Goalie fights are the drunk uncles of hockey: You only see them on special occasions, you’re sorta embarrassed when you do, but you can’t help, on some level, to be entertained by the bumbling absurdity of it all.
Marc-Andre Fleury and Peter Budaj tried to engage in one on Wednesday night in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Alas, the linesmen stepped in and prevented us from seeing the Flower against Ned Flanders:
The awesomest parts of this near-awesome thing, for which they both received a minor for leaving their creases:
1. Fleury undoing his tie-down, and Budaj pulling his jersey down, as both players get their gear in order for the fight.
2. Fleury’s huge grin and “C’MON, LEMME AT’EM!” pleas to the officials.
3. The fact that none of this occurred during an actual line brawl. The players that were scrumming basically stopped to watch this goalie fight go down. Like how all the baseball players in “The Naked Gun” stopped punching each other to watch Frank Drebin give the “hill of beans” speech to Pricilla Presley on the Jumbotron.
Alas, in a post ‘Ray Emery assault on Braden Holtby world’ goalie fights are going to become all the rarer. If the NHL is considering tightening its rulebook to further eliminate goalie fights, one expects the officials have already been given their marching orders to quell them now.
But the real frustrating part in this near-fight: Carey Price had already been chased by the Penguins’ offense. How great would it have been to see a Canadian Olympic snub pummel the potential Canadian Olympic starter? For Roberto Luongo, we mean?