Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna concluded Daily Faceoff Live with the usual Garbage Time segment, Mike reminding us of the anniversary of a significant game in the career of Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux.
Mike McKenna: Twenty years ago yesterday – my friend Kurt Hardley pointed this out on Twitter – Mario Lemieux went crazy in a game. He got 29 penalty minutes in a single stoppage of play. He reads slashing, instigating, fighting misconduct, game misconduct. The game was quite a shemozzle. There are things on YouTube, there are fights, there are things everywhere.
But what happened was Brad Ference, who I played with in Omaha in the American Hockey League for the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, we called him Bitsy, because he was so bitter all the time. Well, Bitsy drove everyone crazy, former first-round pick, and Lemieux was sick of him. They had already had an altercation about four minutes before, and they fell on the blue line, Lemieux gave him two hands, then went after him.
The best part is that Mike Keenan coaches the Florida Panthers, the Panthers have a 6-0 lead, so obviously the Pittsburgh Penguins are pretty angry Captain Super Mario makes a point. But Mario had 29 penalty minutes in that game, and the entire season that year had 43 PIMs. Thus, he took three-quarters of all his penalty minutes in a game, because Brad Ference pushed him over the edge.
Frank Seravalli: Two things. First, I would say Bitsy is an amazing nickname, and I feel like it could stay in my house for me. And two, if you look at Mario Lemieux, he had a 100-minute penalty season the same year, 1988-89, that he had 199 points, which is kind of crazy. I just think when you’re a player of that ilk, you’re just like, « Go pigeon, get away from me. » You don’t need the extracurriculars, so I love that he got fired up enough to take matters into his own hands.
Mike McKenna: Imagine Connor McDavid doing that, or Auston Matthews just beating someone up. It doesn’t happen anymore.
You can watch the full episode here…