It's a shame that goalie fights don't happen nearly as much as they used to. The hockey world was treated to one a couple of weeks back when Mike Smith challenged Cam Talbot and the two went toe-to-toe during the latest edition of the Battle of Alberta. It was the first goalie fight I had ever seen in real-time on TV and it did not disappoint. Tensions were running high and after a scrum in front of the Flames net, it was the perfect opportunity for the goalies to square off.
Often times the refs try to get involved a deescalate the situation before the goalies begin chucking knucks. But one thing I've noticed is that the goalie fights seem to do just that because nobody wants to miss a goalie fight. In the case of the Flames-Oilers Brawl, Tkachuk and Bear were already engaged in a fight, but everyone else on the ice seemed to turn their eyes toward the goalie fight. Then, what do you know? As soon as the goalie fight is over, so are the other altercations. A perfect example of this came from a recent brawl in the Maritime Hockey League.
As soon as the goalies start going at it everyone on the ice stops what they're doing! All the refs have to do from there is sort out the penalties and the game goes on. Back in 2014 in a lopsided game between the Penguins and Canadiens, a scrum broke out late in the game and Marc Andre Fleury and Peret Budaj dropped the gloves, but nothing came of it as the refs hopped in and separated them. But if you look at the video, the same thing happens, everyone on the ice stops what they're doing to catch a glimpse of the goalies going after one and other.
At that point you might as well let the goalies go, everyone else on the ice has stopped fighting, and its certainly what the crowd wants to see. As long as both teams have a backup goalie to throw in I don't see why letting to goalies go is a big deal. It boosts the entertainment value and it helps the refs get a better control of the situation.