Nothing Like a Good Scrum!

Nothing in sports comes close to witnessing two players wearing heavy padding decide it’s time to throw down the blockers! Grand Slams, Immaculate Receptions, Wardrobe Malfunctions? Forget the last sentence was ever typed!

Goalie fights and brawls are scarce and frowned upon by NHL executives and other “Debbie Downers” these days. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few moments in hockey that promotes itself.  Yes, dazzling shootout goals and thrilling overtime game winning moments in the playoffs nets the NHL a couple of seconds in the national spotlight. Add a goalie fight into the mix, and a couple of seconds turns into a media love-fest!

Don’t believe me? Brent Johnson pulverizing Rick DiPietro to the ice with one punch Tuesday night blew up into a twitter frenzy. Highlights of the fight surfaced onto youtube and other media outlets in less than an hour. As of Thursday morning, there are over 100,000 views on youtube.

As a celebration of these recent events, I have compiled a list of memorable Sabres goalie fights.These are not in particulate order. Just a compilation of some of the most exciting moments in Sabres history!

Garth Snow vs. Dominek Hasek

Rob Ray reminds me of Nathan Gerbe. Why? Dan Kordic of the Flyers is 6-5 compared to Ray’s 6-0 statute. Put these two tough guys side by side and…well, you get the picture.

Ray always played the perfect role of pest.  So it’s no surprise Kordic decided to throw a couple of jabs to the face of Ray. Soon enough, every Sabres and Flyers player on the ice decided it was time to dance. This was no men’s figure skating “dance” by the way. More like, “hide your kids, hide your wife cause it’s about to get ugly” scenario.

Garth Snow, the heavyweight goalie he is jumps into the action. It was only a matter of time before Hasek too leaves the crease to defend his teammates. I have a feeling Snow will be on the list again.


Andrei Trefilov vs Garth Snow

I guess every instigator in the game has his own unique way of getting attention. Rob Ray fought with his jersey off, Sean Avery stood in front of a goaltender and waived his stick profusely, and Matt Barnaby plays possum! Garth Snow….you just got punked!

Andrei Trefilov left the crease from the other side of the rink and pounced on Snow. But Garth shows that he has some fighting skills in the “second” round.


Sean Burke vs. Steve Shields

The slug-fest started earlier in the game when Matt Barnaby leveled Sean Burke in a response to one of the Vancouver Canucks players running into Hasek. From here on out, it was just a complete heavyweight bout!


Garth Snow vs Steve Shields

What makes this fight epic is that it occurred in the playoffs. Add the atmosphere, another scrum between Ray and Kordic, Rick Jeanneret as the play by play announcer and an on-going feud between two teams and we have ourselves a fight to remember!

Gerbe Ray wrestling Dan Kordic to the ice is one of the best moments of the scrum. However, after watching Snow take his aggression out on so many goaltenders and players, it’s as if he knew one day he would take over as general manager of the New York Islanders. How did he know? It’s called The Shining!


Martin Biron vs Ray Emery

This game had everything a fan of either team would want! Heck, even the coaches were involved at one point. Rob Ray played a different role in this fight. At one point, I thought he was going to act as a mediator between both Ruff and Murray. Instead, he covered his microphone in an attempt to censor the naughty words flying through the air and eventually into our television sets!

We all know the story. Chris Neil took a head shot at Sabres captain Chris Drury. Lindy Ruff sends out his checking line and the rest is history. Maybe it was a mistake for Marty Biron to try and throw down with a goaltender who wore a helmet with an image of Mike Tyson. But none the less, the fights were entertaining.


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