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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Take this Shutout and Shove it!

  Who doesn't like a good goalie fight?  Rick Dipietro's mom, that's who.  Otherwise everybody loves goalie fights.  Goalies rarely get involved in the fisticuffs.  It takes a lot of effort.  It's not like the skaters who already part of the scrum.  For the goalies to meet, one, or both, have to skate across the ice and then receive the dreaded leaving the crease penalty.  It takes a lot of effort to get a goalie fight going but for some goalies it must be high on their bucket list since not only do they get into the fight, they give up their shutout to do so.  There have been three goalies who have giving up a shutout bid with 7 minutes or less left in the game, and got a into a fight instead.  How many can you remember?

April 1st, 1998, Chis Osgood vs Patrick Roy

    With a little over 7 minutes left in the 3rd period and a 2-0 lead, Chris Osgood drops the mitts with Patrick Roy.  Osgood accepts Roy's challenge after Roy gets involved in the scrum along the boards.  The year before, Roy had spirited goalie fight with the Red Wings Mike Vernon.  Osgood ended his career with 50 shutouts, which puts him 25th in career shutouts, one shutout away from a 22nd place tie.

April 4th, 1998, Tommy Salo vs Dan Cloutier

At 14:01 of the 3rd period with the Islanders holding a 3-0 lead, all hell breaks loose.  The New York Rangers had their 4th line on the ice, unfortunately for the New York Islanders, they had their 1st line.  Darren Langdon alone had almost as many PIM, 197, that season as the five Islanders on the ice, 200.  Marius Czerkawski, one career NHL fight, found himself mismatched against heavyweight P.J. Stock, 55 career fights.  Tommy Salo, watching the smaller Czerkawski get pounded, jumped in to aid his teammate, but then found himself getting hammered by the opposing goalie, Dan Cloutier.   Channeling his inner Link Gaetz, Cloutier then proceeds to challenge the New York Islanders bench.  Tommy Salo would finish his career tied for 39th all-time, with 37 shutouts.

February 2nd, 2011, Brent Johnson vs Rick DiPietro 

The most blatant incident of forgoing a shutout to get into a fight, would be that of Brent Johnson.  With 17 seconds left in the game and the Penguins with a 3-0 lead, Penguins forward Matt Cooke bumps Rick DiPietro, sending DiPietro to the ice.  While a harmless looking scrum ensues in the corner, an unexpected goalie fight occurs in front of the net.  Johnson skates from one end of the ice to other, deking out a referee in process, and finishing with a one punch knockout.  DiPietro missed the next several weeks due to facial fracture.  The Johnson-DiPietro fight helped set-up the most penalized game in the NHL that season, when the two teams had a rematch 9 days later and Johnson would once again find himself dropping the gloves.


  1. Do goalies always get kicked out of the game for fighting? Or do they just get a 5 minute penalty?

    1. Goalie fights are rarely the first fight so they often get game misconducts for fighting after the original fight. But they don't always get a game misconduct. In the Isles-Pens rematch game, Brent Johnson and Michael Haley fought well after the other fights had broken up. Haley got a game misconduct, although it was his second fighting major during the same stoppage, but Johnson got a five for fighting and that was it.

  2. I love that Dan Cloutier fight!! I remember watching all his fights as a kid! Great read thanks for posting it!