Canucks vs. Flames: Fight Night in Vancouver

Dec 19 2017, 9:25 am

Saturday night’s Vancouver Canucks tilt against the Calgary Flames started with defenceman Kevin Bieksa winning the opening face-off. What happened next is something of madness. The hockey game paused, switched to WWE wrestling and we all watched as a simultaneous line brawl broke out between all 10 skaters on the ice.

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All 10 received fighting majors. Eight received game misconducts (ejections) and left the teams to play with only four defensemen a side – for 64 minutes and 58 seconds.

Canucks Flames line brawl fight

Image: Jeff Vinnick / NHLI via Getty Images

Once the fights were over, the referees had handed out 142 minutes of penalties – in the first two seconds of the game.

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On the ice was Canucks’ Kellain Lain who was making his NHL debut – in front of his family who had flown in from Ontario. He, too, was ejected.

Flames Canucks Tortorella fight line brawl

Image: Jeff Vinnick / NHLI via Getty Images

As you could see, John Tortorella was furious at Flames coach Bob Hartley’s decision to start his fourth line of goons, which, Hartley said in his post-game interview, was for “scoring purposes.”

“Those guys are playing well for us,” Hartley said. “They got us a goal last game. We’re not scoring many goals. We had zero intentions there. Those guys are playing hard for us.”

As the home team, Tortorella got to select his starting lineup after Hartley submitted his. Upon seeing the opponents, what was Torts supposed to do – put the Sedins up against the fourth line fighters? Fight fire with fire?

Tortorella’s anger did not stop after the first 20 minutes of play. At the start of the first intermission, he left his team’s dressing room and tried to charge down the Flames hallway towards their dressing room, and coaching staff.

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While this is entertainment gold and it’s amazing to see Torts standing up for his players, he did lose his cool and cross the line – and it looks like he’ll have to pay the price for it by way of suspension and/or fine. After the game, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman tweeted the inevitable:


And in case you missed it, CBC’s PJ Stock went on a crazy rant during the intermission where he thought Tortorella was to blame for matching his fourth line with Calgary’s fourth line.

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Tortorella’s post-game reaction

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Time On Ice (TOI) Heroes

A short bench is a time for others to step up, and these Canucks players did just that:

  • Dan Hamhuis – 36:12
  • Chris Tanev – 33:02
  • Alex Edler – 29:22
  • Daniel Sedin – 28:55
  • Yannick Weber – 28:22
  • Ryan Kesler – 26:30

Honourable Mention: Alex Burrows, clocking 20:46 in his first game since December 1.


Oh, and the Canucks ended up winning 3-2 in a shootout.


Feature Image: @dominikhl

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