After a memo from the NHL apparently disappeared in the mail, both the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets showed up at the Xcel Energy Center Sunday afternoon wearing their alternate jerseys. Since the Wild 3rd is red and that of Columbus is blue, identification didn't appear to be a problem, so play went as planned.
The shit finally hit the fan when Blue Jackets center Andrew Cassels cheap-shotted the Wild goalie, while Vlad was staring at Cassels' jersey. After knocking down Vlad, Cassels flipped the puck into the net, putting the Blue Jackets up 1-0 after only three minutes of play.
"I was just trying to figure out what the hell that... thing on the front of their jersey is," explained Vlad after the game. "I mean, at least ours looks like something."
Following Cassels' unpenalized hit on Vlad, the entire Wild bench cleared and descended on the hapless forward. After the team was pulled from the ice, Cassels was removed with two broken kneecaps. The Blue Jackets remained on their bench, awestruck by the crowd.
"I didn't know 18,000 people in the United States even liked hockey, let alone seeing them in one arena," noted an amazed Nikolai Zherdev.
"What?" said Wild enforcer Matt Johnson, when asked about Cassels' injury. Following the bench-clearing brawl, the Wild went on to a comeback, scoring five goals in under fifteen minutes. Goals were scored by Andrew Brunette (2), Pascal Dupuis, Marc Chouinard, and Andrei Zyuzin. The Blue Jackets responded later in the second with another goal from winger Manny Malhotra, which was met by resistance from the Wild.
After Malhotra scored, Wild center Jay-Z skated up to Malhotra and socked him in the face, citing Malhotra's lack of "street cred" and inability to "keep it real."
Subsequently, the Blue Jackets bench cleared at last, only to be summarily knocked down by the former rap star.
"I had to
Following a vote put forth by Brunette, the team captain, during the debacle at center ice, the Wild elected unanimously to take to the ice and continue the fight "just for the hell of it," according to defenseman Nick Schultz.
Unable to sort out all the various penalties and power plays that would be dealt, the refs elected to simply dock goals. As a result, the score of 5-2 became 1-(-1). Although this was not the first time a negative score was recorded in a game, it did mark the pioneer use of algebraic expression in a sports score.
After taking 21 minutes to calculate that there would be 384 penalty minutes assessed, the officials decided to call the game, as there were only 18 minutes remaining on the clock.
"The explanation of this is simple," commented Wild coach Jacque Lemaire. "We haven't played Vancouver in awhile, the boys just needed to blow off steam."
"Oh blow it out your ass, Jacque," aruged Matt Johnson. "All I know is the next time we play Columbus, I'm gonna wipe the smirk right off that pussy Rick Nash's baby face."