Fighting is part of the game and if you don’t like it, turn the channel, go watch figure skating, or go knit a hanky you can cry in!
The pugilistic art of the hockey fight has many little nuances that the average Joe might not be aware of, similar to the untrained eye watching a mixed martial arts fight.
The positioning of the hands on the opposing players jersey, the stance, switching hands at just the right moment, when to throw the uppercut, and more.
A fight can change the momentum of a game for a team with a quick right to the jaw in the same manner as a short-handed goal can…well close.
Toronto has a few guys that are known quite well by Leafs Nation and some that will endear themselves through some gritty battles this year.
There are also a few up-and-comers that may step to the plate when the occasion presents itself but aren’t tagged with the tittle of goon…yet.
Within the Eastern Conference there are certainly a few guys who like to drop the leather and throw the fists and these are a my top fights I’d like to see…plus a couple humorous altercations. After Alexei Kovalev although in a pretty pathetic effort dropped the gloves with Beauchemin in the preseason, anything is possible!
Luke Schenn has taken a lot of criticism since being tagged with the term "blue-chip prospect" though having been drafted so high (1st rd 5th overall 2008 draft) this kid is just turning 21 in November and is entering his third full season.
Toronto is the Mecca of hockey and a complete media frenzy when it comes to our puck (like no one knew) and to most Canadians Hockey is close to a religion. Schenn is from Saskatchewan a place at quite a different pace than Toronto and it’s taken Schenn time to adjust to this sometimes seemingly circus.
Don’t fret he’s coming into his own!
March 28 2009 Steve Montador, while with Boston, fought Schenn as a rookie and Lucky Luke gave him all he could handle while eating a few as well.
Perhaps Montador, now with another division rival (Buffalo), will want to have another go and try and redeem himself with a little older and perhaps stronger Schenn, might not be a smart idea for Stupid Steve!?
Other Fights: Ottawa’s Chris Neil another guy who is on a few people’s Christmas Card list, though Neil’s had Schenn's number in the past.
25 year old 6 six foot 3 inch 215 pound Olds Alberta Canada native Jay Rosehill is a competent combatant for any of the NHL’s elite face punchers.
When Rosehill came to the Marlies from the Norfolk Admirals he threw down twice right away in his first game standing up for a group of guys he barely knew. Luckily I was covering the Marlies that year (2008/09) for TOSports Magazine and got to see a number of his fights live.
"It’s just a role I play…" he said after that game when I asked him about his new team. He was a very easy-going personable guy and to talk to him you wouldn’t take him for the tough guy he truly is.
Rosehill and Rupp sounds almost like a law firm that you would see a cheap commercial for on late night television, this fight would be anything but, if it were to be the same type of wild swinging affair they had last meeting.
This was from this years preseason against Ottawa’s young energy guy Zack Smith, I wouldn’t mind seeing these two get another shot at each other during the season.
Other Fights:New Jerseys David Clarkson and Florida Panthers Andrew Peters.
Rosehill vs anyone is a good one in my book!
New comer Mike Brown at 5’11" 201 pounds showed in the first pre-season game that he will drop’em with anyone pretty much as he threw down with 6’4" 234 pound Ottawa left wing hopeful Tim Spencer and held his own quite nicely against a much bigger opponent.
When Brown came over to the Leafs in the off-season he was tagged as a guy who wouldn’t turn down a dance partner and came ready to rumble. With only one full year under his belt and the equivalent of two full seasons though having played in four, he has a whopping 306 penalty minutes with the Canucks and Ducks combined.
The Leafs haven’t had that middle-weight guy to throw down with the agitators in the game like Sean Avery (NYR), Chris Neal (Ott), and Philly’s Dan Carcillo. Carcillo is a big mouth actor, and like all big mouths he need to be shut up.
Mister Carcillo, meet Toronto’s new resident Reservoir Dog, Mr. Brown!
Although they said hello in the preseason in a little dance in London, I’d bet Carcillo will wait until he’s in front of his home crowd to go again, he’s a homer.
They play four games two early in the season Sat Oct 23 2010 and Thur Dec 9 2010 then two late Thus Mar 3 Thur Mar 11 2011, obviously both teams will want to get a good start and both could be in a hunt for a playoff spot late. I said could! (Go Leafs! Dare to dream!)
Other fights: Penguins Matt Cooke, Rangers Sean Avery, Ottawa’s Chris Neal. Boston’s Milan Lucic is almost a guarantee, as he filled Brown in when he was with Anaheim.
