There is an old joke about the NHL. The line is that you went to see a fight and a hockey game broke out.
In the past few years the NHL has moved away from that sort of fight first mentality and moved into a sport that is more speed and skill and less strength and ruthless aggression. However, that all changed on Wednesday night.
The Bruins and the Canadiens really did have a brawl for the ages. In a game where the offense was as heavy (14 goals total) as the penalty minutes awarded (182 total), these two charter members of the NHL couldn't keep their hands off each other.
The second period in particular highlighted the game's first all-out team brawl. Boston and Montreal went at it with 12:36 left in the period. The brawl, while violent and memorable, was maybe more memorable for the weakest goalie fight in years.
When Tim Thomas and Carey Price faced off, it was like watching two guys in a bar fight who were only in the bar fight because their friends were fighting and if they must...then they must. To classify it as a fight would be unfair to the hundreds of grade school kids who find themselves participating in far more violent altercations on the playgrounds after school at least once a year. But boys will be boys, and goalies will be goalies.
Still, a fight like this is good for hockey every so often. The sport has grown in leaps and bounds, but every once in a while a good old-fashioned brawl is nice to see...just as long as it doesn't involve the goalies.