Russian Brawl Follows Canucks & Panthers Scrum

If you haven’t heard yet, the Vancouver Canucks actually won on Monday night against the NHL’s hottest club, the Florida Panthers. It was an overtime beauty by one of the best goal scorers in the game, Daniel Sedin. The win had a lot more meaning than it’s being given. It also had a lot more excitement than the brawl that ensued after Daniel Sedin’s overtime winner. The details of the Canucks brawl with the Panthers aren’t so clear yet and probably never will be but what is known is that Vancouver added two points they desperately needed to stay competitive. What’s bizarre is that just one 790 PIM were handed out in a Russian brawl out of the Moscow Night Hockey League.

Cats Claw and Canucks Attack

As the team congratulated one another on snapping the Panthers twelve game win streak with an overtime goal Canucks agitator Derek Dorsett made a b-line for the Panthers bench which quickly developed into a pushing match between he and the Panthers back up goaltender Al Montoya. But just before Dorsett makes his way over you briefly see Daniel Sedin skate directly to the Panthers bench after the win.

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For whatever reason the Canucks were livid with something. When the Sedin twins are involved in a scrum there’s no question that something serious was said, veteran starting goaltender Ryan Miller even found his way into the mix. And although no official reports have emerged yet some rumors have been flying among the fan base.

Other fans have guessed that someone on the Panthers bench made reference to Rick Rypien in an inappropriate way and others are suggesting the Canucks, who have a history of verbal abuse, were the instigators. However this take on the end of the game scrum has each side blaming the other.

The brawl got a whole lot of media attention, in fact it still is, but maybe the most incredible thing is the distance that it’s been able to travel as an influence. On Tuesday a group of Russian amateur players from a league in Moscow engaged in a vicious brawl that included outnumbered beat downs, stick used as assault weapons and systematic rounds of violence.

Cats/Nucks Post Game Shenanigans Nothing Compared to Russian Brawl

In a humorously but frightening way the Canucks/Panthers scrum on Monday night was absolutely nothing compared to the intensity of the Russian brawl on Tuesday.  In the third period of an amateur match between two sides in the Moscow Night Hockey League a two person scrum escalated quickly into 790-penalty minutes worth of calls. That number is in fact real. 790 PIM.

Unfortunately the link for the video containing the footage does not play in outside sources. You can follow this link to the youtube page and watch all the…action…for lack of a better word.

Some moments in the fight are quite gruesome including the use of sticks as spears. The work done by Sergei Salomatin around the 1:45 mark of the video shows him effectively stabbing a player on the ice with the butt end of his stick…numerous times. Other behaviors consisted of greatly outnumbered fights, punches from behind (like the one that got Todd Bertuzzi a huge suspension and lawsuit). The violence seemed endless.

Surprisingly the teams chose to finish the game despite over 800 penalty minutes being accrued in the game.

The NHL Needs To Be Careful With How They Handle ‘Brawls’

There’s no way to tell whether or not the recent post-game scrum between the Canucks and panthers had anything to do with the Russian brawl in Moscow but it can be said without argument that the NHL is the most watched league in the world.

Luckily the disagreement bewteen Florida and Vancouver ended with only light pushing, it could have gotten badly out of hand very quickly. Had it gotten to that point the NHL could have been facing the implications that something like that would have in the media.

With hockey already struggling for prime time, mainstream media attention a scrum turned violent brawl would only have pressured major media outlets to stay further from the game. It comes down to a simple point…. fighting is part of the game but how far do we take it and when do we consider fighting unacceptable?

Teams in the future should take a page from the Panthers and Canucks reactions and withhold from using equipment as weapons in the future.