As Rodney Dangerfield famously quipped, "I went to a fight the other night, and a hockey game broke out."
The Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames didn't bother with any niceties when they started off their matchup on Saturday, Jan. 18. As soon as the puck dropped, the players went at it, resulting in eight ejections and a total of 142 penalty minutes, per SportsCenter:
Two seconds into the Flames-Canucks game, ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY-TWO PENALTY MINUTES handed out. Not even kidding. pic.twitter.com/G0Kqx3PuTQ— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 19, 2014
Elliotte Friedman of CBC tracked the eight players who had been ejected:
Westgarth, Smid, Butler, Blair Jones, Lane, Bieksa, Weise and Garrison all ejected.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 19, 2014
The announcers noted that as soon as Flames head coach Bob Hartley sent out what was a tough, defensive fourth line to start the game, something was up. Since Vancouver was the home team, John Tortorella had the chance to counter with some physical enforcers of his own.
You could tell something was going to happen, it was just a matter of when.
As soon as the puck dropped, it was mass chaos. The ice was full of gloves and sticks as each player found someone else to fight. Even Canucks left winger Kellan Lain, two seconds into his NHL debut, wasn't afraid to get physical.
The fighting wasn't even limited to the players to a certain extent. Tortorella and Hartley were getting into it from across the benches. Torts wasn't even content to keep it confined to the bench, as he headed for the Flames hallway during intermission, causing what was another kerfuffle, as you can see here.
Adam Proteau of The Hockey News got a little inventive with how Tortorella will next infiltrate the Flames' dressing room.
At this very moment, John Tortorella is inside an air vent of the arena, trying to rappel down into the Flames room to get at Bob Hartley.— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) January 19, 2014
This was just the cherry on top of what was a surreal beginning to a hockey game.