Flyers’ enforcer Jay Rosehill admitted he enjoyed watching the senseless brawl between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night.
“I don’t mind seeing a good brawl like that,” Rosehill said. “It’s exciting. The crowd loved it. I was sitting on my couch watching it and thinking there used to be a lot more of that in hockey and it’s kinda died off. I personally like it. I like that style of hockey. How it happened doesn’t matter to me. It’s fun to watch.”
It began as a fight between Buffalo's Corey Tropp and Toronto's Jamie Devane, which triggered the brawl when Sabres coach Ron Rolston sent out 6-foot-8 John Scott to go after a skill player -- diminutive Phil Kessel. That spread all over the ice with both goalies -- Ryan Miller and Jonathan Bernier -- getting involved as well.
What’s being talked about in the hockey circles is whether it was fair to severely punish Leafs forward David Clarkson for coming off the bench -- an automatic 10-game suspension -- to Kessel’s aid.
Hockey’s unwritten “code” was violated twice. First, by Rolston sending a fighter, Scott, onto the ice to target skill players such as Kessel. Second, by Scott for violating the code most fighters live by -- go after guys who can handle themselves regardless of what your coach says.
This may surprise you, but Rosehill says “the code” has changed. The lines, he said, are not so clearly defined anymore.
“Some people think instead of grabbing their tough guy, go after a skill guy, which is what happened with Kessel,” Rosehill said. “When a guy the size of Scott is going after Phil Kessel and there’s not a lot of guys on the ice to do something about it, it’s kinda like Clarkson has no choice. If he loses 10 games and salary at the start of the season, that’s pretty rough.”
And the code?
“Yeah, I know the code,” Rosehill said. “The code is changing. The rules are different. I know coaches recently say, ‘Go after their skill.’ That is the mentality and that will keep [happening] because if two tough guys fight each other, what does that matter? There are different schools of thought.”