The New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes engaged in a fierce battle on the ice on Monday night. However, a massive brawl erupted as time expired at the end of the first period of Game 2 that took center stage. The Hurricanes won the first game of the series 2-1 and were looking to continue their winning ways in the second game.
Jordan Staal struggles off of ice as Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders end the first period of game two with a massive brawl
The brawl began after several consecutive shots from the Hurricanes on New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin. Matt Martin checked Jordan Staal in the back on one of the shots, taking him out of the rest of the play. Martin then ran out the clock, kneeing on top of Staal, and causing an uproar among the Hurricanes’ players and fans.
For the next 30 seconds, players from both teams fought each other in response, as Jordan Staal struggled to get up. The brawl involved several players from each team, including Bo Horvat of the New York Islanders, Shayne Gostisbehere and Brett Pesce of the Carolina Hurricanes. The situation quickly spiraled out of control. The referees struggled to maintain order, and players continued to engage in physical altercations.
Despite the melee, only Martin was penalized with a two-minute minor for interference. The decision by the officials to only penalize Martin incensed the Hurricanes’ bench and fans, with players and coaching staff expressing their displeasure at the perceived injustice.
The brawl was an indication of the intense physicality that is commonplace in playoff hockey. The stakes are high, and emotions can run hot, leading to unexpected and chaotic situations on the ice. However, it is also the responsibility of the officials to maintain order and ensure that players adhere to the rules of the game.
The brawl was just the end to a scary period for the Hurricanes. A penalty was assessed earlier in the game when the New York Islanders Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas combined for a devastating hit on Sebastian Aho that drew blood and a four-minute major penalty.
Jordan Staal exited the game after the hit, and he remains questionable to return for the rest of the game. It will be interesting to see if any further action is delved into for Matt Martin’s kneeing of Staal, and if or when he may have to serve a suspension. The Carolina Hurricanes began the second period with a two-minute power play.