While fighting doesn’t have the same impact on the game than it once did (in terms of frequency), we’re still seeing a fair amount of tilts this season. Usual suspects like Tom Wilson and Evander Kane have been finding dance partners, but some pretty unexpected players have dropped the gloves, too. This is often a bad idea. So let’s take a look at five of the most ill-advised fights of the season so far.
Nikolaj Ehlers vs. Ryan Getzlaf
The last thing you want Ehlers doing for Winnipeg is punching. The ultra-talented Dane can make magic with the puck and he is one of the Jets’ top goal-scorers with 13 on the season. He is also listed as six-foot, 172 pounds. Getzlaf, on the other hand, is a war horse with old-man strength who comes in at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. He may be one of the best Anaheim Ducks ever, but he has also fought a lot more than Ehlers in his career. But Ehlers didn’t like the cross-check Getzlaf had laid on him, so he challenged the Ducks captain. It went about as well as you’d imagine.
Jordan Greenway vs. Darnell Nurse
This one just happened and by the tale of the tape, it seems like an even match. Greenway, the Minnesota Wild power forward, is 6-foot-6 and 227 pounds. Nurse, the stalwart Edmonton Oilers defenseman, is 6-foot-4, 221 pounds. Nurse, however, is a very experienced fighter who has taken on the likes of Ryan Reaves and Andrew Shaw. The only other fight Greenway has even been in was with Brian Boyle (who has great reach, but isn’t a typical fighter otherwise). ‘Doc’ Nurse delivered some bad medicine here, proving once again that you don’t mess with someone from Hamilton, Ont. – aka ‘The Hammer.’ Luke Kunin probably owes Greenway a beverage after that one.
Travis Dermott vs. Troy Brouwer
Similar to the Ehlers/Getzlaf tilt. Dermott is a great emerging talent on Toronto’s blueline and his mobility is a big asset. Throwing fists? Not so much. But the youngster didn’t appreciate Brouwer’s interference on a dump-in and decided to challenge the big, strong veteran. Technically this was Toronto’s first fight of the season, but Dermott didn’t really get any punches off. At least the Maple Leafs got the win that night.
John Moore vs. Zack Smith
I honestly didn’t realize Moore had fought so often before I researched it today, but frequency does not always correlate with success. The puckmoving Moore might actually be one of the last Bruins I would want to see in a fight (I mean, Tuukka Rask looks like he would go off in a goalie tilt) and this quick bout with Smith seems to confirm that. Points for sticking up for David Pastrnak, but maybe not a good decision otherwise.
Carolina goalies vs. Everyone
The amusing one involved James Reimer sparking a brawl with Edmonton tough guy Zack Kassian – because Reimer admitted after the game that he probably wouldn’t have started trouble if he had realized which member of the Oilers took a whack at him. But the one that will live on in infamy is Petr Mrazek getting decked by San Jose Sharks legend Joe Thornton. Unfortunately for Mrazek, his encounter is all over YouTube, too.
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