Emery on Holtby: 'He didn't want to fight'

Emery on Holtby: 'He didn't want to fight'
November 1, 2013, 11:00 pm
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Goalies brawl during scrum between Caps and Flyers

PHILADELPHIA – Joel Ward recorded his first career hat trick and the Capitals rolled over the Flyers like pizza dough with a 7-0 win at the Wells Fargo Center Friday night.

But the topic of conversation on every radio talk show and in every hockey chat room will be the brawl that took place with 5:31 gone in the third period.

That’s when Flyers goalie Ray Emery raced down the ice and challenged Braden Holtby to a fight. Actually, it was more than just a challenge.

“He didn’t want to fight,” Emery told CSNWashington.com. “I said, basically, ‘Protect yourself.’ He didn’t really have much of a choice.”

Emery, who was awarded the game’s third star by a member of the Philadelphia media despite allowing four goals on 15 shots, was given a two-minute instigation, five-minute fighting major and 10-minute misconduct for leaving his crease.

Asked if he thinks the NHL will look into the incident, Emery said, “I’m not sure. There’s a penalty for fighting in hockey and I gave him a chance to protect himself.”

Emery’s fight with Holtby was one of four that occurred simultaneously, shortly after Ward made it 7-0 with his third goal of the night.

Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds started the melee by dropping the gloves with Tom Wilson. Emery then sprinted out of his crease and went after Holtby, pounding him with several punches as Holtby tried to gain his balance.

Seconds later Brayden Schenn grabbed Caps defenseman Alex Urbom and connected with several punches to Urbom’s face. That’s when Caps defenseman Steve Oleksy grabbed Vinny Lecavalier and belted him with several shots to the face.

Lecavalier reportedly suffered extensive damage to his teeth in the fight.

Earlier in the game Steve Downie reportedly suffered a concussion in a fight with Aaron Volpatti.

Capitals coach Adam Oates was not happy with the turn of events in the third period but said he liked the fact the Caps stuck together.

Oates said he would have liked to see the fight between Emery and Holtby broken up earlier by referee Francois St. Laurent, who initially tried to separate the two goalies, then stepped away and prevented any Capitals from coming to the aid of Holtby.

“I’m not officially sure,” Oates said. “There was a referee there. I’m not sure what his guidelines are, in terms of should he help out there, because there are other altercations going on, so I really shouldn’t comment on that until we get word from the league.”

Oates he was “a little bit” upset to see four fights break out at the same time.

“It’s not really where we’re going with the league,” he said. “They were obviously a very frustrated team.”

Holtby, who recorded his first shutout of the season and eighth of his career, declined to comment on the wild third period. So did most of his teammates.

“They were down by whatever it was [7-0],” Ward said. “I don’t know what [Emery] was thinking, to be honest. It was definitely different.

“I definitely haven’t seen one of those. But when you’re down by so many in your own building I guess your emotions kick in a little bit.”    

Caps right wing Troy Brouwer, who scored a goal in the win, also refrained from saying too much about the fights. As for Emery being named the game's third star, he quipped, "It's Philly."