Funniest hockey non-fight of 2016, starring Germany vs. Finland (Video)

In the 2016 IIHF world championships in Russia, Germany was facing Finland in a rather lopsided affair in favor of the latter.

Antti Pihlstrom attempted to add to a 4-0 lead with a strong rush into the German zone. That’s when Korbinian Holzer – a 6-3 defenseman/man mountain for the Anaheim Ducks – decided to literally slam Pihlstrom to the ice with all of his Germanic might.

Pihlstrom didn’t appreciate this, so he skated over and crashed into Holzer along the end boards with a cross-check.

And here’s where things get a little scary, and then completely goofy.

Holzer dropped his gloves and grabbed Pihlstrom by the collar, cocking his fist back like he was going to send it through the Finn’s visor, helmet and the back of his skull.

Here’s the look of a man about to have clenched flesh equivalent of a Panzer tank drive through his orbital bone:


And here’s that same man upon realizing that Holzer isn’t actually going to throw that punch:


IIHF rules dictate that fighting earns you a “5-minute major for roughing plus an Automatic Game Misconduct or a Match penalty.” Earn two game misconducts for the tournament, and you’re automatically suspended for a game.

Combine that with Pihlstrom already on the hook for a penalty and Holzer pulled his punch. Pihlstrom laughed. (And if he didn’t add “ha ha DIPLO-MATIC IMMUNITY!” for emphasis then shame on him.) They both received roughing minors, while Pihlstrom received an additional one for cross-checking. Oh, and Holzer ended up sitting for 10 minutes anyway for verbal abuse of officials.

It was fun to watch some non-hockey media cover this silliness, as headlines like “Terrified hockey player immediately regrets messing with a bigger man” and “Hockey player goes after larger hockey player, realizes he made a terrible mistake” completely missed the point as for why Holzer didn’t end Pihlstrom.

Although, can you blame them? Clearly, the natural inclination for a hockey player is to punch another guy in the face, and the IIHF has created rules against nature. Leading to, admittedly hilarious, moments like this in international competition.

s/t Reddit


Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.