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VIDEO: Matt Martin knocks out Tom Kostopoulos in short fight

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

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You know it's bad when the guy who won a fight is waving for his combatant's training staff to get on the ice. Monday night's scrap between Matt Martin of the New York Islanders and New Jersey's Tom Kostopoulos ended in that exact fashion, with Martin frantically waving to the Devils' bench.

After Kostopoulos took exception to the hit delivered by Martin on Stephen Gionta, the pair dropped the gloves. Within a few punches, Martin dropped Kostopoulos, who looked out on his feet.

This is the second scary scene involving a fight in the NHL in just under a month. The last episode came on March 6 when Toronto's Frazer McLaren knocked out Ottawa's David Dziurzynski, leading to a lot of debate about fighting in the days after.

Fighting may be part of the game now, but as the league tries to crack down on direct hits to the head, instances like these makes the NHL's position – or lack thereof – on fisticuffs seem a tad hypocritical.

It's not exactly comforting when the broadcasters are praising Martin for not throwing a second punch after noticing his opponent was in trouble. However, thinking back to another gruesome fight involving Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo earlier this year when he repeatedly punched B.J. Crombeen after the latter appeared dazed, perhaps Martin does deserve some credit.

The more scenes such as the one in New Jersey Monday, the more fuel for a serious fighting debate.

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