The Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks got into a line brawl in the dying seconds of Vancouver’s 4-1 victory. Referees handed out 132 penalty minutes as a result, but there may be stiffer penalties to pay once the league looks at the incident.
Did you hear that? That sound? That unmistakable noise echoing through Rogers Arena?
That was the sound of messages being sent. Words being had. Fires being lit, and tensions coming to a boil.
No, not during the game, a smooth 4-1 win by Vancouver over Calgary.
I mean the messages being sent between the referees and NHL head office. The words being had as officials tried to figure out what happened at the end of the third period. The fires being lit under stats keepers to get all the penalties right, and the tensions coming to a boil on Twitter over how the whole thing played out.
The referees had a lot of work to do after the game Friday night to sort out a whopping 132 penalty minutes (as of this writing) handed out to players involved in a massive brawl at 18:43 of the third period.
The game sheet reads like a docket at a courthouse.
Engelland, Deryk, charged with three game misconducts, two fighting majors and an instigator penalty.
Dorsett, Derek. Two counts of fighting and a game misconduct.
Stajan, Matt (yes, seriously). A fighting major and a game misconduct.
There are more names, of course – nine in total from that scrap, and more going back to an incident at 15:46 involving Dan Hamhuis, Dennis Wideman and Yannick Weber. The Flames ended the game with 95 penalty minutes to Vancouver’s 71, a Pyrrhic victory perhaps as the series shifts to Calgary knotted at one game a piece.
The fight that will dominate the airwaves these next few days started with Eddie Lack freezing the puck near the end of the third. Brandon Bollig waded into a knot of Canucks and took a shove from Dan Hamhuis, which drew the rest of the players on the ice into the fray.
Brad Richardson dragged Stajan out of the mess and they dropped the gloves immediately. Dorsett and Engelland paired off for their own wrestling match, while the refs tried to break up the remaining players in a scrum along the boards.
Hamhuis eventually broke away from the scrum and became the third man in on Dorsett’s battle with Engelland. The two ganged up and pinned Engelland to the ice.
Engelland got back to his feet as soon as Hamhuis left him and resumed his fight with Dorsett, this time with a referee present to keep the two combatants in check.
The fight petered out after that.
Engelland’s three game misconducts could mean he’ll face supplemental discipline for his actions. Officials will have to sort out whether his game misconducts add up to an automatic suspension, but even if there’s no automatic suspension, one has to believe the league will be taking a good look at what happened in the game.
Eddie Lack stayed out of the fight, perhaps because he’d already gotten in a few jabs of his own earlier in the game. Lack gave Bollig some shots with his blocker after Bollig fell on him in the crease in the second.
The victory was Lack’s first playoff win of his career, and it came with his father visiting from Sweden to see him play.
The 27-year-old stopped 23 shots to secure the victory, prompting Canucks fans to send a message of their own after the buzzer sounded.
“Eddie, Eddie,” they chanted.