Heating up the leftovers

- November 5th, 2010

Some of the stuff that didn’t make it into Cheapseats from Thursday’s game, simply because I write too much:
–Zenon Konopka may not score another goal in the NHL, but his value to the Islanders is immeasurable.
The former 67′s captain is one of the top “character” guys in the league, the glue that holds a team together. He’s also one of the games’ top faceoff men, and a ready and willing combatant who has led the loop in fighting last season and so far in 2010-11.
Of late, Konopka has been caught on camera yapping at opponents during pre-game warmup.
“You’ve sometimes got to get your point across, make sure there’s no liberties taken with your teammates,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve got to cross the t’s and dot the i’s, make sure everyone knows what’s being said out there.
“My role is to help this team make the playoffs. Do whatever you can to help this team make the playoffs.
“What people don’t understand is that everything at least I do, and most fighters do, is calculated. We don’t do things for no reason. Everything said by me, everything done in warmup, after the game and between the games is all calculated. At the end of the day, it’s to help our team make the playoffs. And that’s the only reason we do it. It’s not to get a Top 5 play nominee or to be on the front page of the New York Times. It’s to make the playoffs. That’s the only agenda right now. I don’t know what other guys think, but for me that’s the most important thing.”
Konopka liked seeing Sid Crosby fight Wednesday, even though other hockey people have come out against it. Losing their captain for a couple of months with a broken hand, of course, would be detrimental to the Penguins success.
“It’s a fine line,” said Konopka. “You see Jarome Iginla too, tried to fight (Wednesday). At the end of the day, there’s so many great teams in this league, I think the leaders in the dressing room have to raise the bar, and have to be better the rest. And that’s one way, risk versus reward. You don’t want to see an injury, but you’ve got to step up your game and you have to influence your players. You do whatever it takes to do that.”
What would Konopka do if he was on the bench when Islanders star John Tavares dropped the gloves?
“Obviously you want yourself in there, but it’s who he’s matched up with,” said Konopka. “If he’s matched up against the wrong guy, I might jump the bench and take my suspension.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about winning or losing a fight. It’s about showing up.”
FINAL THOUGHT: Rick DiPietro has a .854 save percentage and Dwayne Roloson is giving up goals like he did to David Hale and Jason Spezza in the second period. They have some injuries to key personnel, but I think I know what else is wrong with the Islanders …By the way, I forgot to get my Fearless Forecast in before the game, but there’s no way I was taking the New Yorkers, who came to Ottawa on a 5-game losing streak and off a 7-2 loss to Carolina. The Fearless Forecast record now stands at a perfect 5-0.

Categories: Hockey

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4 comments

  1. Mike8888 says:

    I was quite surprized that the Sens didn’t go after Konopka when he was available. He’s always been a character player ever since he was with the 67′s.

  2. shugg says:

    and Z took it easy on the Senators!!!!! hahaha … no fights … I was surprised…Good boy Zenon :) and what the prediction for tomorrow’s game??? you know so I can run out n get my Proline ticket… maybe enjoy a Slurpee and starbucks if I / we win…hahaha

  3. Nancy D says:

    I have to say,on the whole Sidney Crosby fighting thing…..I LOVE it! I would love to see all the professional fighters and goons out of the league, and the regular guys on the ice take care of their own battles. Granted, if someone jumps a guy like Crosby (or any star or smaller player), I’d expect the other 5 guys on the ice to come running and make them pay for it……..but all in all, I want the skill guys who don’t necessarily have major fighting skills to take care of themselves. Sure, there will be some hand injuries here and there, but I doubt any of the lightweights will get a knockout.

    Zenon gets a bit of a pass from me for 3 reasons:
    1, he is a premiere faceoff guy so he does have some skill and benefit to the team
    2, he does have a small amount of puck skill….he had decent points and hockey sense in junior, and can put the puck on net (at least with a team with a few skilled guys) on occasion
    3, he’s a good locker room guy who doesn’t hurt his team on the ice

    I honestly believe if fighting were outlawed in the NHL Zenon still would have the ability to make the 4th line of most teams out there.

  4. tuna99 says:

    Zenon Konopka slips Don Brennan a $20. Would of been a $100 Zenon says, if Brennan could have gotten him in the actual sports section. Brennan goes home $20 richer and vows to do everything he can in his blogging power to make sure Zenon Konopka is recognized as the NHL’s best….goon/pre game talking guy…. that won’t be playing in the playoffs when/if his team ever does make the playoffs.

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