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Vitale on controversial hit: “I didn’t know [it was Briere], and I really didn’t care”


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Welcome to the spotlight, Joe Vitale.

A day after igniting a melee with his hit on Daniel Briere, the Pittsburgh forward became Public Enemy No. 1 in Philadelphia after it was learned Briere and another victim of a Vitale hit — Nicklas Grossmann — were knocked out of the Flyers lineup with injuries.

The 26-year-old checking forward discussed the Briere incident with Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I saw a white jersey coming up the ice,” Vitale explained. “I took the body on him. I didn’t know if it was Briere or whoever. “I was playing my last shift like I play every shift…I didn’t know [it was Briere], and I really didn’t care.” The fury surrounding the hit spilled over to the benches as Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette got into a screaming match with Pittsburgh assistant Tony Granato and head coach Dan Bylsma.

Laviolette continued fuming in his postgame presser. “Those guys hadn’t been out there in 12 minutes,” Laviolette said, referring to Vitale and linemates Craig Adams and Arron Asham. “It’s a gutless move by their coach. It’s gutless.” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby had a different take on the incident. “I’m sure [Laviolette] doesn’t like to see one of their top players getting hit,” he said. “Maybe he shouldn’t have put him out there.” It’ll be interesting to see what transpires on Saturday as the Penguins and Flyers will meet again at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Vitale might want to think about wearing some type of body armor.

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Welcome to the spotlight,

Joe Vitale.

A day after igniting a melee with his hit on

Daniel Briere, the Pittsburgh forward became Public Enemy No. 1 in Philadelphia after it was learned Briere and another victim of a Vitale hit — Nicklas Grossmannwere knocked out of the Flyers lineup with injuries.

The 26-year-old checking forward discussed the Briere incident with

Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“I saw a white jersey coming up the ice,” Vitale explained. “I took the body on him. I didn’t know if it was Briere or whoever.

“I was playing my last shift like I play every shift…I didn’t know [it was Briere], and I really didn’t care.”

The fury surrounding the hit spilled over to the benches as Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette got into a screaming match with Pittsburgh assistant Tony Granato and head coach Dan Bylsma.

Laviolette continued fuming in his postgame presser.

“Those guys hadn’t been out there in 12 minutes,” Laviolette said, referring to Vitale and linemates

Craig Adams and Arron Asham. “It’s a gutless move by their coach. It’s gutless.”

Pittsburgh captain

Sidney Crosby had a different take on the incident.

“I’m sure [Laviolette] doesn’t like to see one of their top players getting hit,”

he said. “Maybe he shouldn’t have put him out there.”

It’ll be interesting to see what transpires on Saturday as the Penguins and Flyers will meet again at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Vitale might want to think about wearing some type of body armor.

As I read this excerpt from a news report, it is pretty clear that whoever wrote it either didn't understand the story or is a Pens fan who wanted to spin the story into something other than it was. The story reads like Vitale laid two good hits on Flyers players and Lavy was mad about that.

The first part of the story is that Vitale took out Grossmann with an illegal, knee to knee hit. The article doesn't mention that. The other part of the story wasn't about the hit on Briere. I don't think anyone has much of a problem with that, even though it wasn't necessary. The real story was that Vitale was sent out there late in the game to settle a score (as it turns out, a dive by Crosby).

This is typical, Crosby-centric coverage that portrays him and the Pens as the heroes regardless of the facts. The one thing I'll acknowledge is that Vitale should be careful next time he takes the ice against the Flyers. Grossmann is going to want to decapitate him.

Edited by Digityman
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@terp you get a cookie was wondering who would be the first to see the article was written with Black and Gold colored glasses :)

I gather you found this on NBC. Figures. They are and always have been avid Crosby *** lickers.

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Too bad the next game is at Pit. Queen Bylsma has the last change.

Which brings me to a totally unrelated point.....It's great scheduling to have division rivals play twice in the last week or so of the season, but usually it's a HOME AND HOME! Why eff do the Flyers go to their building twice in 7 days to end the season?

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i can't say i see anything wrong with that hit, nor our reaction to it. i wish we would have buried him earlier for the Grossmann hit, then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

At first i agree with this but after settling down... i change my mind, hers why...

WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!

they iced the like of Kunitz, Asham, Cooke,Vitale, Engallend alot of tough guys not a whole lot of skill...use to be Flyers MO

The Flyers on the other hand only had Rinaldo and i'll give you Simmer...hell even Hartsy...mostly all more skilled and they WON.

Seems like they have intimidated the Pens to change up their game if for no thoer reason but to protect their pretty boy...and Cots is alreay in Malkinstein's head....another win for the Flyers!!!!!!!!

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At first i agree with this but after settling down... i change my mind, hers why...

WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!

they iced the like of Kunitz, Asham, Cooke,Vitale, Engallend alot of tough guys not a whole lot of skill...use to be Flyers MO

The Flyers on the other hand only had Rinaldo and i'll give you Simmer...hell even Hartsy...mostly all more skilled and they WON.

Seems like they have intimidated the Pens to change up their game if for no thoer reason but to protect their pretty boy...and Cots is alreay in Malkinstein's head....another win for the Flyers!!!!!!!!

i agree with you here. we forced them to resort to cheap shots in and away from the play in order to get their licks in because it wasn't happening on the scoreboard. the circumstances of the game didn't allow for us to respond, either smartly or equally, to Vitale's hit on Grossmann and that's a shame. we won which is great and should always come first, and yet my thirst for blood and retribution continues unabated.

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Which brings me to a totally unrelated point.....It's great scheduling to have division rivals play twice in the last week or so of the season, but usually it's a HOME AND HOME! Why eff do the Flyers go to their building twice in 7 days to end the season?

Yeah, that IS weird.

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Crosby's comments on Lavy are certain to come back to haunt him. There's no strategic value to that kind of talk going into a playoff run. It's virtually guaranteed to bring the Flyers closer together and make them extra-motivated.

Sid should keep his head up I would think.

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I know the game has changed but this is the type of instance where you need to call up some guys and put Shelley in the lineup and challenge him the first time he is on the ice. He potentially took out two of our key players for the first round matchup and that simply cannot be tolerated.

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I know the game has changed but this is the type of instance where you need to call up some guys and put Shelley in the lineup and challenge him the first time he is on the ice. He potentially took out two of our key players for the first round matchup and that simply cannot be tolerated.

Naturally I feel this way too, I'm just not sure that's a wise move. But...maybe it's time to forget "wisdom" and go with the gut. Vitale's check on Briere was clean, no question about it. Still, the result is Briere "out indefinitely." That should be answered. Whether it's concentrating on our game and winning on the scoreboard, or if it's dealing out some old-fashioned Bullies' justice I don't know.

Frankly I'd be happy with either result - take out 1 or 2 of their guys, put him on LTIR. Or, win the damn game. Maybe we can do both... :)

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I know the game has changed but this is the type of instance where you need to call up some guys and put Shelley in the lineup and challenge him the first time he is on the ice. He potentially took out two of our key players for the first round matchup and that simply cannot be tolerated.

If Shelly plays and draws a suspension it is not a big loss/ He probably won't be in the playoff picture.
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