Two games had two fights each on Tuesday night. Jordin Tootoo dropped the gloves twice during Red Wings-Stars, throwing down in a short but wild one with Eric Nystrom before battling it out with a game Brenden Dillon, who checked in with his first NHL regular season scrap..
A total of 20 fights occurred over the last few days, an active start during the first full week of this shortened season.
Tye McGinn, Patrick Bordeleau and Jordan Nolan all participated in their first NHL regular season scraps on Thursday night. McGinn staged a particularly impressive comeback against Kris Newbury during the late stages of Rangers-Flyers.
Last night saw Colton Orr scrap for the third time in four games, taking on Mike Rupp in an active tilt during Leafs-Rangers. Mike Brown also continues to show progression as a fighter. He scored an upset of Arron Asham earlier in the same game.
Colton Orr returned to fans minds two nights ago with a rousing body shot that sent Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott to a knee. He reminded those same fans why he was once considered one of the best in the league when he decided to go after old rival Deryk Engelland of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Leafs' Orr was 0-2 against Engelland with a KO of the year loss to the Penguins tough defenseman, but none of that mattered when they met up again.
What took place was nothing short of an all-out war between two big-time punching heavyweights in the NHL. Both players opened the bout going toe-to-toe with the right hand, before settling into locked out bombing. Each pugilist had their moments, landing heavy shots as the scrap carried into the later rounds. After over a minute of exchanging haymakers, both combatants allowed the linesman to intervene and bring an end to the early fight of the year candidate.
In a continuing theme from opening weekend where Tanner Glass and Arron Asham decided to drop the mitts on the opening faceoff, we saw B.J. Crombeen and Matt Martin, and Joe Finley and Pierre-Cedric Labrie drop the gloves immediately in the Islanders-Lightning game at the same time. Both of these fights were decent little tilts ending in draws. Not to be outdone, the Detroit Red Wings picked up their first fight of the year when newcomer Jordin Tootoo took on Jared Boll of the Columbus Blue Jackets on the opening face off. Boll, using his size advantage, decisively beat his Red Wing counterpart in a one-sided fight.
It has been well over a year since Colton Orr last had an NHL fight. During the lockout, rumors of Orr refocusing, getting leaner and chomping at the bit to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs surfaced. When it was announced he made the Leafs roster all the hard work paid off; and Orr reminded fans what he was originally signed for when dropped the mitts with 6'8" Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott. The heavyweight bout was even until Orr landed a right hand to the ribs, dropping Scott to his knees and forcing an end to the fight.
Hockey wasn't gone, as fans of juniors, minors and other leagues will tell you. But to many, the NHL is hockey; and with the NHL's return: hockey is back*.
The NHL threw 13 games at us, the most we'll see on any one day this season (there are two more days that have 13 games). With a lot of games and all intraconference match-ups, many divisional, things started off with a bang.
The first fight of the season belongs to Toronto Maple Leaf Mike Brown and new Montreal Canadien Brandon Prust. A decent tilt that sets the stage between the rival teams for the rest of the shortened season. The Leafs won the game in Montreal 2-1. Once-banished Colton Orr played 9 shifts for the Leafs.
The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins game featured a pair of bouts only a few seconds apart. Shawn Thornton was effective against Mike Rupp before Stu Bickel took on Gregory Campbell. The Rangers had a combined listed advantage of eight inches, but it looked more along the lines of a foot.
Famous for his ice resurfacer, it only makes sense Frank Zamboni's birthday would be in the middle of winter.
Most likely not coincidence, with the NHL's abbreviated season starting this weekend, Google celebrated what would have been Zamboni's 112th birthday today with a playable Google Doodle.
The game is a fun retro time-waster (complete with beeping sounds). Skaters come out, and you control the Zamboni to clean up the ice. Level-up and get more gas for your Zamboni. Glide around the ice aimlessly and your tank will empty and it's game over.
The 113-day lockout is over. The NHL will have a shortened 20
12-13 season. The exact schedule hasn't been set yet, but most expect somewhere around 48-50 games to be played during the regular season. My assumption is schedule-makers are figuring out a way to make sure the Stanley Cup Finals don't overlap the 2013-14 season.
After many on and off negotiations featuring league leaders, owners, players, and/or federal mediators, an agreement is finally in place. TSN has some of the contractual details.
It'll be good to see top-level hockey return, and interesting to see how many fans return with it.