Brawls should be disapproved in hockey as they make the game look silly and barbaric, ruining the beauty of games and NHL betting. Over the years of professional hockey league, there have been a number of scuffles, fights and dust-ups that have resulted in countless hours of penalty minutes. Often, the brawls are triggered by minor issues, but eventually break into raging messes, leading to suspensions and even permanent withdrawals from the game. Discussed below are some of the most memorable brawls in NHL history.
Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens — May 21, 1978
The Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens are known to be long-time bitter rivals. The two teams have been inciting riots since 1955, and the 60 years enmity between the two has been passed through several generations, an affair that goes beyond sports animosity. The best fight between the two happened in 1978, in game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It involved Stan Johnathan and Pierre Bouchard, who both dropped off their gloves and heavily exchanged blows after a disagreement in the pitch, leading to a feisty brawl.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens – May 14, 1987
This brawl caught attention of many since it did not happen during the game. It occurred during the pregame warm-ups of the 1987 Conference Finals, before a decisive Game 6. This fight exploded into a big mess, particularly when Ed Hospodar, who came out of the pre-game skate, punched Claude Lemieux after the Canadiens’ forward tried to shoot the puck into the empty Philadelphia net. This is the only major fight that featured players who were not in game uniforms.
St. Louis Blues vs. Detroit Red Wings – April 12, 1991
This fight occurred in 1991 during Stanley Cup playoffs. St. Louis was down 3-1 against the Detroit, but the Blues eventually bounced back to win the series and become the eighth team to do so after being down 3-1 in the series. However, that is not why the game is so remembered. During the penalties, there was a brew of fisticuffs, and what followed was a five full minutes of skirmishes with most players punching each other in the face and others trying to stop. Certainly one for the history books, one that will be remembered for many years to come.
Boston vs. St. Louis, September 21, 1969
This brawl seemed as if it had been preplanned. The brawl happened in a preseason game between Boston and St. Louis, with the escalation of the fight beginning when players from the two teams started to swing sticks at each other. In the course of the fight, Bruins player Ted Green got into a clash with Wayne Maki, and after taking stick to the head, Green suffered a fractured skull and brain damage. Green was forced to wear a helmet upon his return, an incident that pioneered the wearing of a helmet during the games. Even though helmets were not allowed until 1979, this incident really helped push the NHL towards wearing helmets.
Vityaz Chekhov vs. Avangard Omsk, 2010
This was the biggest and most penalized fights in the modern-day NHL history, and it came courtesy of the two Russian-born players. Vityaz Chekhov and Avangard Omsk fought got embroiled in a four-minute brawl that forced the game to end. Both players were later handed a 691 penalty minutes, which was by far a world record.