The NHL's 12 Wimpiest Plays of the Year

Jason Sapunka@moreSapunkaCorrespondent IIFebruary 9, 2012

The NHL's 12 Wimpiest Plays of the Year

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    Hockey is a physical sport filled with contact, rough encounters and moments that separate tough players from wimpy players.

    Eventually, though, all sorts of players find themselves in some situation where a lack of grit makes them look a bit pathetic.

    The wimpiest moments of the NHL season are nothing to be proud of.

12. Zolnierczyk and Veilleux Wrestling Majors

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    Harry Zolnierczyk and Stephane Veilleux managed to end their fight before the camera even got to it.

    The players somehow got fighting majors for what was no more than grabbing onto one another and falling down.

11. Brian Boyle vs. Anthony Stewart

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    Did anyone ever tell Boyle that he's 6'7" and weighs above 240 pounds? He is a very bad fighter for his size.

10. Mark Stuart and Kyle Okposo Disappoint

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    Give Okposo credit for going after Stuart following the big hit, but that's about all there is to admire here.

    The two players squared off and sized each other up...only to fall down immediately.

9. Staubitz and Alberts Dance

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    Brad Staubitz of Minnesota initiated this fight after Andrew Alberts put a hard hit on Marek Zidlicky.

    Alberts' response to the challenge was "hug and tackle!"

8. DiBenedetto "fights" Krejci

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    Boston's David Krejci lays out Ty Wishart of the Islanders.

    Teammate Justin DiBenedetto attempts to fight Krejci in an effort to stick up for his teammate, but the two players simply go to the ground.

    DiBenedetto did a poor job of sticking up for his teammate ("You hit him again and I"ll come over and hug you till we fall down!") and Krejci's version of defending himself was pretty awful.

7. Souray and Stewart's Anti-Climactic Tussle

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    With all the pushing and shoving before this one started, it seems like Sheldon Souray and Chris Stewart would have a better fight than this.

    Then again, Chris Stewart's 2011-12 season has been nothing but disappointing, so maybe it was appropriate.

6. Scandella Sticks Up for Teammate with Hug

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    After a hard hit by Pittsburgh's Eric Tangradi on Minnesota's Matt Cullen, Marco Scandella decided to stick up for his teammate by starting a fight.

    Once Scandella got his gloves off, he did little more than grab Tangradi and look like an idiot.

5. Ben Lovejoy and Jim Slater Can't Get It Going

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    The ease with which the refs broke this one up seems reminiscent of a schoolteacher saying, "Okay, that's enough now boys."

4. Heatley Goes Down Easy

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    It seems like a 6'4", 220-pound hockey player would have a bit more balance and strength than Dany Heatley showed here.

    Chris Neil put him down pretty easily with this hit.

3. Avery the Turtle

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    Does anyone else remember when Sean Avery was not a complete joke?

    Avery punched Simmonds from behind in a scrum earlier in the game, then showed how brave he was by cowering to Simmonds.

2. Bouchard Uses Stick Instead of Fists

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    Pierre-Marc Bouchard had some issue with Matt Calvert.

    So, instead of getting over it or challenging him to a fight, Bouchard swung his stick at Calvert's face.

    Bouchard was suspended two games for the incident.

1. Avery Runs Away

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    What's wimpier than fighting in a poor and ineffective fashion? Refusing to fight in the first place.

    Stephane Veilleux is a mere two inches taller and five pounds heavier than Sean Avery, but Avery runs away from his fight challenge.