#39 -- February 11, 2011 -- Isles pound Pens 9-3. The word pound has two meanings here. One of course refers to the score. The other refers to all of the extra-curriculars that surrounded the most penalized game in Islander history.
The third meeting of the teams in 18 days was met with a lot of anticipation as it came just nine days after the first goalie fight game the Isles had played in nearly 13 years, punctuated by Rick DiPietro suffering facial fractures in a confrontation with Brent Johnson.
While the 1st period did have two fights, what may be forgotten about the period is that the Isles scored 4 goals even though Michael Grabner was stopped on a penalty shot. In fact, by the time any of the real brawling broke out, the Isles held a 6-0 lead. But on a night that John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner each reached 20 goals, it is the brawling that is remembered.
The Isles drew 183 penalty minutes to the Pens' 163, including 108-105 in the third period as the Isles rewrote the penalty section of the record book.
Michael Haley had 39 minutes himself, Trevor Gillies had 34 and Matt Martin had 27. Gillies would later be suspended by the league for his actions against the Pens' Peter Tangredi.
NHL games with the most penalty minutes since 1990 (with home teams in CAPS):
March 5, 2004: FLYERS 5, Senators 3 — 419 total PIMs (Senators 206, Flyers 213)
March 31, 1992: STARS 5, Sabres 3 — 360 total PIMs (Sabres 188, Stars 172)
Friday: ISLANDERS 9, Penguins 3 — 346 total PIMs (Penguins 163, Islanders 183)
The Skinny took forever to write that night, but you can re-read it here:
Travis Hamonic had a Gordie Howe hat trick in that game, and became the 1st defenseman in, well his lifetime, to record at least 3 points and 17 penalty minutes.
It was a night that the 12,888 at the Coliseum would never forget. A night that unfortunately the NHL did not want to be a part of an Islander viewing party. A night that the Islanders announced that nobody was going to walk over them.
That's good enough for #39 on the Isles 40 in 40 list.
The List to Date:
#39 -- February 11, 2011 -- Isles pound Pens 9-3
#40 -- Summer 2001 -- Isles hire Laviolette, trade for Peca and Yashin, claim Osgood.
Like any of these lists, my #2 may be your #20...