Last night the Griffins hosted the Toronto Marlies at Van Andel Arena, and trounced them 7-2. The Marlies were shit-heads all night, what with their diving that the refs fell for a couple times, their crosschecking, boarding, slashing, etc... I could tell early on in the game that if the refs didn't get the Marlies under control and punish them for their crap, that things would get out of control. To the Griffins great credit, they kept their cool, stayed disciplined, and kept playing their game and scoring goals.
Landon Ferraro was boarded hard at high speed and almost rammed head first into the station, no penalty. He was later crosschecked twice in the back and neck while down on the ice, also with no penalty. He then let the referee know he was displeased about it, and received a 10 minute game misconduct. I don't blame him for being pissed at all. A Marlie took his stick and hit/hooked Nathan Paetsch in the chest away from the play... guess what...no penalty. The Marlies were downright disgraceful, and they could barely stay on their feet *cough* divers *cough* and the most frustrating part was that the refs bought it on several occasions. Those kinds of things occurred all game long, and I have a lot of respect for how the Griffins conducted themselves, because I wanted to punch Marlies players all night long. But the Griffins didn't retaliate unless to defend themselves, and even in most cases when the Marlies were ganging up on them and trying to scrum, the Griffins would just let the referees step in & break it up, which drove the Marlies even crazier. Their goalie, Christopher Gibson, even got in on the "fun", once coming out of his crease to taunt and wave his stick at Tomas Nosek while Nosek waited for the Marlie behind the net to make a move. That was especially comical since Nosek scored on him just minutes earlier. Later in the game, Gibson came out to play the puck behind the net, ran out of time as Nosek came in and tried to steal the puck from him, and Gibson ditched the puck, slammed Nosek into the side of the Marlies net (temporarily knocking the net off) and literally held him there for several seconds. Guess what. No penalty or stoppage! That's apparently a legal thing now, not holding, or interference (since Nosek never had the puck), nope late in a game that's already out of control, that's an ok thing to do.
That's the kind of stuff that happened all night long, and with just over 3 minutes left in the game, and the Griffins with a 7-2 lead, things finally boiled over and Chris Bruton had enough. The brawl, as the video clearly shows, spilled over onto the bench, into the space between the benches where a photographer was, and of course on the ice. Here are the penalties that were called. Oh, and the Marlies got a power play out of the brawl. Afterwards, they showed Bruton up on the big screen, and all of us in the arena went nuts cheering and applauding him. He finally did what most of us had wanted to do for a while. In these circumstances, I'm glad Bruton did what he did, the refs clearly weren't going to send a message or take care of what they should, and the Griffins put up with crap all night long. With 3 minutes left and a solid 7-2 lead, let 'em have it!
The Marlies suck and they're disgraceful. The Toronto organization sucks and is disgraceful. I hope you enjoyed getting your asses kicked, Marlies. Get used to it.