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Leafs-Sabres line brawl includes Miller vs. Bernier, potential Clarkson suspension

Sep 22, 2013, 9:51 PM EDT

Details continue to trickle in, but it already sounds like Sunday’s Buffalo Sabres-Toronto Maple Leafs game could be the wildest preseason game of 2013-14. The two sides collaborated for a line brawl that included a goalie fight between Jonathan Bernier and Ryan Miller and could very well result in an automatic 10-game suspension for David Clarkson, who left the bench during the mayhem.

It’s also possible that Phil Kessel‘s slash on John Scott could generate some league discipline.

Update: here’s full video of the fracas from

Here’s a shot of the collection of penalties from that 10:01 mark of the third period:


The Times Herald’s Bill Hoppe reports that the Sabres had five games left on their bench following the brawl while TSN’s Jonas Siegel counts six remaining Leafs.

More on the brawl

How losing Clarkson would hurt the Leafs

Kessel explains the slashes

Buffalo points to the fight that inspired the line brawl

  1. robertsds - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Kessel got only 2 for slashing? He wacked Scott like three times.
    Cant wait for season to start.

    • lordfletcher - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      Scott is 6’8. What was he thinking was going to happen? I honestly can’t blame Kessel, he would have gotten pounded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • sabatimus - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      Kessel = grade A pus.

      • babykaby - Sep 23, 2013 at 5:28 AM

        So is Stakex.

      • sabatimus - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:17 AM

        Don’t get me wrong, Scott totally instigated this (and Scott has got to be one of the least skilled players I’ve ever seen). But it was complete bush for Kessel to whack him after Scott had turned around to fight his man.

      • pepper2011 - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:26 AM

        Buffalo is a joke. Get Scott out of the league. Miller is a joke, Good job waking up Toronto. As a Bruins fan this is the last thing I wanted to see. Toronto is on the cusp and Buffalo just united them. Stupid move by Clarkson, but kudos to him for going after Scott. I would love to see teams sign someone like Jon Jones to one day contracts when they play Buffalo, and just make a mockery of this guy. Next time Toronto plays they need to send Colton Orr out to handle Tyler Innis. Seriously this Buffalo team is a joke. There are guys in the league that can protect your star players and still play; Thornton, Dorsett, Prust, Martin, Boll, Reaves, Rupp and about a dozen others.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        Scott proved he’s the BIGGEST pus in the NHL. 6’8 and his target is Kessel? That’s a coward who knows he’s not tough… McLaren or Orr will have a ‘talk’ with Scott the next time they play… assuming Buffalo bothers to use that bushleague hack.

      • stakex - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:32 AM


        Aww how touching, you care enough to post about me.

        Now seriously, get a life.

  2. stakex - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Any time there is a goalie fight, its a great day for hockey.

    As for Kessel, those were certainly a couple big two handers (and a tiny spear later on) and I would be pretty surprised if he doesn’t at least get fined. In fairness, at least he kept them low and one could argue Scott deserved it for trying to jump him like that. Still, the NHL tends to not like it when a player uses their stick as a weapon.

    Also, what is it with guys leaving the bench lately? If there is one thing a player knows they absolutely can’t do… its leave the bench.

  3. dan46778 - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    At least kessle stood up for him self he must have had his balls drop

    • killerpgh - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      Kind of an a-hole comment considering Kessel had testicular cancer.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:13 AM

        Lmao. Well played, sir!!

      • dueman - Sep 23, 2013 at 2:14 AM

        @mcphillthy – It’s not really something to laugh at either.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:29 AM

        It’s sad he lost a testicle but I laughed anyway. You’ll get over it…. Or you’ll start whining… But either way it won’t affect my day.

      • dueman - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Of course it won’t affect your day, we’re only on the internet, but that doesn’t make you any less of an a$$hole.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Hope you lose a testicle too, McPhillthy, then you can laugh EVERY day.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        You can talk all the crap you want. Kessel was a big wuss here. Swinging his stick like it’s a bat at a guy then spearing him again later when all is said and done? That’s a guy with no balls … Or one ball. You sissies can get mad all you want and you can direct your comments to BOTH my balls, since I have them both. Haha. Kessel is a sissy, just like each and every one of you who support what he did. It’s actions like that that need to be taken out of hockey, not fighting. Grow up… Oh, and grow some balls… Or grow a ball …

  4. hockeyflow33 - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    What is Scott doing?

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:24 AM

      There was a fight that ended badly, the play just before this. Toronto’s Devane KOed Buffalo’s Tropp. Looked like Scott was out to do the same to Phil Kessel.

