We may have a new NHL rivalry on our hands, as absolute madness unfolded between the Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Goaltender Darcy Kuemper blanked the Flames en route to a 3-0 victory for the Coyotes on Saturday, but that wasn’t the biggest part of his night as he made two new enemies in Matthew Tkachuk and David Rittich.
With 12 seconds remaining in the second period the Flames went in on the forecheck and saw Jason Demers hit Johnny Gaudreau in the corner. Gaudreau retaliated, hitting Demers from behind, sending the Coyotes defenseman down hard to the ice. As he stayed down, Gaudreau hit him again before Tkachuk joined in, sending another shot to the already down Demers. That set Kuemper off, as the 29-year-old came from behind and threw down Tkachuk, fed up with the 21-year-old.
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The goaltender’s actions saw Tkachuk get up and retaliate, attempting to throw punches at Kuemper, igniting an entire brawl on the ice. Rittich even skated the full length of the ice to get in on the action as Tkachuk pushed Kuemper down to the ice and continued the fight.
As Rittich came in looking to join the fight, the referees intercepted and took a bit to sort out the penalties — and the list is a doozy.
For Calgary, Gaudreau received two minutes for cross-checking, while Tkachuk got a four-minute double roughing minor and Rittich a two-minute minor for leaving the crease. As for Arizona, Demers headed to the box for two minutes for roughing, while Kuemper received a four-minute double minor for roughing. Thus, only a two-minute power play ensued for the Coyotes at the end of it all.
If the officials had allowed Kuemper and Rittich to go, it would have been the first goalie fight since Frederik Andersen and Ryan Miller skated the full length of the ice to engage in fisticuffs the middle of a bench brawl between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks in 2016 (no punches were thrown, though).
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