Typically the National Hockey League season is well underway by now, but the last one ended in September and the new one won’t get underway until next year.

I bring this up because today is a not-well-known but notable anniversary for the sport: it was today in 1953 that two teams racked up a then-record 204 penalty minutes. In a game that’s officially 60 minutes long.


It started out as a normal hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs, who were longtime rivals.

There was a charging penalty here, a holding penalty there, nothing out of the ordinary.

But the game got more and more physical as it went on; a fight broke out in the second period.

And in the third, with the Maple Leafs up 3 to 0, the situation became a real-world version of that old joke where you go to a fight and a hockey game breaks out.

It took ten minutes for the officials to restore order.

And there were penalties for virtually everyone.

The only guy who didn’t get one was Montreal’s Doug Harvey, and that’s because he was already in the penalty box!

There were 31 penalties out of the brawl, 41 for the game, 204 penalty minutes in all.

The two teams had to play the last couple minutes of the game without any substitute players available.

And the league issued plenty of fines totaling – remember this is 1953 – nearly $800.

In case you’re wondering, the record has been broken lots of times.

A game in 2004 had 419 penalty minutes! Hockey is a rough game.

Meanwhile in Japan: a guitar player known as Kawai Billy posted a video recently where he’s playing a fast bluesy riff.

That’s what guitarists do, except that he has a blue and white parakeet on his left hand as he played.

Every so often the bird makes a little sound, maybe cheering him on, or maybe even singing along!

Appropriately, he posted this video on Twitter.

This Day in Hockey History – December 9, 1953 – Canadiens Rhubarb Leafs (The Pink Puck)

Guitarist Plays a Rockabilly Riff With Bird on His Hand (Laughing Squid)

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Hockey photo by theblackdog2071 via Flickr/Creative Commons