Canadiens Vs Flyers Media Overload 05.14.87
One of the most intriguing brawls ever to be witnessed was the pregame brawl that occurred during the 1987 NHL playoffs between Prince of Wales Conference finalists Philadelphia & Montreal. According to those who were on the ice, the Flyers had enough of Montreal’s ritual of shooting the puck in the other teams net as their pregame skate came to a close. This time, Ed Hospodar remained close by, as both teams exited the ice surface. As he saw Claude Lemieux & Shayne Corson come back onto the ice, Hospodar & backup goalie Glenn “Chico” Resch made a b-line for the two Canadiens forwards. Resch tried to grab Corson, who had shot the puck, then threw his stick to stop the puck, but missed. Hospodar grabbed onto Lemieux and began to administer frontier justice for breaking one of hockey’s unwritten codes, as well as one of hockey’s written rules about warm ups, and staying in your own end. Maybe it was to try and gain an advantage, maybe it was to put the final nail in Montreal’s coffin, maybe it was just policing the ice in old time hockey fashion. Either way, this minor event touched off one of the biggest brawls, let alone pregame brawls, that has ever occurred in professional hockey.
Philadelphia would win the game and the series 4 – 2. Hard to believe this was the conference championship game. I have never seen the post game handshake from this series, nor do I know if it happened (we assume it did). The Flyers would eventually lose to the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals, but on this night it was the Broad Street Bullies who would once again flex their muscle in an attempt to gain an advantage, intimidate, and finally eliminate their opponent from the playoffs.
Both teams seemed to have plenty of muscle dressed for the pre-game skate. Montreal had Corson, John Kordic, Chris Nilan, & Mike McPhee; as well as a good core of support guys like Sergio Momesso, Larry Robinson, and others. The Flyers, who always boasted a very physical team, had Hospodar, Dave Brown, Daryl Stanley, Don Nauchbaur, Mike Stothers, Rick Tocchet, & Scottt Mellanby. With both teams unwilling to back down an inch, the inevitable occurred.
We have tried to include as much of the media coverage as we could find for this one. We are also happy to include some modern day comments from people like Dave Brown, & Glenn “Chico” Resch. To this day, this brawl still makes the hair on my neck stand up. As Mickey Redmond, the long time color man for the Detroit Red Wings would say: “It’s no place for a nervous person.”
- Ed Hospodar was suspended for the remainder of the playoffs.
- No penalties were assessed during the brawl itself
- $24,500 in fines were handed out
- The brawl delayed the broadcast 17 minutes, enough time for the affiliates to show the mayhem
- There was only 1 Fight when the game was finally played Scott Mellanby Vs Sergio Momesso
Live “Real Time” Feed Of The Brawl (10:18)
Glenn “Chico” Resch Talks about his role in the Brawl, from 2001 (3:22)
Flyer Broadcasters Report Gene Hart & Bobby Taylor (4:35)
Look back: Comments by Dave Brown, Scott Mellanby, Brian Propp, & Steve Coates (2:00)
French Commentary Feed Of The Brawl (8:02)
Various Reports Of The Brawl (3:33)
Coach’s Corner With Don Cherry (4:59)
Forum Feed With Live Audio / Organ (8:09)
The Globe & Mail Retrospective (published May 12, Updated April 2018)
Here’s a report from 1987, courtesy Red Fisher and The Montreal Gazette