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Flames-Canucks brawl too much?

Rarely has that old "went to a fight but a hockey game broke out" joke been more true than Saturday night, when the Calgary Flames started their fourth line, the Vancouver Canucks responded by doing the same ... then the two squads stopped playing two seconds in to brawl it out. The teams ended up with 188 first-period penalty minutes. Two days later, Vancouver coach John Tortorella was suspended 15 days for attempting to enter the Flames' locker room. All of this comes at a sensitive time for fighting in hockey. Was this incident over the line?

  • How do you feel about the Flames and Canucks brawling just two seconds into the game?

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      66%
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      34%

    Discuss (Total votes: 28,537)

  • What do you make of the NHL suspending Canucks coach John Tortorella 15 days for his actions during Saturday's game vs. the Flames?

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      39%
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      44%
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      17%

    Discuss (Total votes: 46,580)

  • What do you make of the NHL fining Flames coach Bob Hartley $25,000 for his "responsibility" for his team's brawl with the Canucks on Saturday?

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      36%
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      41%
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      23%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,263)

  • Which of these is true of fighting in hockey?

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      11%
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      20%
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      52%
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      17%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,748)

  • When you watch/attend a hockey game, do you hope to see a fight?

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      77%
    •  
      23%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,503)

  • What should the NHL do about fighting?

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      11%
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      20%
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      69%

    Discuss (Total votes: 50,638)

  • What will the NHL do about fighting?

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      7%
    •  
      30%
    •  
      63%

    Discuss (Total votes: 6,836)

  • What would your interest in the NHL be if fighting was banned?

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      7%
    •  
      58%
    •  
      35%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,015)

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The Original Six still rule in the Uni Watch Power Rankings, with the Montreal Canadiens taking the top spot and four more members finding footing in the top six. Do you agree? Or should some newbies take the higher places? Click the logos to set your rankings!

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We can understand if you don't want to take the time to grade your tech-support help on the other end of the telephone, but when we're talking about the dollars and emotion you've invested in sports, we think it's worth the effort. It's time for ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings, in which SportsNation grades organizations on everything from ticket prices and stadium experience to the talent on the field, court or rink. Which team will end up on top this year? It depends on what you say.

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It's just like the census, only this one is fun and doesn't come in the mail. And nobody from FOX News or MSNBC will yell at you about it. It's time for ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings, in which SportsNation grades organizations on everything from ticket prices and stadium experience to the talent on the field, court or rink. Which team will end up on top this year? It depends on what you say.

Take part in the 2010 MLB survey
2009 MLB Ultimate Standings
1. Los Angeles Angels (Overall: No. 1)
2. Milwaukee Brewers (Overall: No. 7)
3. Tampa Bay Rays (Overall: No. 16)
4. Minnesota Twins (Overall: No. 23)
5. Philadelphia Phillies (Overall: No. 24)

Take part in the 2010 NFL survey
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1. Pittsburgh Steelers (Overall: No. 3)
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Believe it or not, the start of the NHL regular season is just about a week away. No, seriously, we're not kidding. We know the leaves haven't turned and summer doesn't actually end until today, but what the heck, it's been, what, at least three or four weeks since the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, right?

Then again, maybe that short offseason helps keep the NHL fresh in SportsNation's mind. A year ago, voters correctly predicted the Red Wings to win the Western Conference and made the Penguins their second choice, behind the Red Wings, to win it all.

Blackhawks star Patrick Kane and ESPN.com writer Scott Burnside stopped by chat Monday to help SportsNation get its ice legs before jetting off to Europe (Burnside to Stockholm for the Red Wings and Blues and Kane to Helsinki for the Blackhawks and Panthers).

Jason (Ellicott City, MD)

You are only rated an 86 in NHL. What is up with that?

Patrick Kane
c

I think an 86 is pretty good to be honest with you. I think the highest are Crosby and 94 and Ovechkin at 92. I thought I'd be better than Teows, but I am still on the cover. I got him by that. Full transcript

AJ (Champaign, Ill.)

How do the Blackhawks avoid a lull in their performance after they return from Finland?

Scott Burnside
c

AJ; Good question. The European experiment has been decidedly mixed in terms of how it affects teams. All four coaches who went last year got fired although the Pens did end up winning a Cup. I think the 'Hawks' youth and the nice steady hand of head coach Joel Quenneville will keep them from going off the rails when they get back from Finland. Full transcript

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