Here's a guy that i never much liked when he played but have certainly warmed up to since. The "lion killer" is a bit of a jab from Ed Westfall
's comment in the clip i first saw him in, a divisional battle vs islander Gerald Diduck
where he celebrated the fight.
Funny how you take a shine to certain guys but dislike similar ones. For instance, i've always liked Dennis Vial
but never rooted for Rudy despite the fact he's probably a superior scrapper.
From his entrance into the NHL as a ranger tough guy where he had 31 fights in his rookie campaign to his end in St. Louis as an excellent compliment to Tony Twist
, poeschek amassed an amazing 123 fights in only 364 career NHL games. A most willing and entertaining fighter who left us with a bunch of highlight reel memories and compiled a fine card.
DYG credits him with a record of 18-3-10 in his first year in New York including a 5-0 preseason highlighted by nice wins over underrated minor league technician Rod Dallman
and a clear win over Dale Kushner
. It set the tone for a season where he fought a ton of divisional battles. He got clearly beaten by Dave Brown
but tko'ed underrated great Jay Wells
and had his first notable bout vs Darin Kimble
in a tradition of T2T wars. He also had two wins over Basil Mcrae
He then followed that up in his 2nd year with a nice win over Jim Kyte
, his second loss to Craig Berube
who he had trouble with and that bout vs diduck in the LI-NY rivalry.
He bounced back and forth to the minors and found time to engage greats like both Roberge brothers and Jim Mckenzie
. I know i've been vaguely impressed by clips i've seen (probably vs the nearly peerless Serge Roberge
). For sure, rudy didn't shy away from anyone and fought the Probert's, Brown's, Twist's, Laus, Mckenzie, J. Kordic, Miller, Ray, Berube, Wells, McCarthy and many others, giving his best account in T2T bouts.
He had a one year run in winnipeg highlighted by a fine bout in a loss to a quebec version of Tony Twist
. Two very similar fighters at that stage. He also fought great John Kordic
He then resurfaced in Tampa bay for a run where i recall that all time caps classic vs Craig Berube
where both men were bloodied in a short, furious war that went Berube's way. He suffered few big losses in his career but was handled easily by Mark Tinordi
He had many outstanding bouts in tampa. A close battle with Bob Probert
where he pressed the fight and did well until probie got loose from his equipment. He couldn't solve Dave Brown
but had good battles vs Darin Kimble
in a clear win and the first good fight with Brad May
He also began a series with Paul Laus
. Unfortunately there isn't much video to enjoy on it. He took wins over Rob Ray
(who he never lost to via DYG) and had a stunning T2T win over Shawn Antoski
Following my notes (
), he lost a marathon to Marty Mcsorley
on a late round decision but bloodied Brad May
and beat Jay Wells
again. His series with wells who is in my top 22 really is a feather in poeschek's cap IMO. He fought twist again and had a great punchup with short timer Alex Stojanov. He also beat similar Ken Belanger
who was another short term force in a memorable bout.
He then found his way to St. Louis where he was a fine #2 behind Tony Twist
. He fought less but had a highlight war with Patrick Cote
, a nice draw with a calgary version of Sandy McCarthy
and a win over Dan Kordic
. He also fought great Jim Mckenzie
and was finally dropped by all time great Donald Brashear
in one of those dominant showings by brash.
All in all, Rudy is a guy who has grown on me. A free swinging brawler with a fine chin. He fought a roster of greats that a lot of people avoided and did quite well. For every negative like guys like Dave Brown
or Craig Berube
that he struggled to solve, there are series vs greats like Rob Ray
or Jay Wells
that went in his favor and many, many outstanding clips to enjoy.
123 fights in only 364 games vs all comers. Here's a guy that i didn't care much for but i'm sure that i would have liked if he had played on my team. Certainly a guy that has grown on me on the intervening years like so many guys i didn't like when they played.