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Monday, November 4, 2013

Emery vs. Holtby; Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Goalie Fights

Last Friday night, the Flyers got shellacked by the Capitals 7-0 in an embarrassing loss that was overshadowed by the giant line brawl in the third period.  For those that missed it, the countless video replays, the god-awful Philadelphia announcing, or the endless tirades from hockey pundits over the weekend about it, let me enlighten you.

It starts with Wayne Simmons gooning it up out there after a Capitals goal.  Then...bedlam.

Ok, so we all see it.  In an apparent effort to "energize" his team that was getting destroyed defensively by the Capitals, Ray Emery takes it upon himself to skate the length of the ice to fight his counterpart, Braden Holtby.  As the announcers mention and as you can see on the video, Holtby wanted nothing to do with a fight.  His team was up 7-0, he played a great game, and was probably looking forward to coasting the rest of the game and relaxing in a hot tub after work.  Well, as you can see by the video, Emery wouldn't take no for an answer and proceeded to pummel Holtby into submission.

So now that all the water cooler talk, NHL news spinning, and focus in general is gone from this event, it's the DFG's turn to speak.  I like to wait till after the fact because if you can't be the breaking news, you might as well re-stir the pot.

What happened to Emery as a result of this play?  He got 2 min for instigating, 2 min for leaving the crease, 5 min for fighting, 10 min misconduct, and a game-misconduct.  Other than that???  Nothing.  The NHL decided taht the league's rules did not allow for any other punishment beyond what was dished out on the ice.  No one has really come forward to explain this fact that I am aware of but apparently the "conduct detrimental to the league" thing they frequently suspend guys for only applies to off-the-ice incidents.

So this begs the question, since Emery didn't violate a rule per-se, did he violate the spirit of the game?  Did he violate the "code" of conduct that players have, for decades, lived by on the ice when it comes to dropping the gloves?  When a guy is unwilling to fight an opponent, the general rule has always been to back off and skate away.  But in this case, that didn't happen and Holtby got destroyed.  I was almost positive that the Shanahammer would drop on Emery come Monday morning but that didn't happen either.  There has been dialogue from commissioner Bettman about changing, or making, a rule that would prevent this kind of behavior on the ice but until the owners meeting next month in Toronto, that change is left to be seen.

I'm curious to hear what everyone else thinks on the subject?  Please leave a comment regarding the fight, the "code", or anything else you'd like to comment about.


  1. so the general 'code' is that the goalie does not skate the full length of the ice to engage in a brawl, unless,
    1. the other goalie challenges him to come down
    2. the other goalie engages one of his players, thus creating an uneven fight.

    So Emery was a total douche for what he did. Not just skating the full length for no reason, but then going through with it after Holtby said no way.

    And to make matters worse, Emery's comments afterwards... "he said no, so I told him to protect himself"

    Back in the day, before Bettman and his Ruin the Game Quickly philosophy, there would've been retribution on the ice. Either right then, or the next time they played.... but everyone is afraid of being suspended by Shanahan's dartboard approach.

    Now, everyone just stands around talking about how horrible it was... someone should do something about it! When what they don't realize is that not too long ago, someone would've done something about it.... they just can't anymore.

    1. I would hate to see the penalty dished out to the guy that does take his retribution.

  2. Emery is a jagoff. After this, it's a bit embarrassing he got a ring with us last year. How he acted by basically jumping a defenseless player is pretty disgusting.

    If I am Washington, the next game he is in, I have my enforcer run Emery over behind the net when he comes out to play the puck. And then the next chance, have another player take a run at Emery. If he wants to be a tough guy, then drop the gloves with someone that wants to fight. Every game, until he mans up and fights, he gets run over. Hell - I will chip in to pay the fine to the NHL to see Emery get destroyed night after night.

    He'll never take on a real fighter cuz Emery is a puss.

    1. Maybe a bit extreme but totally understandable.

    2. there's another issue from Bettman's NHL.... Washington has no enforcer. No tough guy. Nobody around to keep people honest around Holtby or Ovechkin, who by the way is still hurt from that hit he took last week....

      My team has finally clued into reality land and now can ice the likes of Brandon Prust, George Parros, Travis Moen, Ryan White, Jared Tinordi, etc... no one even goes near Carey Price. A far cry from a couple of seasons ago.... and Carey is having an outstanding year so far. Funny how that works.

  3. This doesn't happen often, but I agree with Canuck 100%.

    Now, I'm all for fighting (obviously) but what Emery did was reprehensible, cowardly, and borderline insane. Holtby could have been seriously injured and then what? Is that what it takes for the NHL to act on this? In my opinion, Emery should be suspended at least 10 games and the Flyers should not be allowed to free up a roster spot for him, essentially meaning they have to play a man down on the bench for 10 games. Maybe that'd be enough to get Philly's management to cut this knucklehead. I mean, Buffalo just did it with Kaleta.

    1. I don't disagree but unfortunately, the NHL rule czar's don't operate under the traditional code of the players.

  4. I'm a huge flyers fan and I can't even defend what Emery did. It was clear Holtby didn't want to fight, he should've just done the half hearted hold each other's jerseys and dont throw any punches type of thing. He should be suspended but if I was on the other team and I see my goalie getting crushed I would instantly jump in and deck the guy from behind, it would be worth the suspension to protect my teammates. That's my opinion.

    1. I think that probably would have happened here had the rest of the players not already been involved in their own scraps. I don't think there was a guy that wasn't locked up with someone.


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