As soon as someone drops their gloves, then have at it. But until they drop their gloves, you have to keep your fists to yourself. Former-Flyer Dan Carcillo found out the hard way back in 2009 when he punched Washington's Matt Bradley before he dropped his gloves.
Monday afternoon, New York Islanders enforcer Matt Carkner took issue with Jay Rosehill and dropped the gloves. Rosehill, not one to shy away from a fight, looked to be ready to go but before he could get his gloves off, Carkner started his onslaught.
The fact that they fought doesn't seem to be the issue nor does there seem to be any question that Rosehill would've dropped the gloves. It's the fact he was getting punched before he dropped his gloves that is the issue. I'm not totally sure why he did not receive an instigation penalty (rule 46.11 of the NHL rulebook) as it reads:
"An instigator of an altercation shall be a player who by his actions or demeanor demonstrates any/some of the following criteria: distance traveled; gloves off first; first punch thrown; menacing attitude or posture; verbal instigation or threats; conduct in retaliation to a prior game (or season) incident; obvious retribution for a previous incident in the game or season."
Sounds like an instigation minor penalty to me which would've added two minutes to Carkner's fighting major. Flyers went on the power play after this anyway because of Matt Martin's actions with Steve Downie, which you can see in the background of the Rosehill fight. Everybody would agree that a 5-on-3 for two minutes is much better than a 5-on-4 for two minutes.
Either way, Carkner takes it to Rosehill who doesn't even appear to land a punch.
It was the eighth fight of the season for Jay Rosehill and his third overall against the Islanders. He has two previous bouts with Eric Boulton this season, including Saturday. It was Carkner's fifth fight of the year and his first since December 28th.
Follow Steve on Twitter @SDolan3
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports