There’s something about a goalie fight that just makes people crazy. Maybe it’s a throwback to the gladiatorial days, when armor-clad warriors faced off with shields and broad swords. Or perhaps it's the sight of seeing the goalies, 200-feet from one another, slowly meet at center ice for a joust-like duel.
A preseason game last night between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs had a little bit of everything to offer fans: eight goals, line brawls, a rare goalie fight, suspensions, and an absurd amount of penalty minutes, says Yahoo! Sports on Sept. 23.
Bad blood and literal blood were both all over the ice – and the game didn’t even count. When the regular season starts in a few weeks, we can bet that these two teams will be looking for redemption.
Midway through the third period, Sabres tough guy Corey Tropp fought Toronto's tough(er) guy Jamie Devane. Devane got the better of Tropp, who was bloodied and smacked his head on the ice.
Over the boards comes Sabres 6-foot, 8-inch goon John Scott, who decided to go after, of all people, the much smaller Phil Kessel. Not sure the Sabres message here. ‘You fight one of our tough guys, we attack your scorers?’
“It was pretty stupid, right? He said he was going to jump me,” Kessel said. “What are you going to do? He's a big boy, so if he's coming after me, what are you going to do?”
What Kessel did was swing his stick like little George Washington against Scott’s 'cherry tree' legs, which led to a 10-man brawl and the main event: Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier squaring off with Sabres netminder Ryan Miller.
Speaking of Devane, Sabres coach Ron Rolston said, “That guy's a big guy, 6-foot-5. And [Tropp's] a smaller guy, but certainly a battler. So guys weren't happy about it.”
Tropp left the game and didn’t return.
“[Tropp] was the guy who instigated the fight,” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “Obviously, maybe [the Sabres] felt the problem was that there was a bigger man fighting a smaller guy.”
Leafs teammate David Clarkson also came off the bench to join the fracas, earning him an automatic 10-game suspension.
“We're not proud or happy that went on, that's for sure,” said Carlyle. “I think Dave Clarkson made a mistake, and now we'll pay for it.”
Speaking of his fight with Miller, Bernier said it was inevitable at that point.
“I just asked him if he wanted to go, and obviously I don't think he seemed that he actually wanted to go, but that's the way it goes,” Bernier said. “It's a hockey game, but you get hyper in energy and I wanted to defend my teammates.”