Remember When… Craig Berube Fought Dale Hunter, Alan May

Posted December 16, 2013

Craig Berube. Image swiped from Japers’ Rink

The Washington Capitals take on the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday for the third of five meetings this season, and the second of two back-to-back games this week. And judging how the last game went, Tuesday might be just as exciting.

In case you forgot what happened last time these Metropolitan teams met in Philadelphia, do the words ‘Ray Emery’ make your blood pressure go up a few notches? There’s probably a reason for that. If memory serves well – and how could anyone forget that November 1st game – the Caps established a 7-0 dominance over the Flyers, which got to be a little too much for the Philly team. A line brawl ensued, during which goaltender Ray Emery took it upon himself to defend the honor of his team, and subsequently wail on a defenseless, deterred and disinclined Braden Holtby. How chivalrous.

Note the sarcasm.

Previously thought impossible (by me, but I could not have predicted that, I’m heartily sorry), the last two games might have sparked the smallest of flames in the before dormant Caps/Flyers rivalry. And while the last game makes today’s matchup more than a little interesting, Flyer’s coach, Craig Berube, adds more heat to this already boiling pot of water.

The famous enforcer totaled 3149 PIMs in his career, often using his fists rather than his stick to end up on the winning side of an argument. While typically associated with the Flyers during his playing career, tough guy Berube spent more seasons with the Capitals. In 1998, he contributed time to every single game in the Stanley Cup Finals. In his six and change seasons with the Caps, the Chief dropped the gloves 108 times to defend Washington’s team. Notably, Berube clashed with Philadelphia legend Ron Hextall.

And yet, he aggravated his fair share of Capitals – Kevin Hatcher, Greg Adams, Kelly Miller, Rod Langway, Dino Ciccarelli, Al Iafrate, Steve Leach, and the two most notable: Dale Hunter and player turned analyst Alan May.

Berube’s varied history adds an interesting dynamic to the mix, but sadly his alliances lie with the Flyers. A nice little repeat win against Philly should help avenge the past Capitals that hit the ice because of Berube’s merciless fists.