Saturday, February 28, 2009

Your Hockey Brawl of the Week

Well, it's Saturday night and I got one last post for you suckas for the night. It's part of a new feature here on Hangar 39, The Hockey Brawl of the Week. The idea is to post up a famous or crazy line brawl from the NHL's past and present and post here for your amusement.

Our debut brawl is from the 1984 playoffs and its one of the most famous brawls in the history of the league: the Vendredi Saint(French for Good Friday)Brawl between the Quebec Nordiques (now the Colorado Avalanche)and the Montreal Canadiens.

Before I put the clip up, let me just provide a little backstory. The NHL in the 80s was the golden age of great rivalries. The league was a smaller place (21 clubs) so teams played each other more often and were able to develop some real animosity towards each other. You had the Battle of Alberta (Calgary vs. Edmonton), Montreal-Boston, Rangers-Islanders, Caps-Flyers, Chicago-St. Louis, among others. One of the nastiest in the first half of the decade was the Battle of Quebec between the Canadiens and Nordiques. The action was heated enough on the ice but throw in the completely insane French-Canadian fans and you get this, probably the signature moment of the rivalry. Pay attention to after the first part of the fight, how the PA announcer continues to read off the penalties, even as the teams start fighting again. Also keep an eye out for future Cap Dale Hunter doing Dale Hunter-like things. It has been said that the rivalry between these clubs died the minute Hunter was traded to DC.

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