Islanders’ Matt Martin Knocked the Devils’ Tom Kostopoulos Out Cold (Video)
Personally, I don’t like it when one hockey player challenges another to a fight after the other guy makes a good, clean hit. It’s not that I don’t like hockey fights. I love ’em, so long as they’re part of the game and not pre-arranged. However, when you fight somebody over a legal check, you risk looking like you can’t stomach a little physicality and, worse still, you risk getting in over your head.
That’s what happened to the Devils’ Tom Kostopoulos last night—he got in over his head against the Islanders’ Matt Martin, who is a much tougher fighter.
Don’t get me wrong. I like the sentiment behind Kostopulous’ actions. He thought he was sticking up for his teammate, Brian Gionta, who got knocked down on a shoulder-to-shoulder hit from Martin. I just don’t like the result of his actions. It was downright scary.
Just take a look:
Kostopoulos got knocked out cold, just like the Senators’ Dave Dziurzynski did a couple of weeks ago against the Leafs’ Frazer McLaren. It was a scary situation, and it just didn’t have to happen.
That being said, you have to admire the respect Matt Martin showed for his opponent here. The guy had another punch on the way to Kostopulous’ face when he saw it was already lights out for the Devils’ forward, and he was able to hold back in time. (Zac Rinaldo wasn’t quite as restrained when he knocked out B.J. Crombeen back in February.) Then, Martin showed further concern for his opponent by immediately waving for the Devils’ medical staff.
Still, like I said, if Kostopoulos were a little less eager to gain retribution for an act that didn’t require it, none of this would have happened. I guess he learned his lesson the hard way.