The All-Star break is upon us and Wednesday night's slate of games was the last before the festivities begin this weekend in North Carolina.
Jim Vandermeer and Krys Barch kicked off a four-fight affair between the Oilers and Stars. It was a bout in which Vandermeer did well. Colin Fraser and Matt Niskanen squared off at the blueline moments later.
At this point, one has to wonder if George Parros has an incentive in his contract that pertains to fighting. The 31-year-old has never been more active.
Parros picked up another fighting major last night against Jared Boll. It gives him 20 FM's on the year, giving him a five-fight hold on the league lead.
Boll and Zenon Konopka, last year's leader, are tied for second with 15. Parros is also on the same pace as Konopka was at this time last season. Zenon finished with 33 FM's, the most since Peter Worrell did the same nearly ten years ago.
Elsewhere, two scraps came out of Isles-Pens. Less than a minute into the game, Travis Hamonic and Tyler Kennedy decided to drop the gloves. An active middleweight bout between Konopka and Arron Asham took place shortly after.
After expericing some success in the lower weight classes during his rookie campaign, one would naturally expect Kyle Clifford to test the heavyweight waters at some point. On Monday, Shawn Thornton made it easy.
The two exchanged blows in a solid scrap during the first period of Bruins-Kings, and both fighters did pretty well for themselves. The other heavyweight fight of the night featured Cam Janssen and David Koci in a heated battle.
On Saturday, the two teams combined for three first period scraps. Brad Winchester and Derek Dorsett dropped the gloves ten seconds into the game. They were followed by Jared Boll and B.J. Crombeen minutes later.
Elsewhere, Tom Kostopoulos scored a major upset, dropping Kevin Bieksa with the first right hand he threw in the bout. It was Kostopoulos' best punch since he floored Steve Ott back in October 2006, the last fight hockeyfights.com voters have him winning.
It all started with under eight minutes left in the third. Claude Giroux throttled Jesse Winchester with a hit and Chris Neil promptly came across the ice and jumped on top of Giroux. Winchester and Jeff Carter were the only pairing that resulted in a fight, with neither landing anything of note.
Minutes later, Giroux was asked to answer the bell by Nick Foligno and obliged. The two engaged in a spirited, even scrap. On the following faceoff, each team brought out the big guns and a battle ensued.
Jarkko Ruutu and Scott Hartnell exchanged words before dropping the gloves. They were joined by Neil and Jody Shelley in a back and forth tilt. Sean O'Donnell decided to go with Matt Carkner but went down to the ice rather easily.
Yet another meeting between Darcy Hordichuk and Jared Boll resulted in yet another fun scrap. The two dropped the gloves for the fourth time on Wednesday and exchanged some big shots in an entertaining tilt.
Elsewhere, the Rangers blew out the Leafs and it led to a couple of fights. Luke Schenn did his best to attempt to swing momentum to his squad's side, sending Dale Weise to the ice with a left hand. Weise looked a bit disinterested after shedding the mitts as a linesmen was seen urging him on prior to the two grabbing ahold of each other.
Later on, Dion Phaneuf took exception to a Kris Newbury hit on him and the two decided to tango. Nothing much came out of it as Phaneuf's jersey came up and over his head and small punches were traded.
Colton Orr spent the majority of the game looking for a dance partner but came up empty. His frustration over that and a commanding loss boiled over at the end of the game, when he was given the gate for a slash on Steve Eminger.
Based on Tuesday's matchups, many counted on a couple of heavyweight bouts out of tonight's games, and rightly so, they were handed a pair.
Two fights also took place in Wild-Oilers as an uninterested Brent Burns wrestled around with Zack Stortini a period before Brad Staubitz went after Jean-Francois Jacques in response for a hit on Nick Schultz.
If you haven't already noticed, Adam McQuaid has cemented himself as one of the top middleweights in the NHL this season. He's also earning himself a consistent spot in the Bruins lineup courtesy of his efforts.
McQuaid picked up a pair of assists and then dropped the gloves with 'Canes winger Troy Bodie late in Monday's game. It was a wild bout with some hard punches thrown. McQuaid was coming to the defense of Mark Stuart, who got into it with Bodie and is returning from a broken finger. Stuart appreciated it:
“We all know Stewie, and it’s been a little while since he’s been out there. So in that situation you kind of have to jump in there for your teammate,” McQuaid said. “We all know Stewie’s not going to back down, so it was just something you need to do. It kind of puts him in a tough spot, so I guess somebody had to jump in there for him.”
“I felt bad because I didn’t want to put Adam in that situation,” Stuart said. “It’s frustrating, but I thanked Adam for doing that for me. I just have to remember that I can’t do that, and I don’t want to put him in a tough spot.”
After a relatively quiet month by his standards, Sean Avery is back at it again.
During a second period gathering that nearly became a line brawl in Sunday's Flyers-Rangers meeting, Avery took advantage of a favorable matchup against Matt Carle and pounded him to the ice, getting in a couple of shots while Carle was already down.
Matt Walker and Kris Newbury grappled and exchanged punches along the boards during the fracas, but neither received fighting majors. The same went for Darroll Powe and Brandon Prust, who never got going.
A pair of fights also took place in Canucks-Wild. Brad Staubitz surprised Aaron Volpatti with a couple of left hands that knocked Volpatti down while Chuck Kobasew and Keith Ballard had a fairly even scrap.
Both St. Louis and San Jose are top ten teams in fighting majors. When they play, it's no surprise when the gloves hit the ice, nor was it when two more fights were added to this year's series last night.
What was surprising were the combatants. Early in the first period rookies Brandon Mashinter and Ryan Reaves threw down. Mashinter dominated the fight, but Reaves, to his credit, wouldn't back down, even with his jersey over his head.
Late in the second rookie Ian Cole took on the smaller, second year Benn Ferriero after Cole threw a big hit on Ferriero in the neutral zone. Ferriero a collegiate player with Boston College, held his own despite the size disadvantage. It was the first pro fight for Ferriero.
Both fights started with a rather cordial helmet removal and square off.