Saturday, 25 February 2017

Just Like The Movie!

With Slap Shot turning 40 years-old today, I was going to speak about the influence it had on hockey back in the 1970s and early-1980s as the cult status of the film grew. Instead, the film seemed to come to life tonight in the AHL as division rivals met and spilled some blood on the ice and in the hallway to the dressing rooms. Honestly, the image of the brawl from Slap Shot above wasn't far off the results seen on the ice tonight between the Chicago Wolves and Iowa Wild, but it's what happened after the line brawl that will evoke memories of the hockey film!

The eventual final score from this game was a 4-1 victory for the Chicago Wolves, but the game's ending had quite the finish. Vince Dunn and Kurtis Gabriel gave both the fans and the players quite a show on this night, and you'll want to jump ahead to the 4:15 of this video to take it all in!
Honestly, Gabriel deserved what he got for going hit on the hit, cross-checking Dunn in the face, and then for having the stones to walk over to Dunn after both were sent off with fighting majors with less than five minutes to play. That cut on Gabriel's cheek from the stiff right hand of Dunn probably more than made up for the not seeing the last minute of play. I understand how rivalries go and these two teams have one, but imagine these two teams in a playoff series against one another.

Wait, what's that you say? It could happen?
The Wolves will need some help since Grand Rapids has four games in-hand on Chicago, but these two teams could potentially meet in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs if the hockey gods had any will to make it happen. You have to hand it the AHL schedule makers, though, as the Wolves and Wild will tangle FIVE more times before end of the season including tomorrow's rematch!

Get popcorn and beverages, folks. This divisional matchup could spill over into an all-out war by the time the season is over. And then there's the potential for seven more games of this craziness!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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