I don't get in fights, well, ever. But Hockey players do, and apparently the mantra is win at all costs. Something like that must have been going through Rangers Forward Ryan Hollweg, who stands accused of trying to rip the stitches out of a fresh gash on the left side of Islanders Defenceman Radek Martinek's face during a fight Thursday night.
That wasn't just winning at all costs. It was winning dirty. Winning by trying to rip out 15 stitches. Winning in a way that makes me wince.
"Give Martinek credit, playing after an injury like that," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "In this game, you have to have some respect. When a guy like Hollweg tries to scratch an open cut on someone's face, that's not professional. It's not a classy thing to do."Not surprisingly, Hollweg denied any of this. But he'd probably deny the fact that he was even in a fight.
As players from both teams entered the fray, Martinek said Hollweg threatened him and then reached for his face.No further damage was done to Martinek, but I suppose when you've got 15 stitches on your face there's enough damage to begin with.
"He said he is going to take my stitches out. I think that was stupid," said Martinek, a five-foot-11, 200-pound defenceman.