CALGARY, AB -- It’s in the hands of the National Hockey League.
Calgary Flames defenceman Deryk Engelland isn’t concerned about any supplementary discipline following a skirmish in the late stages of a 4-1 loss against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round matchup.
"That's the League's decision,” he said following an optional skate at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday. “I don't think anyone in there got an instigator, it was kind of everyone coming together. The league will look at it and make the decision and we'll find out when we do."
Coach Bob Hartley wasn’t willing to weigh in on potential lineup changes should Engelland face suspension.
“We have players but I’m not going to start getting involved in guessing games, what happens or not,” he said. “We always adjust and we have plenty of bodies.”
With 1:17 remaining in regulation, pushing and shoving escalated into an all-out donnybrook, pitting a five-on-five round of fisticuffs that saw both teams combine for 122 minutes in penalties. Featured amongst the festivities was a two-round tilt between Engelland and Derek Dorsett, which also included a cameo appearance by Dan Hamhuis.
Having to square off against two at once was a first for the 33-year-old.
"No, I never thought I'd have to fight two guys at once but I guess you've got to expect the unexpected,” Engelland said. “That kind of stuff happens all the time -- not as much anymore but back in junior days it did.”
With Engelland already engaged with Dorsett, Hamhuis skated over and joined the fray with a bear hug on Engelland. Post-game Hamhuis suggested the linesman asked him to step into the melee and lend some assistance with action scattered all across the ice.
Engelland disregarded the comment.
"I never heard anything like that,” Engelland said. “All I did when we got up I seen him coming across the ice so I was just trying to protect myself and do what I can."
The scene was reminiscent of a regular season game between the two clubs on Jan. 18, 2014 when a line brawl ensued off the opening face-off. Two seconds, five fights, eight ejections and 150 minutes in penalties was the result.
At the time, the Flames credited the spectacle with uniting the team.
Engelland suggested the festivities in Game 2 could do the same.
"I think it brings us a little bit tighter together,” he said. “We knew right from the beginning of the season that all the guys in the room would stick up for one another no matter who it was. To have that and guys sticking up for each other despite the loss it was a great job sticking up for one another, it's a big thing for our team."
BENNETT FEELING FINE
A bump with Canucks defenceman Alexander Edler isn’t going to keep Sam Bennett down.
The 18-year-old rookie left the game and underwent evaluation following the collision before returning and skating just 1:59 in three shifts in the third period.
But Bennett is feeling fine.
“It was just a bump, maybe knocked the wind out of me a bit,” he said. “I’m fine now, 100 percent fine. That won’t be a problem. Definitely there are times to finish your checks and times to pick you spots. I think ultimately you’ve got to finish your checks if you want to play and that’s what I’m going to keep trying to do.
“That’s a huge part of my game. That’s something that I need to bring to my game is the physical aspect. I’m going to try to not get away from that as much as possible.”
He’s expected to return for Game 3.
“He got bumped but at the same time, who’s 100 percent at this time of the year,” Hartley said. “It’s part of the game. It’s a physical game. You’re playing a plan of seven games in basically 13 nights against the same opponents. There’s going to be lots of physical contact, emotions run high and there’s going to be bumps and bruises.”
BACK TO HILLER
A late-game goaltending swap in Game 3 shouldn’t create a goaltending controversy for the Flames.
Instead, Hartley’s decision to insert Karri Ramo in the late stages of the game had more to do with getting the goaltender some in-game action and less to do with Jonas Hiller’s performance.
“[Hiller] will start tomorrow,” Hartley said. “It was just that I felt with [Ramo]’s injury in Edmonton, he hasn’t played in a few days and with the score 3-zip, I felt that just give him a feel. We’ve said it all along the way that we have two goalies capable of winning some big games for us. We feel that we have two No. 1 goalies but for tomorrow Jonas Hiller will be our starter.”
Hiller is 1-1 with a 2.11 goals against average and .934 save percentage to start the season.
NOTES: The Flames held an optional skate Saturday that featured Hiller, Ramo and Jon Gillies. Also skating was Corey Potter, Tyler Wotherspoon, Drew Shore, Mason Raymond and Mark Giordano.