A Lack Of Response A Troubling Sign? Johnston's Fight vs Attard Goes Unatoned

David McLeod
October 7, 2022  (4:36 PM)

We have all seen the fight by now; the fight between Ross Johnston and Ronnie Attard. Attard was praised for his willingness to stand in there with one of the NHL's legitimate heavyweight fighters, but that isn't Attard's game. The fight was one sided, unnecessary, and broke the unwritten rule in the NHL, of an established ‘tough guy' initiating fights with rookies or players not known for their pugilism. Did the Flyers response to the fight, or lack of a response, send a dangerous message to the league and set an undesirable precedent for the season?

In June, John Tortorella gave an impassioned interview after his hiring, in which he stated, «Bottom line is, I want the team to be hard. I think we need to present ourselves, look harder coming off the bus, coming into buildings. I want other teams to say, 'You know what, we've got our hands full tonight.'" It gave Flyers fans chills, but has that philosophy transpired to the yet?
Ross Johnston was on the ice with Zack MacEwen and Nicolas Deslauriers, when he decided to atone for a hit thrown by the Flyers Hayden Hodgson, on a previous shift. Johnston had the opportunity to fight one of those willing dance partners, but instead chose to go after a Flyers rookie; a rookie without a reputation of being a fighter. It was a gutless decision by Johnston, but one the Flyers did not respond too.
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The Philadelphia Flyers coaches and teammates allowed for one of their rookie teammates, to get owned by an NHL heavyweight, without a response on the ice. Tortorella didn't encourage Deslauriers to atone for the gutless actions of Johnston, by suggesting he grab one of the Islanders rookies and pummel them as retribution, did he? If Deslauriers isn't in our lineup to discourage such incidents and set the physical tone for the Flyers, what is he being paid $1.75 million for? Zach MacEwen could have responded as well, but didn't. Nick Seeler, no. How could established NHL veterans, watch Johnston initiate a fight with a rookie, or any other non-fighter in your lineup and not respond? The entire NHL watched that fight and watched the Flyers just accept it. No response. No push back. No consequences.
If the Philadelphia Flyers want to change the culture of the team and be harder to play against, this type of incident going unchecked certainly leaves a lot to be desired.
A Lack Of Response A Troubling Sign? Johnston's Fight vs Attard Goes Unatoned

What Should The Flyers Response Have Been To The Johnston vs Attard Fight?

Send Deslauriers After an Islanders Rookie2726.7 %
Fight Johnston When He Steps Out Of The Box4847.5 %
Nothing, It Was A Tied Preseason Game!1312.9 %
Just Take It - Set The Tone For The Year1312.9 %
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