January 18th the Calgary Flames played the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena for a televised game on a Saturday Hockey Night in Canada. The Vancouver home fans had a surprise, for less than two seconds in to the game, after the ref dropped the puck, instead of a good old fashioned hockey match, a brawl broke out. With exception of the goalies, every payer on the ice dropped the gloves while Vancouver's Coach John Tortorella screaming at Calgary's coach, Bob Hartley?
All that was missing was the Hanson Brothers with their aluminum-wrapped hands and coke-bottom glasses. Until the referees sorted out the penalties, the sin bins on both sides were standing room only. Even after the period ended, Tortorella tried to get in the Flames locker room t continue the confrontation. Only the mass of players & staff prevented his entry.
What could cause this ode to 'Slapshot' on ice?
According to The Sports Network:
"There were 150 penalty minutes assessed to both sides (81 to the visitors, 69 to the hosts) by the time the contest was 4 1/2 minutes old, owing to a second minor scrum a short time later. At intermission, Canucks head coach John Tortorella attempted to reach the Flames' locker room, but Calgary players and Vancouver staff restrained him. It is expected that he will receive supplemental discipline from the NHL for his actions. "Suddenly, I lifted my head and there he was," said Flames coach Bob Hartley.
Ryan Kesler and Yannick Weber tallied in regulation for the Canucks, while Roberto Luongo made 31 saves. Mark Giordano and Matt Stajan scored for the Flames, and Karri Ramo also came up with 31 stops." The visiting team makes the first line change and the home team responds accordingly. Torts made a decision to start his fourth line after seeing the starting Hartley's starting players. Was the placement of the fourth line an 'in your face' to the Flames enough to ignite the brawl? Guess Tortorella will have that on his mind while he sits out a couple of days. The League gave him a 15 day suspension, retroactive to the Jan 18th game. In an article in the Canadian Press, posted on the Hockey News this short explanation was given: "Torts came in and told us that they're starting those idiots over there so we're going to match that and go with it," said Canucks tough guy Tom Sestito. "I knew right off the hop (Brian) McGrattan was going to come after me." Tortorella made no apologies for matching the Flames' muscle with his own. "I see the starting lineup and I know the other guy across the bench and it's easy for people to say 'Well put the Sedins out there and it's deflated.' I can't put our players at risk like that," he said. "With the lineup that (Hartley) had, I am not going to put those types of players at risk, and that's what ensues. "I'm not proud of it. I've apologized to every one of the players involved in it. I don't feel great about it at all."
Hmm...I don't you about you, but I've had a couple of times in my life where I just saw 'red' and went ballistic. I can understand, but not endorse, the berserker mentality. We all go nuts - we just don't go acting upon it. So john, have you got it out of your system?
It's not as if I am against fights in hockey. I actually don't have a problem with them. There is a place for fighting, just not brawling. A fight can energize a team and turn a losing game in to a win. An enforcer may need to drop the gloves to send a message that dirty hits or targeting specific players (stars or goalies) is unacceptable. In this game, the adage, I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out really happened. I do feel sorry for rookie player Kellan Lain. His first NHL game and he is tossed out in the first few minutes for fighting. Sorry Mom & dad, it would have been nice for you to have seen me actually PLAY the game.
Well, these incidents don't happen too often. At least our fans don't throw food on injured players (ouch). We just toss octopi and hats on the ice as a celebration.
announcement of Coach Tortorella's suspension for his actions in the Jan 18th game
video clip of the opening 2 min of Jan 18th game Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks from ESPN
By the Way: here are this week's Power Rankings
ESPN (Sharks #6)
The Sports Network (Sharks #5)
Bleacher Report (Sharks #3)
say safe out there!!