Bad blood from one of the ugliest brawls of the season finally spilled over in Philly last night, as the Flyers and Caps engaged in a melee that featured a player shoving another while he was done, three guys jumping one, and Wayne Simmonds holding John Erskine from behind while Vinny Lecavlier punched him in the face.
Things started with a big hit from Erskine on Lecavalier, then a bigger hit from Luke Schenn on Ryan Stoa. Both were clean, but Tom Wilson skated over to challenge Schenn. Schenn's legs were tangled up with Stoa's, and neither could get up. So while Wilson politely waited for Schenn to get to his feet, Simmonds facewashed a kneeling Stoa (2:05).
Erskine went after Simmonds, Lecavalier stepped in, and 2:32 of the video provides one of the season's weirder visuals—three Flyers, Lecavalier, Simmonds, and Brayden Schenn, all trying to tackle John Erskine—with Simmonds giving him a nice stick-whack from behind, then just jumping onto his back to drag him down.
Simmonds wasn't done. After Erskine and Lecavalier paired off, Simmonds again wraps up Erskine from behind (2:55), again pulling him down and allowing Lecavalier to get an undefended shot in.
Surprisingly, Simmonds only received a double minor—no game misconduct, not even a fighting major. Less surprisingly, the Flyers' social media folks thought this was an occasion worth celebrating:
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 6, 2014
The Flyers would win a crazy one, 6-4, but Philly-D.C. is rapidly turning into one of those rivalries where the hockey is secondary. The two teams won't meet again in the regular season, but both are solidly in the playoff hunt.