Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why I Love Hockey, Part 27: GOALIE FIGHT!

Why I Love Hockey #27 - Goalie Fiiiiiight!
This video from last night reminded me of one of my favorite things about hockey: Goalie fights. Take a look at it and we'll reconvene below:

Now tell me that isn't one of the most entertaining things you've seen all week?

Goalie fights are great because they happen so rarely that it's like a nice little gift when they do occur. I was at the Ottawa brawl game in February and while the crowd was pretty nuts from the Chris Neil hit on, things really hit a fever pitch when Ray Emery and Marty Biron started edging out of their respective creases. My friend Monica and I were sitting next to each other and we're usually pretty low-key at games. But at that point we were like little kids. We grabbed each other, started jumping up and down and screamed, "There goes Marty! There goes Marty! Goalie fight! GOALIE FIIIIGHT!"

I love how some goalies come charging out of the crease, flinging their gloves and helmet as they skate, fists cocked and ready. It's like years of standing by the net watching other people fight has finally gotten to them. I also love how some goalies - like the aforementioned Biron - seem kind of delighted at the idea of a fight, like, "Hey, why the heck not? It might be fun!" Some goalies look like they might know what they're doing, some guys look like there's a good reason they've spent their entire hockey career standing by the net watching other people fight.

But the reason I really love goalie fights is because they're funny. They're easily the funniest thing in pro sports and quite possibly one of the funniest things ever. Watching a goalie fight is like watching the two chubbiest, most uncoordinated kids in gym class go at it. I know, I know... Many goalies today are very athletic and they have the disadvantage of trying to fight in 100 lbs. of crap... It's still funny. It's funny to see two guys charge towards each other with fierce determination, throw one punch and then tumble to the ground. It's funny to see the one who's falling grab the other guy, taking him down too. It's funny to watch their legs flail for a few seconds before they manage to stand back up and then do it all again. If they're slow to fall, chances are good they've grabbed on to each other and are basically holding each other up while skating around in a little circle, both looking down at the ice instead of each other. It's funny. Goalies do sometimes manage to have pretty vicious fights but usually? Funny!

For your viewing enjoyment:

First of all, I still can't believe anyone would suggest that Chris Drury was too busy watching his pass to notice the guy skating up behind him. Second of all, announcer guy, Marty knew what he was getting into. After the game he said his plan was to not get hit in the face too much.

One of my favorite goalie fights, Garth Snow vs. Steve Shields. I love how the linesman tries and tries to break them up before deciding it's not worth the bother.

(Somewhere during the course of writing this post, Jim Lorentz announced his retirement. I'll comment on that at some point but for now I'm pretending it didn't happen. That's my coping skill.)


Kate said...

I find it hugely amusing how the goalies have to fight each other. The other guys don't have to fight their corresponding players, but the goalies can only fight goalies. I think that's such a random and hilarious line to draw.

karen said...

A goalie would have SUCH a disadvantage in a fight against a player! Think of it - the player could probably get in two or three punches and have the goalie's sweater tangled up with his throat shield before the poor goalie could swing the blocker even once. Granted that the goalie is so heavily padded that even a wrecking ball would have trouble doing any damage...but still not a very fair pairing. I completely agree with Heather B. - goalie fights are the funniest thing in professional sports and a true contender for being the funniest thing ever!

c l blackman said...

Notice how all the skaters, in the top video, stop their fights to watch the goalies?!?! That's how funny goalie fights are.

Kate said...

I see how the goalie would be at a disadvantage against a non-goalie. I guess I just see this as the funniest of all the weird contrived "rules" of hockey fights. I mean, it's safe to assume that usually the goalies have no actual beef with each other since they have virtually no contact during a game. While I am a lover not a fighter, I can understand fighting in response to an ugly hit. That seems somewhat natural. But by the time the goalies are swinging punches the whole thing has taken on an air of pageantry, and you might as well be watching WWE.

I'm a new fan, and the hockey fight is still a crazy mystery to me, but I wholeheartedly agree that goalie fights=hilarious

Mark B said...

Yes, regular players should have a total advantage vs goalies in fights.

But someone forgot to tell Andrew Peters this... Emery should have been knocked out. Yes, I know Emery is a tough guy, but come on! Once again, proving that Mr. Peters isn't really all that good at the one thing we have him on the team for.

andrew said...

Awesome post, awesome videos. I can watch that video of Shields wailing on Snow over and over. It never gets old!

Great work Heather!

Gambler said...

Kate, there have been instances where a goalie will go after a non-goalie in retaliation to a hit. I remember last season when Nichol sucker-punched Spacek, Marty jumped on him immediately. He didn't drop his gloves or anything, but he was definitely in there roughing him up. (It annoyed me that Yo-Yo took some heat for standing right there and not messing with Nichol himself. Dude, if there's a goalie blocker flying about with wild abandon I'm not about to jump in there, either.) But yeah, usually a goalie picking a fight with a skater will just result in a total ass kicking.

But someone forgot to tell Andrew Peters this...

Luckily for Peters, they forgot to tell Emery's teammates, too.

Goalie fights are so hilarious and entertaining!

wordnerd said...

I'm so thrilled that you posted these! I never get tired of "Shields wants Snow!" but they're all hilarious. It amuses me that Ray Emery just skates across the ice, grinning and taking his gloves off, like "Yeah! I finally get to fight!" And yeah, Marty was totally ready for him. :-D