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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

Fighting in the NHL has been on the decline. It might be on its way out of the sport. Roster spots for goons are dwindling. Nerds have found no evidence that fighting impacts winning.

Yet on Friday night in Philadelphia, the Flyers decided the only way to save face after a figurative beatdown from the Caps was a literal beatdwn. Once Joel Ward scored his hat-trick goal, Wayne Simmonds threw an elbow to incite a fight with Tom Wilson. Ray Emery, Flyers back-up goalie and trained boxer, skated all the way down the ice and started throwing punches at Braden Holtby — even though Holtby declined to fight.

Steve Oleksy then dropped Vincent Lecalvier. Alexander Urbom fought Brayden Schenn. There was also a bit of loud noises from John Carlson.

“Emery knew exactly what he wanted to do,” Philadelphia Flyers color guy Keith Jones argued last night during the telecast, transcribed by the District Sports Page’s Dave Nichols. “You’re trying to bring this team together. You’re getting killed on the scoreboard, the Capitals have been the harder working team, the smarter team in this hockey game. They’ve capitalized on their opportunities, they’ve generated their chances and the Flyers sat back and allowed it to happen.”

“You wanna take a stand,” Jones continued. “You wanna try something to get this thing turned around – and not just this game, [but] the early part of this season. And so far, that hasn’t worked. But the Flyers, moving forward will try to come together as a team, in the locker room, it’s amazing what a fight can do sometimes. And the Flyers just took their shot at it right now.”

This logic is baffling. The Flyers, 29th out of 30 teams in scoring, lost their leading scorer (Lecalvier) and a member of their power play unit (Steve Downie) because of this idiocy.

The NHL does not intend to suspend Emery– either because they don’t have a clear rule against what he did or because don’t see anything wrong with it.

Photos of the line brawl and goalie fight are below. This may be the last one the Capitals are ever involved, so drink it all in. Also, please buy 100 of these shirts in orange.

Photos

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Photo credit: Len Redkoles

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

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Photo credit: Len Redkoles

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

caps-flyers-line-brawl8-bruce-bennett

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

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Photo credit: Len Redkoles

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

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Photo credit: Len Redkoles

  • Sabrina

    LOVE the photo of Carlson giving it to the ref for not breaking up the Emery assault.

  • JenniferH

    I loved that you ended it with the photo of the triumphant Caps surrounding a smiling Holtby.

  • Akay15

    That final picture is so perfect at the end. The one of John gave me goosebumps. From the highlights it looked like he was yelling at the ref from a distance but I’m glad he was up close. Karma, Emery. Karma.

  • araporrada21

    Great shots

  • Barrett

    “Nerds have found no evidence that fighting impacts winning.”

    There is no statistical way to record momentum. Fights, crushing hits, blocked shots and big goalie saves all contribute to momentum. In hockey, more than other sports, you can visually watch a momentum swing or tilting of the ice. There are many things that factor into winning or losing, but please don’t try to dismiss how fighting cannot contribute when you have no proof that it does not and you have no proof to what is besides who puts more pucks in the opposing net.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    uhh

  • Alex

    the “omg” in the bottom left of the 6th photo is a perfect caption

  • Timmeh

    Eric Fehr in the last photo is creeping me out, man

  • Margaret

    The laughing couple on the eighth shot down (emery-holtby) is a bit disturbing. A bit bloodthirsty folks?

  • SO_CAL_Brat

    Should we assume there will be no supplemental discipline from this game? I noticed Emery was awarded NHL Network’s 3rd “Star” of the week for last night’s shutout. There was a shady board on Nicky during this game as well. I’ve seen Chimera get fined for less. Has the NHL just shrugged this off because we aren’t apart of the Original 6?

  • http://acapitalwasteland.com/ Jake Shapiro

    Would’ve looked less goofy if he took his mouthguard out first.

  • http://acapitalwasteland.com/ Jake Shapiro

    The guy in the top right corner of the Wilson-Simmonds photo looks very pleased. So does the girl in the bottom left.

  • Nightmare Fehr

    He’s coming for you… You will see that face in a window on a stormy night and die of a heart attack