the way the Senators started, but to us they were the better team out of the gate. It took the Flyers more than seven minutes to get their first shot on goal, and they had a power play when Nick Foligno took a penalty in the third minute ... Scott Hartnell put Kaspars Daugavins airborne in front of the Flyers bench early in the first on what was the hit of the game.