For both Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres fans, March 29, 1996, is a day they’ll never forget. It was the end of the regular season, and both teams had much to play for. The Flyers were one of the best teams in the league and were fighting for the top place in the East.
The Sabres, on the other hand, still had a shot at the playoffs, and they needed every point they could come across. When the puck eventually dropped, you could tell it wasn’t going to be a dull regular-season game between two teams with little to play for.
The teams were fighting for every puck, and at the end of the second period, all hell broke loose when Matthew Barnaby was drilled from behind.
Barnaby was one of the heavyweights of his era, and he wasn’t the one to skate away from a situation where a fight could occur. During his 14-year-long NHL career, he was in 191 fights and in the top 20 on the list of most penalized players in NHL history.
Something always happened around Barnaby, and this time, against the Sabres that late game in the 1996 season, was no exception.
After Barnaby was taken down, a huge line brawl set off. Players from both teams were quickly at each other, but Barnaby, to most people’s surprise, wasn’t. He was lying in front of the net, supposedly injured. And as the old saying goes, you shouldn’t poke a sleeping bear.
Flyers’ goaltender Garth Snow had nothing to do with the initial fighting, but as Barnaby laid down injured, he skated over to him and tickled him with his goalie stick. The gesture didn’t seem too bad, but Barnaby was outrageous.
To Snow’s surprise, Barnaby jumped up and started beating the crap out of him. Eventually, Sabres goalie Andrei Trefilov skated the length of the ice to get involved, and all hell officially broke loose.
Rob Brind’Amour pulled Barnaby away from his goalie, but that just ended in another fight between those two. It was just an epic sequence, and you must feel for Garth Snow, who did an innocent little tickle. This is old-school hockey at its best!