NHL Coach Ejected After Ugly Melee
April 2, 2012 by staff
NHL Coach Ejected After Ugly Melee, You had to know that Sunday’s afternoon contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers was going to be hotly-contested. The rival Pennsylvania franchises appear to be headed for a first-round matchup for the ages and, undoubtedly, the second-to-last game of the season series was going to see both teams attempting to set the tone for the as-many-as 8 consecutive games that are to follow (they finish the regular-season schedule together).
But there’s still the little matter of deciding which team opens the postseason at home, so the stakes were even higher. Sure enough, tensions boiled over in the final five minutes of the Flyers’ 6-4 victory. Not long after Brayden Schenn crosschecked Sidney Crosby to the ice from behind, Joe Vitale levelled Danny Briere with an open-ice hit. Since it was Vitale that had also knocked blueliner Nicklas Grossmann out of the game earlier with a knee-on-knee hit, this was more than enough to spark a full-blown melee.
There’s a lot here. Wayne Simmonds, fresh from busting his face open to score a goal versus Ottawa on Saturday, dropped the gloves with Derek Engelland. Arron Asham took the opportunity to hit Schenn with a couple of quick punches as well — no doubt in retaliation for the crosscheck on Crosby — then went after Zac Rinaldo at the Flyers’ bench.
In total, 50 minutes in penalties were handed out at the 18:57 mark of the third period, 4 of which were for the rare “coach on ice” violation.
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