"Gutless" or Appropriate?
Dan Bylsma isn’t one for pugilism, but he doesn’t back down, either.
In a rare scene this afternoon, Bylsma tag teamed with assistant coach Tony Granato in a near-fisticuffed shouting match with Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Lavioette and assistant coach Craig Berube.
While the coaches didn’t land any punches, their players did with less than two minutes left in the game.
Down and out, Bylmsa iced his fourth line following a Flyers empty net goal, a move Laviolette wasn’t fond of.
“They hadn’t used those guys in 12 minutes. It was a completely gutless move by their coach,” said the Flyers’ bench boss, who along with Granto, was tossed from the game.
Gutless? How about appropriate?
You see, just minutes earlier, Brayden Schenn hit Sidney Crosby with a cross check from behind, completely away from the play.
It was the definition of gutless, as Crosby had no opportunity to see it coming or defend himself from it.
So, with intention of showing the Flyers the Penguins won’t be bullied, Bylsma retaliated, icing some of his more physical players.
Following a big (and clean) hit by Joe Vitale on Daniel Briere, all hell broke loose.
Arron Asham got in a few punches on Schenn in retaliation for the Crosby cross-check. Deryk Engelland reminded Wayne Simmonds that he’s still the boss, despite his low fight count. And Granato held back Bylsma, as the battle of the bench bosses ensued.
The Flyers, as an organization, are just fine with dishing it out, as Scott Hartnell will attest, but when it comes to taking it, well, Laviolette proved that they’re not a fan of their own medicine.
It’s one thing to be pugilistic and tough. It’s quite another to be pugilistic and tough…and whine about the opponents when they fight back.
The Flyers may have won the battle, but the war is just beginning, as all eyes will be on the “Keystone Clash” when the first round of the playoffs begin next week.
Make no mistake about it — this will be one for the ages.