Last night, television sets across the continent were tuned in to a depraved world of unimaginable violence, horrifying bloodshed, and an almost total absence of morality on the part of everyone involved.
Or, if you wanted something a little less intense, you switched away from the Toronto-Buffalo preseason game and watched Breaking Bad instead.
Yes, the Maple Leafs and Sabres got a little bit rowdy on Sunday. The game was the second half of a home-and-home that hadn’t actually featured all that much bad blood. Sure, there had been a few scraps, because this is the preseason and it’s practically mandatory that every game feature several meaningless fights between guys who are about to be cut. But the overall mood had been almost chipper, even including some comic relief in the form of a novelty shootout attempt by Paul Ranger during Saturday night’s game.
That all changed quickly midway through the third period on Sunday. Sabres forward Corey Tropp scored a goal, then fought Leafs tough guy Jamie Devane on the ensuing faceoff. Tropp was a willing participant with some fighting experience but was badly outmatched here against a much bigger opponent, and it showed.
That set the stage for one of the wildest — and most bizarre — line brawls in recent memory.