blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: Today In NHL History - Downie Punches Blake

Friday, January 5, 2024

Today In NHL History - Downie Punches Blake

On January 5th in 2008, Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie sucker-punched the Maple Leafs' Jason Blake as the pair were being restrained by officials following early third period fisticuffs.
Already famous for a vicious preseason headshot on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond, earning him a 20 game suspension and criticism from players league-wide (including Blake), the reckless rookie renewed his reputation as a cheapshot four games into his young NHL career.

Even hard-nosed hockey commentator and Coach's Corner co-host Don Cherry was disgusted by the display, dubbing Downie a backstabber.
Flyers VP Bobby Clarke instead applauded his player for the punch, claiming "the kid did what every hockey player should do. If a player like Blake who's been around as long as he has wants to criticize a player, then he has to go on the ice with him and suffer the consequences."
Downie was penalized four minutes on the play but escaped another suspension. Philadelphia beat Toronto that night by a score of 3-2.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Downie Slewfoots Crosby.
* See also Today In NHL History - Downie Hits McAmmond.