While last night’s almost-full slate of games didn’t fulfill expectations in terms of quanity, the fights that took place yesterday were certainly quality stuff.
Thursday’s fight card was headlined by the fourth career meeting between Eric Boulton and Colton Orr during the opening minutes of Thrashers-Rangers. Orr was the more active combatant early on but Boulton came back with a string of counter-punches and the two continued to exchange blows in a long one.
Darcy Tucker dropped the gloves in his first fight of the season with Derek Dorsett, who tied Riley Cote for the league-lead in fighting majors with six each and traded with Tucker in a fast-paced bout early on in Jackets-Avs. Jared Boll fought twice later on in the game, dancing with Ian Laperriere in the second and then challenging Cody McLeod after a big hit on Dorsett in the third.
Jared Boll vs Cody McLeod Oct 30, 2008
Tim Gleason vs Cam Janssen Oct 30, 2008
Jared Boll vs Ian Laperriere Oct 30, 2008
Derek Dorsett vs Darcy Tucker Oct 30, 2008
Eric Boulton vs Colton Orr Oct 30, 2008
Janssen enjoys his agitator role with Blues
O’Brien keeping one eye on the puck, one on his waistline
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Nashville Deals Josh Gratton to Philadelphia
Retooling paying off for Rangers
Until the little black book says otherwise, head shots will stay
Q&A with Coyotes analyst Tyson Nash
Some fast food for thought on Isles’ MacDonald
Foote set for “special” game
The Detroit Red Wings were the last team in the NHL to pick up a fighting major. Darren McCarty added the Wings to the list last night when he dropped the gloves with Brad May early in the second period of the Ducks OT win over the Wings.
McCarty’s had an up and down season already, being placed on and clearing waivers, getting sent to Grand Rapids of the AHL, and recalled a few days later.
The Fistic 15
It’s not the Forbes 500, but it’ll do. Peter J. Schwartz of Forbes.com compiles the Best Hockey Fighters for the Buck.
To determine the best fighters for the buck, we compared player fighting stats since the start of the 2006-07 season to their pay last year. Since a game’s momentum usually swings to the team whose player prevails in a fight, we awarded a bonus for each win and subtracted points for each loss, as determined by fan voting at hockeyfights.com, an online Mecca for pugilism at the rink.
When comparing salaries, we took experience into account by contrasting a player’s pay with a pool of enforcers that have similar longevity in the league, since younger players have pay-limits set by the NHL. Only the 15 players currently active on NHL rosters who dropped their gloves 20 or more times while playing in at least half their team’s games over the past two seasons were included in our ranking.
Colton Orr took the top value spot. Georges Laraque, with the heftiest salary, still ranked second thanks to his near-flawless record (which helped him command that salary). The top 15 can be seen in a photo gallery here.
Renaming the Gordie Howe Hat Trick
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Despite diabetes, Panthers’ Boynton keeps healthy outlook
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The best hits from the past week, made by the NHL.
Everyone loves a Gordie Howe Hat Trick. For any hard-working player, it’s an achievement to be proud of, some numbers proving you contributed all over. Almost as good as one of those good ole normal hat tricks? To some, yes.
There’s a dirty little secret though: Gordie Howe only had a couple of Gordie Howe Hat Tricks. It’s a tough thing to bring up in hockey circles. Mr. Hockey is revered, and rightfully so. He was the ultimate combination of skill and toughness. Suggesting the GHHT should have a different name is blasphemy to some.
I’ve had this conversation with quite a few people. Where’d the name come from? Why? If we were to rename it, what would we call it?
The origin has no concrete answer.
The why, in the end, is probably the easiest answer. At least, why we haven’t renamed it. Gordie Howe is known, respected, and few care to look at the stats in what some would see as an attempt to bring his reputation down.
What would we rename it? There are some good options, and this question is probably why it’s become a conversation I’ve had so many times.
Two people I’ve spoken with are CBC’s Jeff Marek and hockey research superstar Paul Patskou. With Paul’s help, Jeff has laid out all the facts and numbers available.
However, like many of you, I’m curious where the phrase Gordie Howe hat trick came from. He was not the first player to register a goal, assist and fight in a game, that distinction belongs to Toronto Arena’s Harry Cameron who did so on Dec. 26, 1917. Yes, he did it on Boxing Day, how appropriate.
A surprising number
Howe didn’t accomplish the feat the most times, either. For a while Rick Tocchet held the unofficial record, which has since been broken, we believe, by both Shanahan and Iginla. In fact, Howe, as you will see below, only accomplished the “trick” twice.
Heck, Sidney Crosby is half way there already.
Perhaps the term is more symbolic than anything, indicative of a spirit as opposed to a fact.
Nonetheless, in order to try and put this issue to bed, here is the list of Howe’s confirmed NHL fights with brief analysis of some based on limited video evidence and newspaper reports.
Again, this isn’t about trying to prove anything negative about Mr. Howe, it’s simply following through when the question “why is it called a Gordie Howe Hat Trick?” was asked.
