Photo credit: Eric Hartline
The Flyers-instigated brawl during Friday night’s game was an ugly scene for the league. Whatever your view of fighting, that a bloodthirsty player could get away with assaulting an unwilling opponent pulls the NHL towards the pro wrestling side of the spectrum. In the moment when Ray Emery attacked fellow goalie Braden Holtby, it was kind of hard to tell the difference between the two.
“He didn’t want to fight,” Emery told Chuck Gormley. “I said, basically, ‘Protect yourself.’ He didn’t really have much of a choice.”
Kind of like a mugging.
The Capitals were outraged that referee Francois St. Laurent let the ‘fight’ go on considering only one participant appeared to be willing. Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, in particular, was peeved. As he should be.
GIF by Ian Oland
No word on supplemental discipline for Ray Emery, but the aggressor rule, 46.2 in the NHL rulebook, seems have bearing here:
46.2 Aggressor – The aggressor in an altercation shall be the player who continues to throw punches in an attempt to inflict punishment on his opponent who is in a defenseless position or who is an unwilling combatant.
A player must be deemed the aggressor when he has clearly won the fight but he continues throwing and landing punches in a further attempt to inflict punishment and/or injury on his opponent who is no longer in a position to defend himself.
A player who is deemed to be the aggressor of an altercation will have this recorded as an aggressor of an altercation for statistical and suspension purposes.
A player who is deemed to be both the instigator and aggressor of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, a ten-minute misconduct(instigator) and a game misconduct penalty (aggressor).
Emery was assessed a misconduct and a game misconduct, so… what’s next?
Thanks to @Tconn1116 for the tip.