Anaheim calling to the hockey world...
Happy Holidays, everyone.
As our present to Ducks Fans, we're going to take a look back at a classic game, perhaps Anaheim's most infamous team building exercise: March 13, 1998 - The Rumble At Reunion.
When Daniel and I started this blog on Blogger, a Ducks fan on Facebook took exception to my characterization of the Ducks as soft the year that Gary Suter crosschecked Paul Kariya, as well as my characterization of the team as generally unable to protect its star player during his concussion years (i.e. the years without Grimson). The Facebook fan cited Fighting statistics from that year and expressed her genuine belief that Karpa and Severyn were getting it done.
Back in '98, that's not how Anaheim fans felt, and that's not how the Ducks felt a month after the Suter crosscheck, when Dallas defenseman Craig Ludwig took a flying elbow to Teemu Selanne's head. That night, the team issued the response they owed Suter, but paid it to the Stars instead-- with interest!
The Ducks had always fought for one reason or another, whether to belie their Disney animated crest, delight the fans or just to give Stuey and Ewey a workout. But this brawl was Old Time hockey. It was sending the message that they wouldn't be pushed around, just a month after they had unintentionally sent the message that they could be. It was a grisly Friday the 13th game in Dallas, an almost anachronistic bench clearer and an all-time classic.
We've got plenty of video after the jump...
First off, we have two Stars Classics retrospective segments. Interspersed with the broadcast footage, there are some great recent interviews with players like Ludwig and Severyn. They offer their recollections of the incident itself and the climate in their respective locker rooms.
In the first segment, we get a good look at the elbow and Anaheim's initial response, which included Karpa trying to get at Ludwig in the box and the Dallas defenseman ultimately having to be removed from the ice. In Severyn's first interview, he takes responsibility for the Kariya incident, but is strangely unable to recall if Suter is the player that crosschecked Kariya and if Ludwig is the player that elbowed Selanne. Punchy much?
In the second segment, we see the brawl after the game resumes. For the Ducks, Fighting Majors were doled out to Severyn, Rychel, Mironov, Rucchin and Salei; Double Roughing Minors were issued to Bannister and Stevenson. In Severyn's second interview, he recalls the fight with Darryl Sydor, where the Stars defenseman initially turtled but then rushed Severyn after the players were separated. Severyn responded by burying the former Kings rookie, punctuating it with a hit to the back of the head. The Stars Classics hosts offer their own recollections at the end of the segment.
Finally, for those that just want to see the original uninterrupted broadcast version of the brawl, we have a grainier, but full YouTube version for you.