Vancouver snapped Florida’s 12-game win streak Monday, but the bigger story was the dustup following the game. As the Canucks celebrated at center ice, a brawl between the two teams nearly broke out after Panthers goaltender Al Montoya got into it with Canucks winger Derek Dorsett.
Monday night the Vancouver Canucks did what no team has done since Dec. 12: they beat the Florida Panthers. But after Daniel Sedin scored the game-winning goal in overtime — a goal that tied him with Markus Naslund for the most in Canucks history — he skated towards the Florida bench and appeared to yell something to the Panthers, and they didn’t take too kindly to Sedin’s words.
Canucks winger Derek Dorsett said that while Vancouver was celebrating at center ice, Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic and goaltender Al Montoya were yelling at the Vancouver players and Petrovic squirted water towards Sedin. That’s when Dorsett headed over to the Florida bench and the melee ensued:
The near-brawl had just about everything short of an actual fight. You have players coming back from the dressing room to get involved, Panthers netminder and former Canuck Roberto Luongo attempting to get his stick into the scrum and a shouting match between Florida coach Gerrard Gallant and Vancouver assistant Glen Gulutzan. There was even a dustup and heated exchange of words between Montoya and Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller, during which time Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell makes a cameo only to smirk at whatever’s being said.
There’s a funny moment at the end when Luongo stands next to Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom and the two seem to be having a friendly chat in the midst of the action. Luongo and Markstrom, of course, were traded for each other in the deal that sent Luongo back to Florida.
As for what was said to spark the entire event, no one knows. Post-game, Sedin said that a Panthers player made “totally unacceptable” comments.
“We have a lot of respect toward (the Panthers),” Sedin told Metro’s Cam Tucker post-game. “It was towards one guy and he knows who he is and he acted very inappropriate and that’s something we hear a lot of every game but that was crossing the line.”
Dorsett, who was front and center in the scrum, said he was trying to step in to protect the Sedins before getting mixed up with Montoya.
“(The Sedins) don’t get mad too often and they were pretty mad,” Dorsett said, via The Associated Press. “I saw Montoya and Petrovic jawing with them and trying to squirt them with water so I skated over to intervene and Montoya took a cut at me so I took a cut at him.”
Luongo had his own view on what happened between Dorsett and Montoya.
“One of their guys came over to our bench and tried to punch one of our guys,” Luongo said, via The Associated Press. “You have 60 minutes to fight anybody on our team that’s willing and able, but he wants to do it after the game.”
There has been no word whether or not the league plans to hand out any supplemental discipline as result of the skirmish, but the league doesn’t have to worry about the two teams getting into it again. Monday’s game was the final time Vancouver and Florida will meet this season, but it should be a game circled on the calendar in 2016-17.