  5. soj83 - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    The Tropp/Devane fight was actually right before this, and it looked like Tropp got knocked out or at least he was lying on his back a little woozy. I’m not sure what lead to that but it was the reason for the faceoff. Devane is 6’5″ and Tropp is listed as 6’0″. Buffalo probably thought it was a mismatch, which is why Scott went after Kessel. I think there are better choices of players on Tor to go after, send a message, and still make it not as much of a mismatch. As for Clarkson, I can’t say I blame him for leaving the bench to defend Kessel, but it is an automatic suspension. The Leafs on the ice seemed to take care of Scott, and with it being a preseason game, I’m not sure it was worth the 10 game suspension.

    If these two teams are going to playing this emotional, then it should be an exciting season.

    • dueman - Sep 23, 2013 at 2:20 AM

      The only thing more that you should have mentioned is that Tropp started that fight with Devane. Watch the video and you will see that Tropp drops his gloves and throws the first punch.

      • soj83 - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        True, the first video I saw of it showed their fight already started. It was a while later that this site had the video.

  6. oquintero99 - Sep 22, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Man. Whats up with the article’s editing.. “The Sabres had 5 games left on the bench….”. Really?

    That was a good goalie fight. Hopefully Miller plays better after this.

  7. goalieguy37 - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    beats the sh*t out of anything football has to offer this time of year. solid fight from the goalies:)

    • b1unt3d - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:47 PM

      Only if you’re referring to the CFL.

      • bullwinkle88 - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:31 AM

        No, the NFL sucks too.

  8. sabatimus - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    I wonder how many helmet/fight violations there’ll be.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:19 AM

      The jersey tuckers are the real criminals here.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Sep 23, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        I can’t think of a rule more needed for player safety;)

  9. alswingman - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    I would have much preferred to see Kaleta out there getting decked. He’s such a terrible and valueless player. Instead, Flynn who is actually a good player took some punches for the team.

    Miller seemed to think Bernier was not serious. Unfortunately for Miller, his model wife will not stay with a guy with facial damage. He knows it too which was why he was ducking the entire fight.

    • bullwinkle88 - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:32 AM

      Be thankful Kaleta wasn’t out there. He’s won every fight I’ve ever seen him in.

      BTW, you would take him on your team in a second – if you had the chance.

      • moarjam - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        Sooo I’m guessing you aren’t counting the fights where he turtles immediately after being confronted by someone bigger than him?

      • ajpowers2987 - Sep 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        moarjam i’d like to see these fights where here turtles he may not win them all but he wont back down. kaleta does his job, draws penalties, kills penalties and fights when he has to. anyone who says they dont want the type of player he is on their team, is lying through their teeth.

      • moarjam - Sep 23, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        ajpowers here you go.

  10. broadstreetsbaddest88 - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    That was awesome. I love games like this. It makes hockey the greatest sport in the world. Reminds me of the flyers vs. senators brawl when they were droppin the gloves right off the face offs in the third. They had 419 penalty minutes combine, the most ever in a nhl game and like 400 of them were at the last couple faceoffs of the game

    • mcphillthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      That was an amazing game! I still watch the highlights from that game from time to time. And you’re right. This game reminded me of that flyers/senators game. God I love hockey!!

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        Haha I remember Comcast replaying it the next day cause it was so nuts so I made sure I recorded it so I could watch it over and over again. I still got VHS saved til this day even though I don’t got a VCR anymore hahaha.

      • curioustraveler13 - Sep 23, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        I love comments like these from philly fans. No wonder you guys haven’t won a cup since 1975. You would rather see a full out brawl then up and down actual hockey. Never change flyers, never change.

  11. drewzducks - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Who knew Kessel could fight like that as he bludgeoned Flynn. Well done. I only wish he had managed to scalp that worthless piece of excrement Scott.

    • dueman - Sep 23, 2013 at 2:22 AM

      I don’t think he would have been able to reach his head!

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:17 AM

      He was gentlemanly about it too. After Flynn was bleeding you could see him motion for Kessel to stop and Kessel did. Then they stayed paired off and no more harm was done. He could have got a few more cheap shots in.

      He gave the cheap shot to the guy who deserved it. Kessel knows the next time Scott sees the Leafs he’ll be facing a much bigger blue and white sweater than Phil Kessel’s. Orr and/or Frazer will have some fun.

      Can’t wait for the season to start.

      • bullwinkle88 - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:33 AM

        And the Leafs will have to contend with Kaleta and Ott.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        I’m sure Orr, McLaren and Fraser are afraid or Kaleta and Ott.

      • dueman - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        LOL…I’m sure they’re just shaking in their boots just thinking about it. Bullwinkle made a funny!

  12. billyhauntswizards - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    I’m not a Clarkson fan but I’d have done what he did here. Scott is a bush league joke of a player, don’t get me wrong Kessel’s little slashes were pertty lame too, but what would you do if a 6′ 8″ concentration of pure muscle came after you for no real reason?

  13. steelers88 - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    Well hockey’s back!

  14. sabatimus - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Where’s that moron who said that people don’t like hockey fights? Those cheering fans say otherwise.

