Historically speaking, the biggest rival the Chicago Blackhawks have had in their history is the Detroit Red Wings. The two teams have played each other well over 700 times in their respective histories, and the chant “Detroit Sucks” still goes up regularly at the United Center, even when the two teams aren’t playing.
Nowadays, in the age of the Hockey Renaissance in the Windy City, another team has stepped up to challenge the Red Wings in the category of inspiring ire among the Blackhawk faithful, and that’s the Vancouver Canucks. The two teams have played three spirited playoff series against one another the past four years, and have even had memorable regular season bouts, including this one:
Now, even the teams’ AHL affiliates are getting into the act. On Sunday night, in a game between the Rockford IceHogs (the Blackhawks minor league club) and the Chicago Wolves (Vancouver’s), a brawl broke out with only about four seconds left in the contest. Both benches got involved, and a total of 27 penalties were issued, according to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog.
Here is the carnage, for those interested in seeing it:
Two things are readily apparent from this video. The first is that IceHogs forward Jeremy Morin deserves a suspension. He is the one who started raining punches down on Wolves winger Guillaume Desbiens when he hit Hogs forward Ben Smith into the bench area, and he’s the one that really incited the whole fracas.
In addition, three other Wolves players should receive suspensions as well. The hit that Desbiens laid on Smith was inherently dirty, driving a player from behind into the half boards on a very dangerous play. In addition, if you watch the video closely, forward Tim Miller leaves the Wolves’ bench early on in the brawl and gets involved. That action results in a 10-game suspension in the NHL, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he were hit with a similar ban after his actions here.
Finally, in the box score, defenseman Adam Polasek is also cited for “leaving the bench” during the melee, so he may very well get a 10-game suspension as well.
We’ll keep you posted as to when the AHL decides to hand down penalties from this one, but one thing is for certain. These two teams share the mutual dislike that their parent clubs do, and with their geographical proximity, this could turn into one of the AHL’s great rivalries in its own right.