The NHL Playoffs are off to a crazy start this year. That's thanks mostly to an intense battle in Canada between the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators. The last game between the two got completely out of control in the best kind of way.
As the Senators took a commanding 4-1 lead in the third period Sunday night, the tensions between the two teams boiled over into chaos. After clearly deciding they'd had enough of each other, every single player on the ice began throwing punches. The massive brawl resulted in an astounding 152 penalty minutes in the 60 minute game.
It really gets the blood flowing to see a knock-down-drag-out spectacle like this. This is tough hockey at its best. It doesn't get more entertaining than watching athletes at the top of their game become so committed to their team that they're literally willing to duke it out with their competitors.
To the NHL's credit, they've reportedly decided to let them play. They appear to be resisting the instinct to ruin the game by turning it into pattycake. That's an instinct that too many other professional sports leagues are falling victim to.
As a life-long hockey fan, I enjoy seeing a game turn into a battle and I don't want the referees to ruin that experience. I don't know about anybody else, but I'll be watching tonight's game between the Canadiens and Senators to see if they can duplicate this kind of intensity. Game on.