A few fights yesterday that you might have been able to predict, and some, well, you couldn’t.
The NBC game of the week was the Pennsylvania rivalry of Flyers-Penguins. Normally a good match-up, the only thing the Flyers walked away with was a quick drop of Ryan Malone to the ice by Riley Cote, and that’s still a maybe. The Pens pounded the Flyers 7-1 on the scoreboard.
Adam Burish dropped Eric Nystrom later in the afternoon. Nystrom skated away fine, but it was definitely a nice shot by Burish. Nystrom seems very willing to fight to stay in the NHL, but not to get there. Nystrom has just two AHL fights in 108 games in the A, yet eight fights in 42 in the NHL.
Eric Boulton went twice in a mid-afternoon game. He took on Wade Belak in the first, and then Branislav Mezei in a not-as-expected bout in the second. Boulton had more than a few words for Mezei in the penalty box afterwards while gesturing with his helmet, most likely upset that Mezei was so willing to keep his visor on.
After waiting to find out Chris Pronger was justifiably suspended, when it first looked like nothing was going to happen, but then to find out he received 8 games for virtually the same act that earned Chris Simon 30 just makes no sense. From blogger Tom Benjamin to Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail, everyone seems to agree. Duhatschek refers to Simon as a fringe player. In the stage of his career he’s not as productive as he once was, but he has logged 777 NHL games while scoring 144 goals. It is important to note that this is the eighth time Pronger, the Hart-winner, has been suspended. Same as Simon.
Georges reiterated his feelings to hockeyfights.com yesterday saying, “I didn’t raise my elbow, or intend to hurt him in any way. I’m not that type of player.” He added, “I think the fact Nathan got nailed by Avery the game before and played against us, when he should not have, contributed more to his concussion.”
I took the opportunity to ask what he thought of Cote taking on Malone in a game that he couldn’t take part in. Big Georges said “He was just doing his job, he didn’t do anything bad. He finished his check, then got jumped, so [he] fought back. Nothing bad to say about that.”
- The Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari took on a question from a fan about Laraque’s suspension.
- From LetsGoSabres.com: Laraque Suspended - Buffalo defense takes another injury blow
Roy’s return date unknown
Tampa is on the road this week, starting with the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night. No word yet on whether or not Roy is traveling with the team.
Keeping up with the game
ONE HEAVY TO ANOTHER
Coyotes radio commentator Louie DeBrusk, a former Oilers enforcer, stopped throwing punches years ago, but he still follows the fistic game through hockeyfights.com.
So far, he likes what he has seen of Zack Stortini. He likes the winger’s agitating style.
“He’s going to be an active fighter. I think he has the potential (to fight the heavyweights), but there are some big dudes out there. The one thing that Stortini can do that some of the other guys can’t do is he can get around the ice. He bangs bodies.
“He’s a glimpse of the future of what an NHL tough guy is going to be like, just as (Dan) Carcillo is here. They run around, hit people but will also drop the gloves.”
If you have a problem with Pang and Strader’s nickname of the former NHL tough guy, just be sure to look over your shoulder a couple of times. Not only is DeBrusk a part of the broadcast team, but Jim Cummins is also an in-studio analyst. Pang was once heard saying with all the enforcers around he feels almost five feet tall (just teasin’ Panger).
Eric Nystrom vs Adam Burish Mar 16, 2008
Eric Boulton vs Branislav Mezei Mar 16, 2008
Riley Cote vs Ryan Malone Mar 16, 2008
Joe Rooney vs Kelly Miller Mar 1, 2008 (ECHL)
Bryce Salvador vs Cody McLeod Mar 15, 2008
Riley Cote vs Shawn Thornton Mar 15, 2008
Some DVR issues led to me missing Boulton-Belak and Lapointe-Conboy, hope to add those soon.
Fighters get a black eye
Laich Crashes the Crease
This playoff party is all but finished
Proof the NHL has an odd sense of justice
Stevens must lead Flyers to playoffs
Renney might be too smart to be a coach