These guys have a good history of hatred for each other, and it seems Lucic has gotten the better of Komisarek but that was when he was in Les Habitants Bleu Blanc et Rouge.
With the injury to Komisarek’s shoulder that he has had to deal with he hasn’t been at 100%, he seems to be healed fully as he dropped the gloves with
Komisarek certainly has a bone to pick, and revenge is best served Blue and White and with a big Maple Leaf knuckle to the nose!
Toronto plays Boston six times this year, and that’s plenty for these two to renew a beautiful working relationship.
Lucic sure gets around and a number of Leafs will have these games marked in their calendars you can bet!
Other Fights: Montreal’s Travis Moen New Jerseys David Clarkson Andrew Peters
Toronto versus Boston: Thur Oct 28/10, Sat Dec 4/10, Mon Jan 3/11, Tues Feb 15/1, Sat Mar 19/11, Thur Mar 31/11. Looking forward to all of them!
I’ve talked about what Colton Orr brings to the table and he served Matt Carkner a full helping of it last year.
These two had a number of memorable meetings last season and I am sure Carkner and Orr will renew acquaintances this year and I have to believe Carkner will want some revenge for the last meeting in Toronto.
Orr knocked Carkner unconscious briefly, he looked like a discarded child’s cowboy action figure (sitck’em up) with his arms pointing straight to the sky while laying on his back just beside the Ottawa bench.
Watch a minute or so into it just after Phil Kessel scores the first goal of a 5-0 Leafs win.
Toronto faces Ottawa six times, Sat Oct 9/10, Tues Nov 2/10, Sat Nov 27/10, *Sat Jan 1/11 (tempers could be extra high after the stress of the holidays), Sat Feb 19/11, Sat Apr 2/11
Colton Orr is usually ready to go with anyone and these two have tangled before, way back when Bogey and Orr were in the WHL.
Now that the 6’7" 275 pound Bogeyman Derek Boogaard has moved to the Eastern Conference with the New York Rangers there will certainly be a battle for top dog.
Anyone taking on Goliath should pause for a moment to perhaps sign a last will and testimony `before taking on this behemoth but as we’ve seen Orr can handle this giant.
Boogaard has amassed 544 penalty minutes in his five NHL seasons, all with the Minnesota Wild of the Western Conference, and you know he’ll want everyone in the East to take notice of his presence early.
Orr at 6’3" 223 pounds and has 788 penalty minutes in what equates to five NHL seasons though he’s played in seven and he ain’t-a-scared-a-no-one.
Oh how I would relish a few full on tilts between these guys this year!
Toronto plays the New York Rangers three times in October, Friday 15/10,Thur 21/10,Sat 30/10. That’s plenty of time for these two to get reacquainted with each other before finishing the four game season series with perhaps a late little stocking stuffer on Jan 19th of the new year.
Other fights: Certainly (Pit) Eric Godard: They have a long-standing relationship and are a text book example of rivals, and this was wild one!
Washington Capitals: Alexander Semin versus anyone!
Just so I can see him use the mysterious slapping Monkey technique famous in his hometown of Krasjonarsk, USSR.
Vancouver Canucks: Daniel Sedin vs Henrik Sedin-
As far back as Romulus and Remus, Cain and Able and beyond, sibling rivalry has been a constant.
Watching these two identical twins fight, who have an uncanny sense of each other while on the ice and probably finish each other sentences, would be like watching two equally matched martial artists.
They would know exactly what the other was thinking.
Reality: it would turn into a slapping fight and/or one would go cry to mom.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Mike Brown versus Wendel Clark with Dennis Maruk refereeing in Moustache MADNESS steel cage match at Wrestle Mania 5000!
But in all honesty and in a perfect world, Clark and Brown would have been a doozie!
Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant Coach Tim Hunter: Once San Jose Shark, Vancouver Canuck, and briefly Quebec Nordique but best known for his days with the Calgary Flames versus Los Angeles Kings Ryan Smyth in a fight for air while trapped in a stuck elevator if both thier "schnazes" fit.
Hunter had incredible 3142 PIMS in 815 NHL games, ohhhh the good old days.
Tim Hunter, in his hay day, total murderer!
One last fight I would love to see and that is very possible, it would be colossal stupendous and the fight of the century, Boogaard and Boston’s Zdeno Chara, and that ain’t no joke.
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