Dropping blockers: NHL’s top 10 goalie fights

Sportsnet takes a look at some of the most memorable goalie fights in NHL history. (AP/Elise Amendola)

In the spirit of last Sunday’s rare tilt between goaltenders Jonathan Bernier and Ryan Miller, we take a look at two fistfuls of the NHL’s most memorable goalie fights.

Tim Thomas (Boston Bruins) vs. Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)
Date: Feb. 9, 2011

Winner: Draw

It is always a bloodbath when the Bruins and Canadiens go at it. The hate is ever-present, the checks are bountiful, and no one is left out when it comes to dropping the gloves — including the goaltenders.

Dan Cloutier (New York Rangers) vs. Tommy Salo (New York Islanders)
Date: April 4, 1998

Winner: Cloutier

At the time of this bout, both teams were nowhere close to a playoff spot and were only playing for pride. But whenever the Rangers and Islanders meet, there’s a good chance gloves will be dropped.

Corey Schwab (New Jersey Devils) vs. Tommy Soderstrom (New York Islanders)

Date: Dec. 9, 1995

Winner: Schwab

While Salo was at least ready to fight Cloutier, Soderstrom was in no way prepared to fight Schwab. As you’ll see in the clip below, Soderstrom was minding his own business, watching several scrums occur behind his net, when Schwab skated the length of the ice to get into it with him.

Miikka Kiprusoff (Calgary Flames) vs. Tomas Vokoun (Nashville Predators)

Date: March 20, 2004

Winner: Draw

Centre ice morphed into a boxing ring when the Preds and Flames held a battle royale 10 seasons ago.

Mike Vernon (Detroit Red Wings) vs. Patrick Roy (Colorado Avalanche)

Date: March 26, 1997

Winner: Vernon

The rivalry between the Red Wings and Avalanche was one of the league’s best in the late ’90s. The hate grew deeper once netminders/warriors Roy and Vernon got into it at Joe Louis Arena.

Chris Osgood (Detroit Red Wings) vs. Patrick Roy (Colorado Avalanche)

Date: April 1, 1998

Winner: Draw

One year after Roy went at it with Vernon, he threw himself back into the ring – this time with Osgood.

Brent Johnson (Pittsburgh Penguins) vs. Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders)

Date: Feb. 2, 2011

Winner: Johnson

If you’re a player susceptible to injuries, getting into a fight might not be the greatest idea. DiPietro throws reason to the wind and drops the gloves with the Penguins backup Johnson.

Steve Shields (Buffalo Sabres) vs. Garth Snow (Philadelphia Flyers)

Date: May 3, 1997

Winner: Shields

The mood intensifies come playoff time. This was especially in the case in a second-round series in 1997 between the Sabres and Flyers.

Ron Hextall (Philadelphia Flyers) vs. Felix Potvin (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Date: Nov. 10, 1996

Winner: Draw

Everyone knew Hextall was a hothead, but Potvin got to experience it up close – and surprisingly held his own.

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