Mike Ribeiro, according to reports after the game, appeared to have gotten a little too close to the red line for Atlanta's Eric Boulton. Boulton confronted him and the two started jawing. Reportedly Boulton knocked the stick out of Ribeiro's hands and the teams gathered from there.
It was a curious scene because as a spectator, your instincts are to look for the officials, who of course, aren't on the ice. There are no coaches. There were only players, left to their own devices, with the likes of Barch, Ribeiro and Ott at the forefront.
46.20 Fines and Suspensions – Fighting Other Than During the Periods of the Game - Any teams whose players become involved in an altercation, other than during the periods of the game, shall be fined automatically twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) in addition to any other appropriate penalties that may be imposed upon the participating players by supplementary discipline or otherwise.
Any player who would be deemed to be an instigator pursuant to this ruleat a time other than during the periods of the game shall be suspended automatically for ten (10) games. Such determination may be made by the Referee at the time of the incident or subsequently by the Commissioner or his designee based upon such reports and other information as he deems sufficient, including but not limited to television tapes.
Trevor Daley indicated on the post game show on the Ticket that the team could also be fined $50,000. Wonder how he knew that? Did they get a talking to in the locker room before the game?
NHL on The Fly had brief video of the incident last night and it did appear that Mike Ribeiro was in the middle of it with Boulton, so it would hardly be surprising if a hand full of fines were handed out. There was some mild "pushing" going on.
It looked like both sides were waiting for someone to throw the first punch but no one was quite so stupid. Ten games in a hefty, hefty penalty.
"I think everybody had strings tied to their gloves to their backs," said Steve Ott of the altercation. "It's good to see the intensity."
It really wasn't a big deal but in all the hundreds of Stars games I've been to, I don't think I've ever seen something like that.