Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella had to be restrained from going into the Calgary Flames’ locker room after a heated first period on Saturday.
A full-scaled donnybrook ensued after Flames coach Bob Hartley submitted his starting lineup of Kevin Westgarth, Chris Butler and Brian McGrattan, a trio not necessarily known for its goal-scoring prowess. Tortorella responded by sending out Dale Weise, Tom Sestito and Kellan Lain, a threesome with a similar pugilistic skill set.
As soon as the puck dropped to open the game, a line brawl broke out with all 10 skaters joining in the fracas, which resulted in eight ejections and 152 penalty minutes. Tortorella was leaning over his bench toward the visiting Flames, screaming at Hartley, who did not respond.
The teams tacked on an additional 18 penalty minutes before the period ended, but the passion carried over after the players left the ice. As Tortorella made his way down the visitors’ hallway he got involved with the Flames, and at least three members of Calgary’s staff — as well as the enforcer McGrattan — were forced to hold everyone at bay.
This is not the first time Tortorella has had a different point of view than his counterpart: with the Rangers in 2012, he got into a shouting match with New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer after a similar incident.