The Vancouver Canucks' second scrimmage of their training camp was a lot more spirited than the first. It seems clear that everyone on the team is well aware that the season starts in just a few days and the battles were a little more fierce. The game itself ended 1-1 in regulation, as goaltenders Thatcher Demko and Braden Holtby were also a little more locked-in.
The spirited affair got a little too spirited at one point, as two teammates dropped the gloves and did a little knuckle-chucking in the third period.
Tyler Motte and Adam Gaudette were chasing down a loose puck when Motte wrapped up Gaudette with his stick and hauled him dangerously to the ice. It was arguably a slewfoot, one of the more dangerous plays in hockey, as a player can't protect themselves from hitting their head on the ice.
Gaudette was incensed, and not in the sense that he was lighting and breathing incense, which normally leads to a much more zen state of mind. Instead, Gaudette was ready to rage-quit: he threw down his mitts and started throwing haymakers.
At least one of those punches from Gaudette landed and the two went down in a heap, with Gaudette still looking ready to keep throwing punches when the two returned to their feet.
For some Canucks fans, the fight brought to mind another time Gaudette came up swinging.
At least Gaudette didn't roundhouse kick Motte in the face. That would be a little more dangerous in skates.
While training camp fights aren't unheard of, they're certainly a rarity. Teams like to focus on brotherhood and unity, with everyone pulling together towards a common goal, but the internal battles can be intense at camp.
On Friday, for instance, Gaudette got into it with Elias Pettersson in a 2-on-2 drill, pushing him down from behind. Pettersson got up and gave Gaudette a lumberjack chop to the shinpads, sending Gaudette toppling like a mighty Scots Pine.
That, at least, seemed fairly good-natured. The fight in the scrimmage had some real heat to it. No one in hockey likes to be slewfooted, especially not in a relatively meaningless scrimmage by a teammate.
Will it amount to anything? Probably not. Perhaps Motte will owe Gaudette a dinner on the road. By opening night they might be laughing about it. Heck, it might be a source of lighthearted barbs in the room already.
At the very least, it shows just how game-like the Canucks' scrimmage was, which is a positive sign for their potential readiness for Wednesday's season opener against the Edmonton Oilers.
Team Blue eventually won the scrimmage thanks to an Elias Pettersson goal in an informal — and much calmer — shootout.