It seems like we may have a pretty heated rivalry developing on our hands here.
The Minnesota Wild and the Calgary Flames faced off on Saturday afternoon in a highly anticipated match up. The game was coming off the heels of a previous match up between these two teams, one that ended in some controversy and more than a few angry players on both sides of the ice. In that first match up Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba laid out Flames veteran forward Mikael Backlund with a thunderous open ice body check in what was the final minute of the game's 3rd period. That hit drew a crowd and although Dumba was challenged he chose not to fight on that day.
It was Dumba who helped kick off the bad blood on Saturday however when he opted to drop the gloves with notorious Flames agitator Matthew Tkachuk after just 40 seconds of play. Tkachuk was in Dumba's ear almost immediately following the puck being dropped on the ice and it was not long before Dumba was more than happy to square up for what was admittedly a largely uneventful fight between the 2 men. That being said it was only the start of a very heated game between these 2 squads.
The Flames continued to harass Dumba throughout the game both during the play and at times after the whistle and it was not long before the Wild had seen enough. Surprisingly it was not Dumba himself who blew a casket but rather Wild veteran defenseman Ryan Suter who opted to drop the gloves with 22 year old Flames forward Sam Bennett. It was very uncharacteristic fight for Suter who had never before dropped the gloves as a member of the Minnesota Wild, making this his 1st fight in nearly a decade and just the 3rd such event of his entire career as a player in the National hockey League.
This one was considerably better than the previous fight between Dumba and Tkachuk as both men appeared to land some solid shots. Suter clearly connected with arguably the biggest punch of the fight, a big right hand that rocked Bennett on his skates, while Bennett left Suter bleeding from his nose after the exchange.