The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins do not like each other, even a little. Every game between them features hard checks, fan taunting, and the occasional fight. Today, though, the teams let all the bad blood out all at once.
With about a minute left in the game, and the Flyers up on the home team 5-3, the Penguins’ Joe Vitale laid a hard but clean hit on noted chirper Danny Briere. The hit came after a not-so-clean hit on Pens’ captain Sydney Crosby that had his teammates looking for payback. Well, as so often happens in hockey, that hit prompted a couple more hits and the melee was on.
This wasn’t your ordinary hockey punch-fest, though. This one not only included a couple on-ice tilts, but also a Hulk Hogan lookalike taunting the Flyers from behind the glass and members of the coaching staff yelling at each other over befuddled NBC announcer Pierre McGuire. In the end, the officials levied 50 minutes worth of penalties, including 4 minutes for the coaches leaving their benches. It was easily the brawl of the year.
Here is the thing to keep in mind as you watch the video. These same teams will meet on the last day of the season (April 7th) and there is a very good chance they will meet in the first round of the playoffs thereafter. Pittsburgh is currently the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and Philadelphia is in the 5 seed, just one point behind. If they do meet for a seven game series, you can expect the league to watch things very closely. Regardless, it will likely be the series to watch in the first round.
Twitter had a few interesting things to say about the brawl, including a couple great photos and one pretty funny April Fools reference.