The Canucks and Blackhawks have had one of the most heated rivalries in the NHL over the last 4 seasons. Three consecutive meetings in the playoffs tends to have that effect. So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that the Canucks have their AHL farm team in Chicago. It would be like if one of the Canucks’ biggest historic rivals had their AHL farm team in the Fraser Valley.
So when the Chicago Wolves, Vancouver’s farm team, meets the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s farm team, there is always a little confusion. Maybe that’s why, instead of having a bench-clearing brawl, like normal people, they had a bench-unclearing brawl.
This brawl was more than a little crazy, so here are the 9 craziest things that happened:
The whole thing starts when, with 13 seconds left and the Wolves down 2-1, Guillaume Desbiens carries the puck up ice, hoping to tie the game. Guillaume Desbiens. Yes, the Wolves have Desbiens on the ice in hopes of scoring a last-second, game-tying goal. That isn’t just crazy, that’s certifiable.
Desbiens loses the puck (shocking!) and hits Ben Smith to try to regain possession. The one problem? The bench door isn’t securely shut and Smith falls through the door. The IceHogs’ Jeremy Morin takes the opportunity to throw a few punches at Desbiens from the bench and Desbiens comes up swinging, only he starts swinging at Rob Flick. Poor Flick nearly gets pulled onto the ice by Desbiens and does have his helmet ripped off. I’m guessing he won’t want to set next to Morin for a while.
Jim Vandermeer actually enters the Rockford bench to trade punches with Wade Brookbank. Somehow he, along with Brookbank, doesn’t get a penalty. A whopping 27 penalties were handed out, but the guy who went into the opponent’s bench to punch a guy doesn’t get one.
Since Vandermeer enters the Rockford bench, Adam Polasek seems to think that he could go on the ice as part of a legal line change, as he comes flying in about 50 seconds into the video. Nope. He earns himself a game misconduct for leaving the bench and will likely face a hefty suspension.
The Wolves are actually lucky they don’t get another leaving the bench penalty, as the Wolves pull their goalie, Matt Climie, hoping for the equalizer, and Tim Miller jumps onto the ice to replace him, just as the brawl starts. Only thing is that Climie doesn’t leave the ice and gets involved in the melee. Let’s tally this up: the Wolves are on the penalty kill, so they start with 4 skaters and Climie. Vandermeer leaves the ice, Miller and Polasek jump onto the ice, making it an even 6-on-6 (including goalies) on the ice.
Devin DiDiomete apparently hates stanchions. Throughout the entire brawl, he’s just beating the hell out of the stanchion that separates the two benches. I’m guessing he was looking for a convenient excuse. Don’t let him anywhere near Wyatt Arndt.
At about the 1:00 mark, you can see Darren Archibald poking Joe Lavin with his stick, conveniently behind the back of all the officials. That cracks me up: it’s just so petty. There’s a crazy brawl, people are getting punched and tackled and put in headlocks! I better poke a guy with my stick. Ha! Have at thee!
Morin, who got the whole ruckus started by punching Desbiens from the bench, got a double-minor for roughing and didn’t get a misconduct penalty. Poor Flick, whose only crime was sitting next to Morin when he started punching Desbiens, got a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct. Poor guy.
Weirdest thing of all: Nicklas Jensen somehow ended up with two roughing minors and a game misconduct, which is more than a little odd, considering he wasn’t even on the ice.
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