Where were you 10 years ago today?
I distinctly remember sitting in front of the TV screen – a riled up 14-year old Flyers fan – screaming at the top of my lungs watching just about every player grab a dancing partner in what would become the most penalized game in NHL history.
On March 5th, 2004, the Philadelphia Flyers did battle with the Ottawa Senators. The game was in the waning minutes of the 3rd period with the Flyers holding a secure 4-2 lead. That’s when enforcers Donald Brashear and Rob Ray started duking it out. Brashear got the better of Ray, opening a nice gash around his left eye.
As the two were making their way to the locker rooms, the remainder of the players on the ice decided to begin exchanging fisticuffs. Patrick Lalime – the Senators goalie at the time – skated all the way down ice to meet Flyers’ netminder Robert Esche. The two were part of one of the greatest goalie fights in recent memory.
It seemed after every ensuing faceoff there would be a line brawl. Mark Recchi would tussle with Bryan Smolinski; Patrick Sharp (yes, he played for the Flyers) fought Jason Spezza; Matthias Timander valiantly tried to fight Zdeno Chara.
In all, 419 penalty minutes were assessed making it the most penalty minutes given in one hockey game. A total of 20 players were ejected. Here is a look from FlyersHistory.com of the total PIMs in the 3rd period.
For those who have never seen it, here is the brawl broken down into three parts:
Oh what a night!
Follow Shawn Reznik on Twitter: @ShawnTHW