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Breaking down the "Fabbri Crawford Incident" from the 2nd period

A frame by frame review of Crawford confronting Fabbri and the mayhem that ensued as a result.

Hi Robby.  I'm Corey.  And this here is my goalie stick Lucille.
Hi Robby. I'm Corey. And this here is my goalie stick Lucille.
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Blues and Blackhawks games are raucous. Last night's game was almost out of control. In the second period with the game tied at one goal a piece, Fabbri made a move to the net that resulted in him coming into contact with Crawford.  It seemed like a normal hockey play.  Apparently Crawford felt otherwise and immediately confronted Fabbri near the corner.  Hildy provides a great overview of the incident as well as a short video clip of what happened if you don't remember or haven't seen it yet.

Much to everyone's surprise, including a Blackhawks' beat writer, the Blackhawks walked away from that melee with a power play.  Even though the Blackhawks' goal tender purposefully left his net to confront Fabbri, which then started all the mayhem, why did the referees award the Blackhawks a power play instead of the Blues.  Let's break it down moment by moment.

First we start off with the two shots from Robby Fabbri and the saves by Crawford.  Fabbri skates into the slot towards the net and with his first shot lifts his right foot.  He looks slightly off balance as he continues gliding towards the front of the net following up his rebound with a second shot.

By the time of Fabbri's second shot Jonathan Toews comes up behind Fabbri and sandwiches Fabbri between himself and Crawford as the puck rebounds off Crawford's left pad.

At this point Toews is pushing Fabbri into Crawford, but not necessarily on top of him.  Crawford's upper body is leaning to the left following the play of the puck just as Fabbri did.  You can see from the screen cap above that Fabbri is now making contact with Crawford's body.  But as Fabbri continues his fall we can see he attempts to avoid Crawford by adjusting his body and rotating towards his left side.

So now Fabbri is on his back and sliding towards the corner while Crawford is still upright and Toews has control of the puck and starts to move it up ice out of his zone.  This is where it gets interesting.

We see Crawford stand up, and start heading in the direction of Fabbri.

Fabbri starts to get up on his knees facing Crawford as Crawford's intention are becoming more and more clear.

The camera follows the play but you can still see Crawford going after Fabbri in the upper left corner.  Just before they disappear from view, you see Fabbri reach out his hands and stick in an effort to ward off the oncoming juggernaut.  With the puck at center ice and moving toward the Blues' zone, the fans all start standing and pointing back towards Crawford and Fabbri, the players then notice and start to turn back towards the Fabbri/Crawford tussle.  The perspective switches to a camera behind the glass right by Fabbri and Crawford who are now being pulled apart by a referee that was in the vicinity.  Then out of no where Rozsival skates in behind the referee, who is trying to pull apart Fabbri and Crawford, and Berglund joins the fray with Toews clinging along for the ride.

The referee manages to get Crawford extracted from his fight while Berglund is now engaged with Roszival while Roszival is on top of Fabbri.  Behind and to the left of Crawford we see Shattenkirk and Ladd starting to fight.

As the camera perspective switches we can see how everyone is paired up.  Crawford is now off to the side.  Tarasenko is on top of Toews who is on top of Berglund who is on top of Roszival is on top of Fabbri.  Meanwhile Trevor van Riemsdyk and Pietrangelo glide arm and arm with one another towards what appears to be a situation coming under control.

Things start to settle down and one of the referees manages to pull Shattenkirk away from Ladd.  We see some shots of a referee talking to Crawford.  Crawford looks pissed, but why he has any reason to be that upset is anyone's guess.  The camera then suddenly switches perspectives and we see Ladd confronting Tarasenko and they start to tussle.  Petro takes notices and moves in to help his teammate.

As Petro steps in he brings along van Riemsdyk who has still remained attached to Petro this entire time.  Petro has had enough of Trevor (just like I have had enough of spelling his last name) and takes a swing at him.

The referees manage to get this newest flare up under control but the conflict moves up right along the boards and Shattenkirk is right back at it again but this time with Toews.

The referees quickly pull them apart and we are done.

After all of that, what was the damage?  This is how the referees sorted out this debacle.

  • Crawford receives roughing on Fabbri which is served by Panik.
  • Fabbri receives goalie interference.
  • Shattenkirk receives roughing against Ladd
  • Ladd receives roughing against Shattenkirk
  • Pietrangelo receives roughing against Ladd
Starting with the first penalty, that was deserved.  Crawford was clearly guilty of roughing.  He had no business leaving his crease to confront Fabbri behind the play.  Especially when it was Toews that pushed Fabbri into him.

The goalie interference against Fabbri is baffling.  If a penalty did occur, it would have been a delayed call because the Blackhawks had control of the puck coming out of their zone.  However, the Blues managed to gain control of the puck in the neutral zone and even make a pass before all hell brook loose.  The play would have been whistled dead at that point.  So apparently this goalie interference call was made up well after the fact and had Crawford not confronted Fabbri creating the chaos that forced a stoppage in play, no penalty would have been called on Fabbri.

The Shattenkirk and Ladd penalties are off-setting.  No issues with those calls. Those both seem reasonable and expected.

The Pietrangelo roughing on Ladd is very confusing however.  The only thing I can think of that earned him this penalty was his attempt to get through a referee to get between Ladd and Tarasenko.  However, his effort was short lived and he was quickly and easily shoved to the side.  If Petro was guilty of anything it would be roughing on Trevor for that punch to Trevor's head. But if we are to evaluate this call as it stands, it is a weak call.

At the end of all of this, it is still difficult to see how the St. Louis Blues ended up on the penalty kill.  Fabbri should have not received a goalie interference call which would have placed the teams at 4 on 4.  If you want to argue against Petro's penalty on Ladd, and there is a legitimate case to be made that he should not have received it, then the Blues would have had the man advantage.

The game still turned out in favor of the Blues after a crazy third period, but this specific event should definitely be reviewed by league officials.  It would be nice to have an explanation as to how you can call a penalty on a player long after the play had ended and no official had signaled a penalty prior to an unrelated stoppage in play.