a hell of a shutter speed.
Probably. In recent weeks we've watched Brent Johnson knockout fellow goaltender Rick DiPietro with a single punch. Boston and Dallas started a game with three separate fights in four seconds. Then the Bruins and Canadiens brawled, including another goalie scrap. And then the biggest explosion of all, at least so far, as the Islanders and Penguins rematch resulted in 346 penalty minutes, 23 games worth of suspensions, several injuries and a fine to the Islanders' organization.
So let the hand-wringing begin. But the league and its fans has been down this road before. And in fact, this latest round of incidents is only the latest in a long history of fights, brawls and general mayhem.
So join me in a nostalgic look back at some other well-known hockey brawls. You know, or else I'll punch you in the head.
March 5, 2004 - The Senators and Flyers combine for a league record 419 PIM after a series of fights are touched off by an argument over which franchise will destroy the careers of the most goaltenders during the rest of the decade.
October 2, 2008 - After the fifth different altercation to feature a player viciously attacking Sean Avery, the Dallas Stars coaching staff decides to just cancel rest of the practice and try again tomorrow.
April 20, 1984 - The Canadiens and Nordiques combine for over 250 penalty minutes and 10 ejections in a game that comes to be known as "la bataille du Vendredi saint" or, in English, "pretty standard for a game between Quebec and Montreal".
March 4, 2003 - An enraged Darcy Tucker dives into the Ottawa bench and remains there for several seconds, inadvertently becoming the third longest serving coach in Senators' history.
1982 to 1993, inclusive - In an extended incident that most hockey historians will later describe as "maybe a bit excessive", every single player in the Norris Division is involved in a spirited fight with every single other player at all times for twelve straight years, with the exception of Steve Yzerman.
March 15, 2006 - Chris Pronger is ejected from the game after a rampage that leaves seven players facing career-threatening injuries, which is unfortunate since it was a spring-training game between the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals.
October 4, 2007 - A rare goalie fight during an intrasquad scrimmage leaves Andrew Raycroft and Vesa Toskala facing significant injuries and lengthy suspensions, every Leaf fan really wishes in hindsight.
February 18, 1992 - Towards the end of a wild bench-clearing brawl involving such enforcers as Rob Ray, Brad May, Gord Donnelly, Jay Wells and Brad Miller, the Buffalo Sabres sheepishly begin to realize that the Hartford Whalers left two hours ago and they've all just been fighting each other.
December 23, 1979 - Mike Milbury climbs into the stands and beats a fan with his own shoe, in what everyone now agrees is probably the fifteenth or sixteenth dumbest thing he's ever done.
January 4, 1987 - Canada and Russia are disqualified from the World Junior tournament after a massive brawl that will be unanimously criticized by the media as "outrageous" and "shameful" and "totally going to screw up the 'you never see any brawls in international hockey' argument we make in all our anti-fighting columns".
May 11, 1989 - After an increasingly out-of-control Ron Hextall viciously attacks Chris Chelios in the dying moments of the Wales Conference Finals, concerned government authorities finally agree to green-light the top secret cyborg assassin program that will eventually lead to the creation of Felix Potvin.
November 7, 1998 - Red Wings and Avalanche players immediately engage in five separate and bloody fights as soon as the puck hits the ice, which really scares the crap out of the disabled child doing the ceremonial puck drop.