Goalies are typically quirky, ritualistic and odd. Some are passive, others combative and usually not prone to throwing down when things go sideways on the ice. However, there have been some noted goaltending pugilists that have shown a penchant for throttling their opposing number. If the league handed out a belt for the netminder heavyweight crown, guys like Patrick Roy and Ray Emery could have challenged for it. Quiet and unassuming Felix Potvin has also had his fisticuff forays documented during his career in Toronto and Los Angeles. More often than not, the goalies are the last to engage in a brawl, usually settling to stand near the net and watch the proceedings. However, when they do get involved it’s almost comical. Like two overdressed gladiators wading slowly into the Coliseum, seeing who can hit who first, with mixed results.
Ray Emery is one tough customer. Just ask Washington Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby. The play that started the melee involved Emery having his mask knocked off after Washington made the score 7-0. Egos bruised and goalie battered, Philly was out for some blood revenge after the ensuing face off. Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds lit the powder keg, hitting two Caps and then taking on Washington tough guy Tom Wilson. Emery, clearly agitated from the goal mouth incident, raced down the ice to pummel Holtby into submission. For his sins, Emery got an instigator penalty, leaving the crease penalty, a misconduct and game misconduct. Oh yah, and the Flyers still lost 7-0.
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Long gone are the days of pitchers regularly going for complete games and 150+ pitches. Arms are now carefully managed with pitch counts and inning limits, which makes the position of closer more valuable than ever. Having a shutdown pitcher that can go everyday can be the difference between winning and losing.
Randy Carlyle is out of work, that much is known. Though he may not be unemployed for long, given the long list of coaches currently sweating their team’s misfortunes, and their own. Coaches in San Jose, Arizona, Minnesota, Philadelphia and even Boston are walking a tight rope right now, while situations in New Jersey and Edmonton are fluid. Carlyle should freshen up his resume.