  15. sabatimus - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Odd. The updated box score says Clarkson picked up two “objects on ice” penalties (10 min apiece), and no fighting penalty or leaving the bench. Clarkson came off the bench and skated directly past one of the refs. So is “objects on ice” the new “leaving the bench”? If so, Clarkson apparently did so twice somehow, or the second time he threw something?

    Something tells me this box score is going to get amended at least a couple more times.

  16. cjmally63 - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Typical Toronto Maple Leafs! A bunch of babies who can’t stand up for themselves one-on-one. Clarkson comes off the bench, from behind as usual, which allows 2 Leafs to attack 1 Sabre. As a Bruins fan, nothing that the little weasel Kessel does is surprising, the only 1 he’ll fight is someone smaller than him, or maybe a lady in a Boston bar/restaurant.
    Apparently when you are as pathetic as the Leafs, the only thing you can get excited about is a fight in a preseason game. Being tough in the preseason does not make up for the complete choke-job during game 7 against the Bruins last year!
    Enjoy this so-called victory, it will be the only one you have all season, again.

    • dueman - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Do you feel better about yourself now? You know, there are a lot of other sports sites out there that you can go on and spew some more uneducated garbage on, but only if you are feeling extra manly today!

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      cj, feel free to learn the game. There’s an unspoken rule among enforcers. Scott obviously’s too thick skulled to retain any of that information.

      Figures a Bruins fan is defending the actions of a 6’9 loser who thinks he’s tough by bullying small players. Scott, much like Chara, crumbles against REAL enforcers. They’re only “tough” against people a foot smaller.

      • shaundre93 - Sep 23, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        How can you compare Chara and Scott? Ones the best shutdown d-man in the world, the other can barely skate. Who ever said Chara is an enforcer? He rarely fights. Maybe YOU should learn the game

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:52 PM

        I’m comparing their fighting/intimidation skills, not their overall play. Scott shouldn’t even be in the AHL, let alone the NHL.

        Chara in his late 30’s doesn’t fight anymore, but looks like you forgot about his early career. Most of the fights he won were when he bullied much smaller players. Easy wins… but any time he’s up against a REAL goon, he got his butt handed to him. Scott is similar is fighting skills.

  17. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Would be interesting to see the “world’s” reaction if the opposite happened. Everyone seems to be vilifying Kessel (the guy who was attacked) and Clarkson (the guy who defended him), but Scott (the attacker) is ok??

    I’d love to see Buffalo’s reaction if Colton Orr went after Vanek and Ott came off the bench. Of course Colton Orr wouldn’t do that… but he’s not a bushleague goon like Scott. There’s a difference between Enforcers and Goons. Scott is no enforcer.

    • bigblackzaranek - Sep 23, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      You seem to be forgetting that half sack decided to shove Scott then rethought it once he realized what he was getting into…

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        Do you trolls even watch these videos? It’s amazing what your idiots think you see. Trying to make Kessel the aggressor in this is a joke.

  18. nhstateline - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Well except if you look at what Chara does during the playoffs he’s annually the Bruins time on ice leader and is always matched up against the other team’s best player/line. Plus he has a 100 mph plus slap shot. Unlike Scott, Chara can skate and actually play the game. Scott’s exactly the kind of guy that sets the NHL back because he can’t do anything other than fight. Heck, I can skate better than Scott can, so can most people, it’s not a big accomplishment. The Sabres would be wise to go get a guy who can fight but who can actually play. Scott’s a waste of a roster spot. As for Kessel, don’t blame him a bit. Scott was out of line going after him (I’m a Bruin fan so I don’t care about either of these teams that much so I’m not biased in this).

  19. shaundre93 - Sep 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Even as a Bruins fan, I have to defend Kessel. Scott is an embarrassment to the NHL, he does not belong on the ice. For any enforcer to try and jump a skill player is kinda bush, but when you consider its the biggest goon in the league against a small player its a joke. As much as I dislike Kessel, theres no way you can expect him defend himself against that freak show. He did what he had to to hold him off until his teammates stepped in, and he actually stood up for himself when a player his size challenged him. Buffalo has had little d**k syndrome ever since Lucic crushed Miller and they continue to embarrass themselves more and more. They’re starting to look like the Charlestown Chiefs with their lack of skill and excess of pointless goonery

  20. jpat2424 - Sep 23, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    I got no respect what so ever for P Kessel. What a weasel.

  21. alswingman - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:43 AM

    Kaleta is a pest not a fighter. Pests excel at cheap shots and know how to fill their role (block shots, penalty kill, antagonize opponents – draw penalties, etc). If you look at the pattern of pests, few actually fight and if they do they only do so against a guy they feel they have a chance. Look at Matt Cook. He has never stood up to anyone worth beans. When he does step out of that comfort zone he gets pasted (Evander Kane!). Darcy Tucker, Pat Kaleta, typical pests.

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  1. P. Kane (1680)
  2. P. Kessel (1653)
  3. M. Richards (1399)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1244)
  5. N. Backstrom (1127)