When an NHL game features over 300 combined penalty minutes, it's only a good thing for the still-vocal band of people who can't stand hockey, and thoroughly enjoy using moments like this to rail against the sport.
Of course, when someone behaves the way Islanders forward Trevor Gillies did on Friday, it makes you wonder if the "They're a bunch of Neanderthals!" crowd actually has a case.
Gillies' actions -- during the third period of a 9-3 Islanders win -- have to be seen to be believed. You probably have to be a teammate or family member to justify them.
It's bad enough that Gillies went after Eric Tangradi's head. That alone is probably worthy of a suspension, given the league's need to crack down on such blatantly illegal hits.
But Gillies didn't get enough. He started punching an obviously injured Tangradi, and then takes to taunting Tangradi -- in a heap on the ice -- as he (Gillies) left the ice.
In the same sequence, gutty Islander Micheal Haley decided to engage Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson in a fight. The desire for "revenge" is somewhat understandable, but it's easy to forget that it was Rick DiPietro who asked for and willingly engaged Johnson in a fight last week. Blame Johnson for putting DiPietro out of action if you'd like, but that was a straight-up, man-to-man fight, not some nefarious attempt by Johnson to take out the opposing goalie.
Look at how the Penguins responded to David Steckel's hit on Sidney Crosby during the Winter Classic. One fight, and it's over.
The Islanders chose sucker punches and headshots as their method of retaliation. Say what you want about that.