Hockey is back, people, and that means it’s time for some amateur pugilists to knock the crap out of each other while trying to keep their balance on ice skates.
Of course, it’s still preseason and the regular season won’t begin until October so there certainly wouldn’t be any of that nonsense yet. What? The Maple Leafs and Sabres weren’t informed of this?
Yep, last night’s Buffalo-Toronto preseason game degenerated into one of the ugliest incidents we’ve seen in years. Yes, in preseason!
It all started with a tiff between Buffalo enforcer John Scott and Toronto forward Phil Kessel. The two were apparently jawing all game, with Scott looking for a fight. Kessel said after the game he wanted nothing to do with the 6-foot-8 brawler. First, the Sabres’ Corey Tropp and the Leafs’ Jamie Devane got into a “normal” fight. The 6-foot Tropp got the tar beaten out of him by the 6-foot-5 Devane. Apparently, seeing their teammate lay bloody on the ice enraged Scott further.
So when the two sides gathered back at mid-ice for the puck drop, Scott went after Kessel and everyone dropped gloves and went at it.
Kessel actually took a couple swings with his stick at the legs of Scott before Kessel’s teammates swarmed Scott. That is an automatic suspension, which will likely cause him to miss the start of the season. But even worse than that, his teammate David Clarkson, who is certifiably crazy, came off the bench to join the brawl. That will cost him 10 games in the regular season. He can also say “bye, bye” to $500,000 thanks to the suspension.
As Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller said, “Probably not the brightest move by him.”
Speaking of Miller … goalie fight!
Yep, Miller and Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier actually went at it as well. And it was nice of them to wait until all the regular combatants settled down so they could become the center of attention. Bernier definitely got the better of Miller in this one.
Kessel, once he dropped the stick, also got the upperhand on the Sabres’ Brian Flynn. Kessel left his fellow forward bloodied. Granted he was fighting a fellow scorer, but Kessel was impressively enraged. Flynn left the ice looking like Alexander Gustafsson.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. He will take this as opportunity to remind you to go watch the movie “Goon.” Do it!