Physicality From Both Sides
When it comes to cross-conference play, you typically don’t expect a game that is very rough and physical. The game was a surprise for me, because both teams didn’t lay off of each other at all. It was clear that they didn’t like each other tonight.
The most prominent moment was the altercation I mentioned on the last page between Petr Mrazek and Joe Thornton. Mrazek took exception when Thornton tried to pry the puck loose after Mrazek covered it. One thing led to another and Thornton essentially punched Mrazek in the mask, sending him to the ground.
Even beyond just that particular moment, the game featured multiple huddles behind the net with many players involved. Of course, it wouldn’t be a physical game without Joel Edmundson providing some of that toughness and physicality from the back-end. He’s pretty good at lip service as well.
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While we come to expect the display of physicality from guys like Mrazek and Edmundson, there was another player tonight that displayed it who really isn’t known for doing so. Of course, I’m talking about Sebastian Aho. One particular moment that stood out to me was a sequence of big hits against Mario Ferraro in the 3rd period.
When you think about cross-conference games, the last thing you think about is a brawl where both teams simply don’t like each other. Typically you’ll see games where players have a clean 60 minutes and then move on to the next one. This game was completely different and had a bit of everything. It was an exciting game to watch, and Carolina finished with two points that they really needed. On to the next one!
Next Up: Vs Minnesota on December 7th