There are other great powerforwards from the modern game who also embodied the skill and toughness blend general managers would kill for. Two that come to mind right away are Leafs legend Wendel Clark and Boston favorite Cam Neely, who every hard-hitting rookie is inevitably compared to.
Does it matter that this unofficial, but popular statistic is named after a
man legend, who only accomplished the feat twice? If so, who would you rename it after?
Only two fights took place following a total of seven NHL games last night. Eric Godard took on Jody Shelley while the Pens visited the Sharks last night and tied Riley Cote for the league-lead in fighting majors in the process. Godard’s activity is a change of pace in Pittsburgh - It took Georges Laraque until late December last season to reach the same number.
While the Flyers took a night off in terms of fighting, (Philadelphia has recorded at least one scrap in all but two games so far this season) they managed to somewhat take the city’s mind off of a potential World Series victory with a 7-0 stomping of the Thrashers. After failing to record a victory before this past weekend, the Flyers have now won three straight.
Storytime with Grapes
Don Cherry has published another book. “Don Cherry’s Hockey Stories and Stuff”, which went on-sale yesterday, features a collection of tales that Cherry has gathered from his playing days in various minor leagues as well as his coaching career and his subsequent time as hockey’s most famous broadcaster. You can read an excerpt from the book here.
No rest leads to weary playoff goalies
Hate to see Rangers-Islanders rivalry put on ice
Hard-hitting style on the ice keeps Clutterbuck with Wild
Oilers’ MacIntyre rewarded for his perseverance
Dramatic turnabout for Letourneau-Leblond
The Versus Hockey Blackout
Avery talks about his love for fashion
Lecavalier takes Melrose to heart
Flyers have to make quick decision
Ott should give Dallas Stars needed energy
A league-wide day off didn’t slow anything down, as there were five fights in six games Monday night. The numbers are still quite high, and no one is complaining here.
A couple of rivalries produced some bouts. Aaron Voros went with Nate Thompson in the Islanders-Rangers game, and the Sabres-Sens series continued to be fiesty. Mike Fisher and Mike Weber had a short-lived go, but Chris Neil and Andrew Peters swung away later on.
Chris Neil vs Andrew Peters Oct 27, 2008
Mike Fisher vs Mike Weber Oct 27, 2008
Aaron Voros vs Nate Thompson Oct 27, 2008
Brian Sutherby vs Derek Dorsett Oct 27, 2008
Kent Huskins vs Derek Dorsett Oct 27, 2008
Annoying Upshsall more than a pest
Canucks’ Rypien out indefinitely with hernia
Rookie Gilles returns to lineup after press box stay
Hockey Night in Europe: Dwindling Crowds in Germany May Be Opportunity for N.H.L.
5 Things: Tampa in trouble; it’s not about the money with Gaborik
Ask the Sharks: Shelley’s Answers
Carle ‘understood’ trade from Sharks to Tampa Bay
Thrashers attendance sinks
Ovechkin to Miss at Least One Game to Visit Ailing Grandfather in Russia
All 30 teams in the NHL played on Saturday, making it only the second time it’s happened. The first was shortly after the NHL resumed play after the 2004-05 lockout season.
Due to the World Series game (that didn’t wind up starting on time thanks to rain), the Flyers-Devils matchup was moved up to a late afternoon game. It was a hard-fought game, literally, with four fights, including a two-for-one involving Pierre-Luc Leblond, Riley Cote, Mike Rupp and Arron Asham. Rupp and Asham were ejected for being involved in the second fight. Like the Phillies, the Flyers won late. Jeff Carter scored the OT winner.
A fairly busy night there were eight more fights in the remaining fourteen games. The Oilers-Canucks western Canadian rivalry produced the only other multi-fight match-up. Steve MacIntyre had his second fight in a similar scenario as the first. Mac leveled Mattias Ohlund along the boards, and Rob Davison stuck up for his teammate by going right after the big man. Ohlund then drop the gloves himself later with Erik Cole, after Cole got an elbow up a little high on Ohlund.
Barnaby on Avery
Sean Avery is always a hot topic. He’s done a good job of making sure it stays that way. Now-ESPN analyst, and former agitator himself, Matthew Barnaby says there’s one big difference between him and Avery, at least he hopes:
When Steve Levy said Thursday that Barnaby “played a lot” like Avery, Barnaby’s pointed out what he believes is the key difference between himself and Avery who famously interned at Vogue magazine: “I loved being Public Enemy No. 1 and I know that Sean Avery loves it too. The only difference between myself and Sean Avery is my teammates, I think, liked me and I can’t say the same thing about Sean.”
