December 02, 2008
The pressure is certainly mounting for Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.
His team is struggling, he could be out of a job soon and Sunday night, after his team lost for the third time in their previous four games, MacTavish almost took his frustrations out on a Dallas Stars fan, almost giving said fan a mouth full of Plexiglas.
Incidents between players/coaches and fans aren't foreign in professional sports and hockey has had some dandies over the years. Let's take a look at some of the best confrontations between spectators and participants.
Tie Domi cools off Flyer fans
Philadelphia Flyers fans and Tie Domi go together like lamb and tuna fish. I can't believe something like this didn't happen more often when the Toronto Maple Leafs visited Philly. What's also quite amazing is that the fan came from the second row ... and is also someone's father, somewhere. You stay classy.
Rob Ray takes 'a little force' to a fan
A line brawl breaks out back in a 1992 game between the Buffalo Sabres and Quebec Nordiques at Le Colisee, so a drunken fan decides it's a smart idea to single-handedly take on the Sabres bench. I'm not sure how much alcohol I'd need in my system to even have the juevos to attempt to fight with someone like Rob Ray. There's a reason why ESPN hired him as a security guard (video).
Guy Lapointe is more of a Jack and Coke kind of guy
The Battle of Alberta is never a dull occasion. Recall Craig MacTavish getting fed up with Calgary Flames mascot Harvey the Hound's antics behind the Oilers bench and snatching the tongue from the poor pooch. During the 1996-97 season, an Edmonton fan had had enough of his rum and coke and dumped it onto the head of Lapointe, a member of the Flames coaching staff at the time. According to Sasha Lakovic, the Calgary player you see diving over the boards, Lapointe got a good shot in on the fan with his Stanley Cup ring. Ouch.
Who throws a shoe, really?
Something tells me if Milbury had even stepped foot in the stands at Nassau Coliseum during his tenure with the club, the shoe would have been on the other fist.
Karma is a bitch
I'm a firm believer in karma, and I'm an educated fellow, so I dare not make fun of hockey players who take pucks in the mouth and manage to continue playing.
Sullivan being tough, because he's a hockey player, returned to the game, scored two shorthanded goals. Later, he had his night topped off when a Patrick Roy clearing pass went out of play and hit that same fan in the forehead. Even better, the fan's girlfriend was laughing harder than Sullivan was.
Finally, it's important to remember that any player can get mixed up in a fan confrontation, no matter how big a star. Right, Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman?