The Rangers Senators series turned real nasty Saturday night as Matt Carkner settled the score with Brian Boyle.
If you’re a fan of the rough stuff in hockey like I am, then you were in heaven last night. Both the Rangers vs Senators game and the Blues vs Sharks games were very physical, nasty, and at some points dirty affairs.
Lets start with the Rangers game. The reason for the anger on the Senators part goes back to game one. Rangers forward Brian Boyle threw four or five gloved punches at the Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson. This enraged the Ottawa players and coaches, so they decided to send a message real early in game two. Just over two minutes in, goon defenseman Matt Carkner, who many may remember for his epic fights with Shawn Thornton, hunted down Boyle like a predator and landed two sucker punches right on Boyle’s jaw, then punched him while he was down. This sparked an all out line brawl in which Brandon Dubinsky was also ejected for being the third man in on a fight. That is a great trade off for the Senators who took off one of New York’s most important forwards. The nastiness did not end with this though.
Just minutes after the brawl, Senator Chris Neil went after Boyle and this time Boyle dropped his gloves. The fight was awful as they both fell down almost immediately, but it helped set the tone early for the Senators, and may be a sign of things to come. Later in the game, Ranger forward Carl Hagelin threw a cheap elbow right to Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson’s head. Hagelin was given a five-minute major, and a scrum ensued right after this play. There were many more scrums and punches thrown in this game, and I hope the rest of the series is just as nasty. The tactics worked for the Senators, who won the game in overtime, so I don’t think they want it to end.
New York and Ottawa was not the only physical game last night. Out west, the St. Louis and San Jose got vicious as well. The game saw a fight between two non-fighters in Joe Pavelski and Kris Russell. Then a full scale line brawl erupted as time expired in the game. Fights included Vladimir Sobotka vs. Dominic Moore, Barret Jackman vs. Douglas Murray, and Roman Polak vs. Justin Braun. This was an awesome way to end the game, and I fully expect it to continue as the series progresses.
If you have not been watching the playoffs this year it’s time to start. All the games are super exciting and very physical. This is what I love about playoff hockey. The teams build up so much hatred for one another over the course of a six or seven game series. The NHL playoffs are easily the most exciting playoffs of any sport, nothing comes close to the importance of the game and the brutality. I strongly suggest that everyone watch the next New York; Ottawa game because it is going to be great.
Here is video of the St. Louis vs. San Jose line brawl.
- Jonathan Duncan