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Video: Canucks-Flames game kicks off with line brawl (Update: It got worse)

Jan 18, 2014, 10:45 PM EDT


The Vancouver Canucks haven’t been able to score lately and the Flames are one of the worst teams offensively this season. They’re gaining ground on the league lead in major penalties though.

A mere two seconds into the Saturday’s contest, Vancouver and Calgary had already combined for 142 penalty minutes. Calgary’s Kevin Westgarth, Chris Butler, Blair Jones, and Ladislav Smid had all been handed game misconducts. On the Canucks side, Kellan Lain, Dale Weise, and Kevin Bieksa were similarly booted.

Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella was absolutely furious as he yelled at the Calgary Flames bench.

You can view the incident below:

This event was reminiscent of the game-opening line brawl between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers back in March 2012. Tortorella, then the Rangers’ coach, was upset at the line Devils bench boss Peter DeBoer chose to start the contest.

“I guess in John’s world you can come into our building and start your tough guys, but we can’t do the same in here,” DeBoer said in response. “He’s either got short-term memory loss or he’s a hypocrite. So it’s one of the other.”

Update: Tortorella hadn’t calmed down by the first intermission. He was seen pushing people in the hallway by the Flames’ dressing room:

  1. c9castine - Jan 18, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    good old fashioned c*ck measuring contest up in vancouver. congrats to the winner?

    • imleftcoast - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:09 AM

      Congrats to Vancouver. Bird to peanut gallery.

  2. mp1131211 - Jan 18, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    Phew! Now we won’t see any cheap shots between these two. The players have taken care of everything that needs to be done.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      I’ll up-thumb based on assuming you were being sarcastic.

      • mp1131211 - Jan 19, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        indeed, it was.

  3. thatsdoinit - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:03 PM

    Bieksa lines up against Westgarth, then doesn’t want a piece, so he goes after Smid? Lol what a tough guy.

    • comeonnowguys - Jan 19, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      A few years ago, he’d shy away from John Scott (which fine, whatever), and then go after noted pugilist* Viktor Stalberg (now that’s lame).

      *massive amounts of sarcasm

  4. ruffridin - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    Slap Shot lives! Love it

  5. charlieconway96 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    This helped me vicariously vent some frustration after that BS end to the Kings-Wings game.

  6. shortsxit34 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    It’s not me with the problem, it’s everyone else

    • esracerx46 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:39 PM

      This game is in Vancouver. Calgary puts their guys out and Tortorella counters with Sestito who leads the league in PIM and Bieksa taking the draw. Tortorella made a big deal out of Calgary putting their 4th line out to start the game. Its not uncommon to do that. The dude made a stink about nothing and I hope he’s out of a job because of it. I never thought I’d have to tell a guy twice my age…but dude, GROW UP!!

      • shortsxit34 - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:11 AM

        The best part was that while was flipping out, Hartley wasn’t even paying attention to him.

  7. sjsharks66 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Torts seen pushing people in the hallway? Officially lost his marbles.

    • sabatimus - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:56 PM

      I was waiting for Malarchuk to mess him up.

  8. hardkor07mn - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    That’s awesome!

    • esracerx46 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:41 PM

      No. No its not. What Patrick Roy did to start the season was awesome. This was lunacy.

  9. thedavesiknowiknow - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    Am I the only one left feeling unfulfilled by “pushing people”? Who did he push? Players? Coaches? Trainers? Media? A kid who won a contest to see the facilities? Give me something there.

    • esracerx46 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      Its you. The camera is fixed, but you clearly see Torts being restrained as he’s screaming at someone. He was forced back but appeared to force his way closer. If the NHL doesn’t suspend him for this its an abomination. I have a feeling they’ll use the same excuse when they failed to discipline Ray Emery. We don’t have a rule that says Torts can’t push people and make a mockery out of the game on the way to the opposing teams locker room. I give Mcgratton credit, cuz I would have pummeled him. This gives our sport yet another black eye.

      • thedavesiknowiknow - Jan 19, 2014 at 3:40 AM

        There wasn’t a video there when I asked- and all the article said was he attacked someone. It didn’t specify. Good on the writer for the re-re-re-edit- but the original break of this story was basically “I heard someone saw Tortorella pushing someone”.

    • shortsxit34 - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      It was a fixed camera, and they didn’t show any other angles (although there did seem to be cameras). You can see Tortorella in the bottom corner for a second or two being restrained, but that’s about it.

  10. esracerx46 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    What a joke this team has become. I don’t who’s worse, Torotella or the guy that hired him. Torts should be one and done. Hell, if I owned the team I’d be tempted to fire him right now. He’s making a mockery of that team. I’m sorry Canuck fans. Your GM and owner hired a clown as a coach and now you have to watch this circus.

  11. shaundre93 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:24 PM

    Goon Squad at it again

  12. ironyisadeadscene - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:39 PM

    Oh dear GOD how I would have loved seeing mcgrattan punch Torts just once….even with gloves on

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:49 PM

      That’s what I was thinking watching that locker room area video; I know they say violence doesn’t solve anything… but if McGrattan just KO’ed Torts right there… it would have solved a lot.

  13. ruthlessandtoothless - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Sestito is such a clown. So happy he’s outta philly he didn’t win a single fight with the flyers

    • sjsharks66 - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:32 AM

      I would usually agree but he fought McGrattan. That is no easy fight. Looked like he bloodied him up a bit as well. So Sestito may actually have earned a draw against one of the toughest fighters in the league.

      • ruthlessandtoothless - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:54 AM

        I wasn’t commenting just on his fight, he did alright against a very tough dude, but just my overall opinion on him.

    • charlieconway96 - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      After she schooled Keith Olberman on twitter a few days back, it would appear that Sestito’s 13 year old sister got the majority of the brains in that family.

      • shortsxit34 - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:40 AM

        Well he can’t win any fights, maybe letting his little sister fight for him isn’t such a bad idea.

    • somekat - Jan 19, 2014 at 4:39 AM

      that’s because you got him all wrong. His whole strategy in Philly was to hurt the other guys fist by attacking them with his face.

      But yeah, you’re right. He was always willing to fight in Philly….it just didn’t help much because he always got whooped

  14. ryanw822 - Jan 18, 2014 at 11:56 PM

    Another opening shift line brawl involving a Torts coached team.

    But its never his fault according to him…

  15. kicksave1980 - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Malarchuk would have ruined Torts. Period. I’ve met that guy a few times, and he is built like a brick house. It would’ve been game over immediately.

    But wait for Canucks fans to call this an NHL conspiracy against their team. It’s coming…it’s like clockwork. And I live how Bieksa is always SO tough until the other guy drops his gloves.

  16. benrob99 - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    Torts is Bats%&t crazy (not to mention an idiot). Get this joker out of the league.

  17. micasa81 - Jan 19, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    John Tortorella wut dafuq. Coach my hockey team please, like you were doing last month.

  18. icrew29 - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    You want Torts fined and suspended for trespassing. Show me on this video where he hit, punched or assaulted anyone.

  19. eagles512 - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    I think he’s a good coach but that is out of control. Needs a long suspension

  20. djshnooks - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Clint Milarchuck is the man. Lol.

    He was always a loose cannon, especially after his horrific incident.

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