October 08, 2010
Even without the bloody finale to this brawl between Steve MacIntyre(notes) of the Edmonton Oilers and Ratis Ivanans of the Calgary Flames, it's still a pretty good tilt. But Stevie Mac's "Mortal Kombat"-level FINISH HIM punch, and the aftermath, made this a memorable moment from the NHL's opening night on Thursday:
When Ivanans managed to knock off MacIntyre's helmet, we were thinking the rally was on. But MacIntyre's right hand had other designs.
From a safety perspective ... boy, you hoped Ivanans was OK after being bloodied, woozy, helped off the ice by his teammates. Turns out he was, at least at first glance. From Flames Insider:
From a hockey narrative standpoint, this was the sort of symbolic bout that perfectly caps a dominating performance, which the Oilers' 4-0 whitewash of the Flames certainly was. From the Edmonton Sun:
"When somebody gets the stick in the face like that you have to go out there and say ‘You're going to be accountable," said MacIntyre. "That's the way it goes. Two big guys and somebody's going to get hit."
And, in this case, dropped.
The Oilers buzzed around offensively, looking like someone accidently hit the fast-forward button in the control room on the game footage. Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin(notes) looked strong. The kids were ahead of schedule. The pieces seemed to fit under a new head coach's hand.
Raise your hand if, even for a fleeting moment, you felt like you were watching last year's Colorado Avalanche wearing blue and orange Thursday night ...