There are a certain set of rules when hockey fights break out that are just not broken. The most obvious of those rules? Once you've beaten your opponent, you don't continue to throw punches while they're down and defenseless on the ice.
Richards obviously loses the fight decisively, likely due to forgetting (or choosing not) to tie his jersey down. Dubinsky was able to get it up over Richards' head, coloring him defenseless to the fists flying towards his face. That's Richards' fault and only his fault, and for this reason only, Dubinsky should not have been inclined to stop the fight.
But there's a point in the fight where Richards goes to throw a punch in return and never makes it. Instead, he falls to his knees and the linesmen jump in to stop the proceedings. From this point, when Richards is down and the fight is over, Dubinsky chooses to let his fists fly toward the defenseless Richards.
Even if the Flyers captain wanted to return fire, ignoring the fact that his jersey was over his head, he was unable to because he was in the clutches of the officials. Yet there Dubinsky continued to pound away. One, two, three.
These two players do have a bit of a history, but that's really no excuse for Dubinsky's antics on Sunday. After all, Craig Rivet and Dan Carcillo had a history back on November 27 at the Wachovia Center. They fought twice in that game, and on the second go around, Carcillo beat Rivet pretty decisively. As he pounded Rivet into the ice, he laid up on one final punch as Rivet fell to the surface, opting not to throw it thanks to Rivet's vulnerable position.
But after the fight was over, Rivet rolled Carcillo over and threw a cheap shot at the Flyer who was lying on the ice before mouthing a few words and skating off. It's bush league stuff, and you can see it after the jump.
This stuff doesn't happen too often against the Flyers, but one thing you'll notice is that the Flyers are never, ever guilty of this crime. Not any time recently, at least. In fact, I'd urge anybody to go through the archives and find one fight this year where a Flyers player continued to throw punches at an opponent while that opponent was down.
I searched the full archive of the Flyers two most prolific fighters, Ian Laperriere and Carcillo, and one theme was evident throughout. That theme: a healthy dose of respect. Take a seat and watch a few videos, won't you?
Here's Ian Laperriere in the last game before the Olympic break, going toe-to-toe with Montreal's Ryan O'Byrne. O'Byrne slips a little bit toward the end of the fight, and Laperriere holds back his final punch to make sure that it's actually the end of the fight.
Remember Carcillo's fight with Shawn Thornton at the Winter Classic? In it, Carcillo showed off the same level of respect for his opponent. Instead, you can actually see Danny's hand cocked back and ready to pounce on Thornton when the Bruin falls to the ice. Carcillo slowly takes it away, showing his palms at one point to say 'I'm done.' It's respect.
Finally, in the mother of all fights where Carcillo really could've put a hurting on his opponent, we come full circle with the Rangers and the Marian Gaborik tilt. As Gaborik falls to the ice, Carcillo clearly and obviously pulls up in an attempt to not injure the Rangers star player. Respect.
Of course, it's easy to sit here and pick a few fights from the catalog and show off examples. I watched as many as I could by going to the two guys who fight the most for the Flyers; two guys that have completely different reputations as respectable players in the NHL. Because of that, I think it was a fair way of doing this.
In the end, though, the point remains the same. The fact of the matter is that Brandon Dubinsky lacked a modicum of respect for his opponent on Sunday. It's a basic violation of the rules in hockey fighting and it deserves a spotlight. Hopefully next time Richards and Dubinsky face off, the Ranger will have a little more dignity.