On Valentine’s Day in Kazan, Russia, two teams of eight-year-old kids got together to play a hockey game. After it was over, the teams formed queues for the handshake line – and that’s where things quickly disintegrated into a brawl.
The squads – “Ak Bars 2″ and “Wave” – squared off at the Vatan Sports Complex. And although there was no immediate tensions before the handshake line formed, something set off one young player from each side almost immediately, and within thirty seconds of the first fight breaking out, the melee had spread throughout the ice and involved many, if not most members of each team: (video via Youtube user tatpressa) Read more
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are division rivals whose rivalry has ramped up since stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005-06 – and after Wednesday’s game included a brawl that spilled onto the Pens’ bench, the emotion of the rivalry is as hot as ever.
The Metropolitan Division teams got into a skirmish at center ice near the halfway point of Wednesday’s game in Washington, and within a matter of seconds, it erupted into a battle that jumped the boards and into Pittsburgh’s bench: (Video via SportsnetCanada) Read more
Fans in Hershey, Pa., on Saturday saw seven goals, four goaltenders and nearly 200 penalty minutes in a game that turned into mayhem late in the second period.
The contest between the hometown Hershey Bears and visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers got out of hand with less than five minutes left in the second frame, and tempers really flared when Tigers winger Brett Gallant went after Bears winger Chris Brown as he was headed into the penalty box. Read more
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is playing his tenth NHL season. And thanks to his actions in Thursday’s game against Columbus – a game in which Crosby got into a showdown with Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky – the superstar center is edging closer to averaging one fight per year after recording the seventh fight of his career.
Crosby’s first fight of this season occurred late in the second period of the game at Consol Energy Center when he and Dubinsky became tangled up in the corner. The nastiness quickly spiked, but what ensued was mostly just thrown gloves and a whole bunch of clutching: (video via SomeHockeyVideos) Read more
In a jubilant New York Islanders dressing room after a recent overtime road win over the Anaheim Ducks, Eric Boulton snapped the scoresheet out of the hands of Islanders star John Tavares.
“First game of the year!” Boulton exclaimed. “Might be the last!” Read more
In 12 years at The Hockey News, I’ve made my position on fighting clear: hockey, and the NHL in particular, doesn’t do enough to curtail it. It can’t be banned any more than the NBA, NFL, MLB or any other professional league can stop people from punching each other about the face and head, but it can be regulated to a far greater degree. That’s not radical or treasonous, no matter how staunch the game’s traditionalists try making it out to be.
The encouraging news is how far the debate has shifted. Where once I heard wisecracks from colleagues who’d make half-serious jokes about me fleeing press row when a fight broke out, I now have a steady stream of people (fans and media) saying essentially the same thing: “I used to love all kinds of fighting, but now I’m with you – I can’t get into the staged fights anymore.” Read more
It always fascinates me when someone who claims to like hockey says they don’t like fighting. Hockey has always had fisticuffs, so clearly when they fell in love with the sport, they knew what they were getting into. They’re the sort of folks who go to a Chinese restaurant and ask why cheeseburgers aren’t on the menu, I imagine.
I don’t try to intellectualize fighting because for me it’s a matter of passion – my own and that of the players. Hockey is an intense, physical game played at high speeds. It inspires loyal fans who know the sacrifices players have made to get to the elite ranks and appreciate the danger those same athletes face on a nightly basis just by skating around with each other in ill temper. Are concussions bad? Are hits to the head bad? Sure, but players have known the risks forever and I don’t believe otherwise, even if specific maladies (such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy) have only been named recently. Read more
The rivalry between Team USA and Team Canada is toxic in women’s hockey despite the fact some of these players are on the same squads in the Canadian Women’s League. So it seems rather appropriate that when a fight broke out in Sunday’s game between Boston and Brampton, the two combatants came from opposite ends of the 49th parallel.
Watch as Boston’s Monique Lamoureux (white jersey) and Brampton’s Jamie Lee Rattray throw down: