Altercations can happen during an NHL game, but referees tend to assess penalties in an effort to discourage players from crossing the line.
The players involved in a given scrum are usually the only ones who face punishment, but Monday’s game between the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers resulted in more wide-ranging penalties. Things were already chippy throughout the majority of the game, but a full-fledged fight broke out during the third period.
Shortly after the brawl ended, every skater who was on the ice at the time was thrown out of the game. The Panthers held a commanding 4-0 lead in the third period when Senators player Brady Tkachuk entered the game and had a quick breakaway.
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Tkachuk’s shot did not make it into the net, promoting the Senators’ captain to try and score off the rebound. But, Panthers player Dmitry Kulikov proceeded to use his hockey stick to drive Tkachuk toward the boards.
Both teams then reacted, causing multiple altercations to break out. At one point, the situation appeared to calm down, until a punch was thrown and things began to escalate again.
Tkachuk was ultimately assessed with a two-minute penalty for goalie interference. He also received a two-minute penalty for roughing. Meanwhile, Kulikov was penalized two minutes for roughing.
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But, the biggest moment happened when referee Garrett Rank made the unexpected announcement when there were around seven minutes remaining: “Every player on the ice has a 10-minute misconduct.”
Given the penalties and the remaining playing time, the punishments were essentially player ejections. Despite the limited player availability for both teams for the rest of the game, the Panthers managed to score one more goal. The final score was 5-0.
Senators player Zack MacEwen had already been thrown out of the game before the full scale scrum.
As unusual as a 10-player ejection is, Tkachuk touted the importance of playing hockey fames with emotion.
“I mean, I don’t think it’s bad to play with emotion,” Tkachuk said via The Associated Press. “I think when this group plays with emotion, we’re a tough team to beat, and I think we rely on our emotion and it shows that we care, shows that we care about what we’re doing here and about the guy next to us.”
Later in the third period, two additional skaters received misconduct penalties. Those penalized created a total of 167 penalty minutes for the game.
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However, the 2004 game between the Senators and Philadelphia Flyers still holds the record for most total penalty minutes in a game. Sixteen players were tossed from that game, resulting in 419 penalty minutes.
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Florida Panthers head coach Paul Maurice downplayed the events of Monday’s game.
“It’s just a hockey game,” Maurice told reporters. “Both teams want to win, and you get a little snarly. It was fun, it was good.”