Tim Gleason vs Nate Thompson Oct 25, 2008
Chris Neil vs Luke Schenn Oct 25, 2008
Erik Cole vs Mattias Ohlund Oct 25, 2008
Steve MacIntyre vs Rob Davison Oct 25, 2008
Mark Giordano vs Daniel Carcillo Oct 25, 2008
Donald Brashear vs Krys Barch Oct 25, 2008
Ryane Clowe vs Ryan Malone Oct 25, 2008
Sheldon Brookbank vs Scott Hartnell Oct 25, 2008
Michael Rupp vs Arron Asham Oct 25, 2008
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond vs Riley Cote Oct 25, 2008
Michael Rupp vs Riley Cote Oct 25, 2008
Toughness questions answered by Godard
Jersey colors getting to be all about the money
Surly sophomore fights flip-out flash
Minnesota Wild’s Derek Boogaard happy to be healthy and contributing this season
Clothes Make The Ice Man
No one remembers No. 2, eh Daigle? Well, Pronger’s wondering what happened to No. 1 from 1993 draft
Lemieux says he could beat Avery
Martin Brodeur in a class by himself
Four fights took place throughout the Kings-Blues game Friday night, the evening’s most active. Sean O’Donnell took exception to a Cam Janssen hit in the first period and the two ended up dropping the gloves. A similar situation occurred in the second after Matt Greene leveled Dan Hinote with an open-ice hit, prompting Barret Jackman to go after him. Hinote got into the act in the third period, locking horns with Brad Richardson while Wayne Simmonds danced with Yan Stastny late in the game as well. It was the first regular season NHL fight for both Richardson and Simmonds.
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond drilled Riley Cote from behind in the first period of Flyers-Devils and it took Cote until the second stanza to attempt to exact revenge on Leblond, who also participated in his first regular season tussle last night. Three minutes after the heavyweights went, David Clarkson and Andrew Alberts fought, too. George Parros and Chris Neil exchanged blows in the night’s only other scrap.
Tomorrow’s slate of games has every single NHL team in action and could be an active one in terms of fighting as seven out of the fifteen scheduled games are between divisional opponents.
Wayne Simmonds vs Yan Stastny Oct 24, 2008
Brad Richardson vs Dan Hinote Oct 24, 2008
Matt Greene vs Barret Jackman Oct 24, 2008
Sean O’Donnell vs Cam Janssen Oct 24, 2008
Andrew Alberts vs David Clarkson Oct 24, 2008
Riley Cote vs Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond Oct 24, 2008
George Parros vs Chris Neil Oct 24, 2008
Dukes are up
My day as Jerry Springer’s security guard
Vanek sheds stress of contract and expectations
Getting To Know: Bryan Murray
Flinn’s The Man for Bulldogs
The NHL.‘s Marketing Plan: Count on Crosby
All Islanders need to do is follow Rays’ model
Panthers’ forward Stewart waits for his chance
World Juniors coming to Buffalo
Coyotes’ Doan breaks puck on shot
Two of the Eastern Conference’s tough guy pairings were in action during the first two periods of last night’s Hurricanes-Penguins game. Paul Bissonnette picked up another win in his rookie campaign as he took on Dan LaCouture in the first while Wade Brookbank looked impressive in a second period scrap against Eric Godard.
Minutes after Jason Strudwick and Cody McCormick fought late in Oilers-Avalanche, Ian Laperriere sealed his Gordie Howe hat trick by tangling with Zack Stortini in a disappointing bout. Laperriere’s frustrations with Stortini’s style were made public as he skated to the penalty box. The night’s lone other fight was Brandon Prust mixing it up with Nick Tarnasky.
Also, it wasn’t a fight, but Milan Lucic putting Mike Van Ryn through the glass was definitely the highlight of Thursday’s action. Brian McGrattan made an appearance yesterday evening as well, dressing in his first regular season game for the Coyotes.
Kevin Smith Talks Zack and Miri, Hockey
In a pretty fun interview with Yahoo! Sports Puck Daddy blog regarding his latest movie, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”, director Kevin Smith discusses everything under the sun including the movie itself, hockey in films, and the hardships of being a New Jersey Devils fan:
PD: I know, as a Devils fan, I’ve attempted to explain that being a fan is essentially like being a Jersey native. That they share the same traits: Humble, but angry; constantly defending every deficiency that you’re associated with through birth or residence. Do you see the team as symbolic to Jersey as a whole?
Smith: Yeah, and for me it’s no different than growing up fat. If you grow up fat, you have to try harder. Being a Devils fan, you just have to try harder. You have to be more patient, put up with a lot more ribbing from everybody else, and find your calm center.
Zack Stortini vs Ian Laperriere Oct 23, 2008
Jason Strudwick vs Cody McCormick Oct 23, 2008
Brandon Prust vs Nick Tarnasky Oct 23, 2008
Wade Brookbank vs Eric Godard Oct 23, 2008
Dan LaCouture vs Paul Bissonnette Oct 23, 2008
Enforcers pleased as punch with new stats on fighting
Clarkson: Avery wouldn’t fight
Flames teammates OK with Bourque’s crime
McGrattan accepts diminished role
Capitals Sign John Erskine to Two-Year Contract Extension
Skill best deterrent against goons
Sutter making his name
Peca tries to get over anger
Sharks’ Boyle braces to revisit breakup
Avery’s trash talk elicits trash talk from critics
Sundin may grab headlines, but there’s other players looking for teams too
Milan Lucic threw a big hit on Mike Van Ryn, shattering the glass, and cementing the two of them on this season’s highlight reel.