Stefan Noesen crosschecks Christian Dvorak right in the face.

Just awful.


It's hard not to feel for poor Christian Dvorak on this play, especially when you consider that he ended up in the box after it was all said and done. 

On Saturday the Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks faced off in what turned out to be a pretty rough matchup between the two sides, yet another indication that this back to back format for the 2020 - 2021 National Hockey League season may lead to some pretty intense rivalries within the divisions. 

Perhaps the spark that ignited the fire in this one was a rather brutal crosscheck on the part of San Jose Sharks forward Stefan Noesen early in the game, one that came immediately off of the face off but was somehow missed by legendary NHL official Tim Peel. The crosscheck, which may or may not have been intentional on the part of Noesen, caught the aforementioned Christian Dvorak square in the face or as the color commentator described it "right in the lips." 

The shot was enough to open up a decent sized gash on Dvorak's face and as you would expect he retaliated by pushing or shoving Noesen in the face after taking the crosscheck. Much to the anger of Dvorak, the Coyotes bench, and their fan base, the officials on the ice determined that this warranted a pair of matching minors for both Dvorak and Noesen, with Noesen clearly walking away with the better deal. Although you could certainly fault Dvorak for his retaliation, you would think that the fact that he was left leaking on the ice would have at least earned his team a power play. 

As I said though this may have merely been the spark that lit the blaze. Later during the same game Sharks forward Evander Kane would take a run at Coyotes star defenseman Oliver Ekman Larsson, and that drew a crowd from both teams and resulted in 3 players being sent to the box for different infractions. 

Here's a replay of the hit from Kane.

Here is a longer version that also includes  the scrum that followed between the two teams, although not much more than some pushing and shoving would come from this.