20/20 Hindsight - The Brawl

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 23 2013 04:14PM

 

Did you know that the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres played a hockey game last night? That Phil Kessel scored two goals? That Jake Gardiner and James Van Riemsdyk both had successful efforts that made their opponents look like ragdolls? The Leafs almost blew a 4-1 lead (sorry), but ultimately won in front of the home town fans. However, nobody cares about that. The focus? A highly controversial line brawl.

At first glance, it was extremely entertaining, even if you aren't huge on the idea of fighting in hockey. I hate staged fighers and goons, but even I checked that to the door and was scared of blinking and missing even a millisecond as everything unfolded. As the dust settles, there's been a lot of controversy over a bunch of the small moments, and I try to break it all down, from both perspectives. 

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Maple Leafs sign Mason Raymond

Cam Charron
September 23 2013 03:43PM

Per Mirtle... and a host of others.

The situation gets interesting considering the suspension to David Clarkson and possible suspension to Phil Kessel. It may have been wiser to wait and see whether anything comes from Kessel's suspension since that affects the salary cap going in... but perhaps the team has another move planned to clear up the salary cap space.

So... what do we have now?

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Enforcers

Cam Charron
September 23 2013 12:51PM

The enforcer debate re-surfaced today, what with the wake of the Maple Leafs and Sabres brawl Sunday night, plus the Edmonton Oilers claiming Steve MacIntyre off of waivers

To some degree, there's a modicum of logic behind the utility of enforcers. With a tough guy on the bench, teams are going to be less likely to take runs at star players, knowing that any player is going to have to answer the bell. That era seems to have passed us, and the players that have become the most likely to take runs at others are the ones, ironically, designed to protect and serve the lineup.

John Scott has played 180 National Hockey League games. Among active players, he is the lowest in points scored among players with at least 150 games played, six behind Cam Janssen. He has scored one goal (somehow) and has 305 penalty minutes. Scott is designed to play with the Sabres for the purpose of protecting the Sabres from players like John Scott.

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Aftermath: The Leafs-Sabres Brawl

Steve Dangle
September 23 2013 12:40PM

 

Oh man.

The day after the big Leafs-Sabres brawl, there's a lot of fallout, and a lot of opinions.

Should Kessel have slashed that big dumb guy Brad Pitt killed at the beginning of Troy John Scott? Is Davis Clarkson getting a 10-game suspension? Is Bernier awesome for beating up Ryan Miller? Are you still reading this? Watch the video!

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Clarkson, Kessel face suspensions after line brawl

Cam Charron
September 23 2013 12:53AM

I'm a strict pacifist, but I have to admit I smirked a little when I saw that Bryan Flynn tapped out of his bout with Phil Kessel Sunday night after being cut. I smirked a little harder when Kessel skated by John Scott and speared him a little as Scott was engaged with David Clarkson. There wasn't a lot defensible in the brawl the Maple Leafs and Sabres got into Sunday. I hadn't seen the game up to that point, so there's little context for what happened on the ice leading up to the event, but if the video linked here at Sportsnet is any indication, Scott wanted to get into it with Kessel and mayhem broke loose.

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