Nov. 06, 2016
Maple Leafs and Canucks Play Old Time Hockey
We had another wild game in the NHL last night, proving once again that fighting is far from dead. The third period between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks was absolutely wild, like straight out of the 90's wild. It all started with a blindside hit by Nazem Kadri on Daniel Sedin. The hit looked very illegal in today's NHL, and I expect Kadri to sit a few games for this one. Jannik Hansen came rushing to his linemate's defense and fought Kadri. Props to Hansen for that. Here is the video of the hit and fight.
That hit seemed to set the Canucks off because they went nuts for the rest of the game. Obviously ticked off about one of Vancouver's best players getting drilled with a headshot, Derek Dorsett went crazy. A few minutes later in the period, he fought Leo Komarov right off a face-off. Komarov really wanted nothing to do with it, but obliged. Then, Matt Martin chirped Dorsett from the bench and Dorsett erupted. This was really funny to watch.
Next we had some stick work from Alex Burrows, which is not surprising. Burrows pretended to fall down and speared Morgan Rielly right in the mid-section. This was a total scumbag move by a total scumbag player. Rielly was furious and the two dropped the gloves the next time they were on the ice together. Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a fight as both players immediately fell down.
After this, things went full old time hockey. Matt Martin, sick of watching all the fun, went after Troy Stretcher and all hell broke loose. This was classic case of "you go after my guy, i'll go after yours" that you rarely see in the NHL these days. Stuff like this was commonplace in the 80's and 90's, but not anymore. Martin started throwing bombs at Stretcher, who was already down, and then the goalies got involved. Ryan Miller jumped Martin to protect his teammate and everyone piled in. Frederik Andersen came all the way down the ice to get involved, but just ended up chatting with Miller. Ten years ago this would have had a lot more action, but for today's NHL this is pretty good.
By the end of the night there was 171 total penalty minutes between the teams, most of them coming in the third period. This game was straight out of the 90's. It's rare to see this anymore. Nonetheless, this was fantastic week for fighting, which I'll go into in my Fight of the Week post which is coming right up. Fighting is certainly not dead in the NHL, and so far this season, fights are happening at a higher per game rate than last year.