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Hodgemail: What is your reaction when you see a goalie fight?

TSN.ca Staff
2/10/2011 8:06:27 PM
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"This match is scheduled for one fall!"

"In this corner, hailing from Flint, Michigan at 5-11 and 208 pounds...the Boston Brawler, the (Butter) Beantown Bruiser - Tim Thomas!"

"And about to make his way into the ring area, from Anahim Lake, British Columbia at 6-3 and 220 pounds...the Montreal Machine, the Black and Bleu, Blanc et Rouge - Carey Price!"

When you think of Tim Thomas and Carey Price going head-to-head, just about everyone envisions a goaltending showdown between two of the league's best netminders today.

One of the last things that come to mind is both netminders - franchise players for each team - dropping the mitts and getting ready to rumble.

In an 8-6 Bruins win over the Canadiens on Wednesday, both teams combined for 182 penalty minutes, including seven apiece for Thomas and Price for a short-lived scrap.

"I think we were just play-fighting more than anything," Price said. "Neither of us really wanted to get hurt, but we are out there doing whatever we had to do, I guess."

And Thomas agreed. "He fought with 'fighter's manners,' as far as not hitting you when you're down," he  said. "We were just in the all-star game together. "We're on friendly terms. It was business. But once business is done, it's done."

But history has shown that not all goalie fights are that mild mannered. Who could forget Patrick Roy against Mike Vernon, Ron Hextall vs. Felix Potvin, Marty Biron and Ray Emery and dare we say - Brent Johnson on Rick DiPietro?

Or do you want to forget it?

So here's Dave's question to you: "What is your reaction when you see a goalie fight?"

And here are the answers that Dave liked best:

"I feel like I'm at the Calgary Stampede, watching the rodeo clowns distract the audience from the real spectacle."

Mark in Ottawa

"The world stops and everyone watches—it's the hockey equivalent of a lunar eclipse."

Chris in Barrie, ON

"It reminds me of Transformers and those movies were awesome. So bring on the bouts."

Jake in London, ON

"At least the goalies play. It's better than two guys fighting who don't have anything else to do with the game."

Cameron in London, ON

"My first reaction: What clean hit started this fight?"

Ryan in Saskatoon, SK

"I do what I'll bet everyone else does—I chuckle."

Neil in Winnipeg

And Dave's reply to all:

The fans who like hockey fights absolutely love goalie fights. So I guess it follows that if you don't like hockey fights, you hate goalie fights.

Or I'll put it this way – if you shake your head when an ordinary fight breaks out, you get a blistering headache when the goalies fight. And so did Rick DiPietro, just in case anybody wants to say it's all harmless fun.

First thing out of Tim Thomas' mouth last night? "I didn't want to be Rick DiPietro."

But that wasn't enough to stop him from yuking it up with Carey Price. My reaction when I see two goalies fighting, or trying to fight? "How would I explain this to a first-time hockey viewer?"

"It's part of the game" doesn't work. Or maybe it does. Price vs. Thomas was the highlight of the night at this and every network from here to Al Jazeera, and the NHL couldn't be less embarrassed.

Because "boys will be boys." Let's go with that one.




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