Murrays and flurries of fights

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Call them "The Battling Murrays."

Senators coach and GM Bryan Murray and St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray (no relation) have seen their teams go at it pretty good over the years.

Andy Murray's Blues visit Scotiabank Place tonight and the last time an Andy Murray team was here in the 2005-06 season, Bryan Murray wound up $10,000 poorer, with a place on youtube.com forever and former Senators defenceman Zdeno Chara suspended.

In fact, on a couple of occasions when Andy Murray visited with the Los Angeles Kings, Senators fans were treated to a couple of the most entertaining nights in recent memory as both games wound up in some serious brawls:

* In the 2001-02 season, the highlight of the game at what was then the Corel Centre was Kings goaltender Felix Potvin and Senators goaltender Jani Hurme duking it out after all 12 players on the ice got into it after a series of scraps earlier in the game. The prelude included Ottawa's Andre Roy vs. L.A.'s Kelly Buchberger; Senator Ricard Persson vs. King Ian Laperierre; L.A.'s Adam Deadmarsh against Ottawa's Wade Redden and Ottawa's Shane Hnidy against King Jason Allison. When Roy got into it with Potvin, a line brawl started. Hurme was giving it to Potvin, but couldn't get his catching glove off. He stopped by the Ottawa bench where Marian Hossa and Todd White loosened the strap and got it off his hand.

* In December 2005, Andy Murray brought the Kings to town again and things started going off the rails when L.A.'s Sean Avery bumped into Ottawa goaltender Dominik Hasek. Avery was kicked out of the game as was Senators winger Chris Neil later with a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct. Late in the game, Kings tough guy Jeff Cowan grabbed Senators rookie Chris Kelly. Eight seconds later, Chara skated from his defence position, grabbed Kings defenceman Tim Gleason and put him through the wringer. Because it was in the last five minutes of the game and Chara was given an instigator penalty, Bryan Murray was fined $10,000 and Chara suspended for a game.

After that game, Bryan Murray got into it with Kings broadcaster Jim Fox, who had said on the air Murray had lost control of his players and something along the lines of sending Chara out there to get Gleason.

"I can't control my guys?" blurted Murray, confronting Fox (this is the sanitized version. You can see the unedited version on youtube). "That's a cheapshot on your part. You don't have the right to cut me up. I've never done anything like this in my career. For you to say that is wrong. You're a ... "

When asked about that confrontation and the potential for more fireworks tonight, Bryan Murray replied: "Is Jim Fox broadcasting for St. Louis? No, John Kelly is. I think we'll be okay."

Bryan Murray will go with goaltender Martin Gerber in goal again tonight, giving him his ninth straight start and the reassurance he wasn't the reason the team dropped a 5-1 decision to the Hurricanes the last time out Sunday afternoon.

"He's just playing," Murray said of Gerber, who is 4-3-1 in the last eight starts with a 2.38 GAA and a .922 save percentage. "He's played well for us. It had nothing to do with winning and losing the other night. We had lots of players that didn't play close to their game and we're playing them tomorrow night. Martin, I thought, played real solid for the most part. He deserves to play. He's worked hard for the chance and we're just playing him."

Gerber is, of course, happy for the chance.

"It's definitely good and definitely different than the way it was before," said Gerber, who didn't like former coach John Paddock's "win and you're win" philosophy. "I really want to get back in there and give the team a chance to win the next game. The way we played the last game, you want to get back and go at it. You want to try and turn things around."

The Blues are coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Canadiens on Tuesday night as they play the eighth game in their nine-game road trip. The win ended a 10-game winless streak on the road for St. Louis.


Photos