Section303.com Presents the Best Goalie Fights of All Time
- Updated: February 3, 2011
By now, you’ve probably seen last night’s “fight” between Penguins goaltender Brent Johnson and Islanders goaltender Rick Dipietro. If not, here it is:
Yeah, it’s disappointing…one punch and Dipietro goes down…but not all goalie fights are like that. Right now, I present to you…the top five goalie fights of all time.
Honorable Mention – Vokoun vs. Kipprusoff
For obvious reasons, I cannot put this video into my top 5. I don’t want to come off as extremely biased when I say that I love this fight more than any other (and I do), so I am excluding it from the rankings. However, if you are a Predators fan…there is simply no way to not enjoy this.
#5 – Kolzig vs. Dafoe
Olaf Kolzig and Byron Dafoe were both drafted by David Poile in 1989 when he was the GM of the Washington Capitals. They both won a Calder Cup in 1994 with the Portland Pirates under the tutelage of Barry Trotz. They were very good friends – as pointed out, they were the best men at each other’s wedding. It doesn’t matter. While neither player ever actually throws a punch, sometimes the call makes the whole bit memorable, as it does here.
#4 – Ray Emery vs. the World
The only thing that would have made this video better would be to see Lindy Ruff actually climb over the glass as he is threatening to do. Emery basically takes an all comers here…and he’s clearly loving every minute of it.
#3 – Dan Cloutier Challenges the Rangers Bench
Dan Cloutier is a notorious headcase. The last time he played against Nashville, he took a swipe at Scott Hartnell with his blocker, earning himself a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. Make sure you keep watching after Cloutier drops Salo…because the best part is at the end when Cloutier challenges the Rangers bench. And, of course, there’s a familiar voice up in the booth.
#2 – Ron Hextall vs. Felix Potvin
Ron Hextall racked up 5 fighting majors in the NHL and rang up 714 penalty minutes. He also scored two goals and won the Vezina and Conn Smythe.
Felix Potvin had racked up less than 10 penalty minutes in his 4 year career going into the tilt.
None of it mattered…in the end, it was quite possibly the single greatest goalie fight of all time.
#1 – Patrick Roy vs. the Red Wings
In the 1990s, the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche hated each other. They literally hated each other. In the 1996 Western Conference finals, Avalanche player Claude Lemieux boarded the Red Wings’ Kris Draper. Draper required reconstructive surgery on his face. Lemieux went on to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.
The Wings and Avs managed to play three times the following season without incident, as Lemieux had not dressed. It all came to a head in the fourth matchup on Bloody Wednesday – March 26, 1997.
At the 18:22 mark of the first period, all hell broke loose…and…well, it was the first round of the greatest bout of all time.
On April 1, 1998, the Wings and Avs went toe-to-toe again. Mike Vernon was with the Sharks, which meant that Chris Osgood was in goal for the Wings. When the brawl broke out, this time Osgood was the one to dance with Roy.
The final round of the Patrick Roy rivalry is more hilarious than anything. On March 23, 2002, another brawl broke out in a Red Wings/Avalanche game. Kirk Maltby skated into Roy and Roy started laying punches into him. Dominik Hasek, who had been with the Buffalo Sabres at the time of the last two tilts, took exception to this and skated off towards Osgood. Anticipation mounted as Hasek made his way across the ice.
Fans prepared themselves for the goalie fight of goalie fights. Hasek was only the second goaltender ever to win a Hart Trophy. Roy was the winningest goaltender of all-time. Between the two of them, they had 9 Vezina Trophies and 17 All Star appearances. By all means and purposes, the two best goaltenders of the era were preparing to drop the gloves and do battle.
Or…they were. As Hasek reached Roy’s crease, he wiped out…and there was no fight.