Philadelphia Flyers: The Top 10 Fights of the 2010-2011 Season
In the 2009-2010 season, the Philadelphia Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup finals after finishing second in the league in penalty minutes and recording the second-most fighting majors in the league.
This combination success and physicality was slightly reminiscent of the Broad Street Bullies that had attracted so many fans in the 1970's.
So, when that team added heavyweights Jody Shelley, Matt Walker and tough defenseman Sean O'Donnell in the offseason while only losing middleweight Arron Asham, it seemed as if the toughest team in the league would be even tougher for the 2010-2011 season.
Unfortunately, Ian Laperriere missed the entire season due to post-concussion symptoms, Matt Walker sustained multiple injuries that allowed him to play just four regular season games and Dan Carcillo missed more than 20 games due to injuries.
These injuries, combined with a coach that discouraged fighting, led to a softer team than expected, which fought much less than Broad Street faithful desired.
However, there were still some entertaining moments in the fighting department that Flyers fans can enjoy.
Honorable Mention: Jody Shelley vs. Shawn Thornton (January 13, 2011)
After a draw in their first fight of the season, these heavyweights would square-off again early in this game.
Early on, Thornton was bent over, allowing Shelley to throw more punches. As Thornton attempted to get back up, Shelley used jersey jabs to keep him away.
Using this advantage in positioning, Shelley was then able to land a right that knocked Thornton's helmet off.
Shelley continued with the jersey jabs in order to maintain his advantage, but Thornton was able to land a right. Shelley used some body shots as the two rested.
Finally, when the men were ready to throw again, Thornton attempted to switch to throwing lefts.
Whenever one fighter attempts to switch hands, there is always a moment in which he has both hands on his opponent's jersey. At that moment, the fighter is wide open.
The experienced Shelley tried to take advantage of this and went for a hay-maker that missed, causing Shelley to fall forward and end the fight.
Shelley got a narrow win here for landing more punches than Thornton. Thornton was the best fighter Shelley beat this past season, which is why this video is worth a watch.
No. 10: Darroll Powe vs. Maxim Lapierre (November 16, 2010)
Powe threw seven punches to Lapierre's none. While not all of them landed, it was enough to make Lapierre go to his knees. If the linesmen didn't step in here, Powe would've demolished Lapierre.
No. 9: Jody Shelley vs. Michael Rupp (October 16, 2010)
With both fighters holding each other away, Shelley couldn't reach with rights and instead worked with jersey jabs until he found an opportunity to land a right.
At about 0:32 of the video, Rupp missed a right past Shelley's head. As he missed, Shelley landed a right to the face, then another on the helmet.
After a few more missed punches, Shelley was able to take Rupp's helmet off. Each attempted a few more rights that couldn't reach.
Shelley then landed two jersey jabs, and during the final exchange, was able to land two good rights before Rupp pushed him to the bench and allowed the linesmen to step in.
No. 8: Mike Richards vs. Matt Cooke (October 29, 2010)
The Pennsylvania rivalry was showcased three times during the first month of the season, leading to some animosity between Pittsburgh's infamous cheap shot artist Matt Cooke and Philadelphia's captain Mike Richards.
However, Richards wasted no time settling the dispute and went after Cooke off the opening faceoff of the next game.
Richards landed a right on Cooke's face 19 seconds into this video. Shortly after, Richards missed a punch and fell down, allowing Cooke to land a couple punches on the back of Richards' head.
When Cooke missed a left later in the fight, Richards did the same to him. Cooke was pounded in the face with four lefts as he hugged Richards' legs.
Sidney Crosby has yet to fight Dan Carcillo.
No. 7: Jody Shelley vs. Kevin Westgarth (February 13, 2011)
Throughout the fight, Westgarth went for body shots and jersey jabs.
Meanwhile, Shelley landed several good rights on Westgarth, including a flurry from 0:22 to 0:24, two from 0:30 to 0:31 and another at 0:36.
This could be called either a draw or a narrow win for Shelley, but Shelley undoubtedly landed better punches.
No. 6: Jody Shelley vs. Brian Boyle (March 6, 2011)
After Shelley ran over young defenseman Matt Gilroy, the New York Rangers' biggest player stood in to fight Shelley.
Shelley landed a couple rights on Boyle. The second appeared to harm him, as Boyle simply looked away, attempting to avoid Shelley's punches before finally going down to the ice and allowing the linesmen to step in.
No. 5: Dan Carcillo vs. Jake Dowell (January 23, 2011)
The fight was relatively uneventful until Dowell landed a left that popped Carcillo's head back and caused his nose to bleed.
From there, Carcillo appeared to get angry, landing four overhand rights on Dowell's head before landing another two uppercuts.
Carcillo landed two lefts, and the tired Dowell fell to the ice as Carcillo missed another right.
No. 4: Braydon Coburn vs. Brian Boyle (April 3, 2011)
After a clean, hard hit by Braydon Coburn on Ruslan Fedetenko, Brian Boyle attempted to make Coburn pay.
In the fight, once Coburn landed a punch, Boyle bent over and seemed to be doing nothing other than trying to avoid getting hit. Coburn then went at him with body shots and then landed punches on his head.
Boyle chose to go down to his knees while turning away, essentially turtling against Coburn.
No. 3: Jody Shelley vs. Nolan Yonkman (February 22, 2011)
Early on in the fight, Yonkman landed a right that cut Shelley.
Shelley would not allow the cut to stop him from winning the fight, as he came back and hammered Yonkman with several rights, one of which nearly sent the big man down.
Once Shelley landed the big right, Yonkman was turning away while throwing blindly and made absolutely no effort to get back up once the final punch of the fight caused him to fall.
Shelley's big right and aggressive finish made Yonkman give up.
No. 2: Dan Carcillo vs. Zenon Konopka (October 30, 2010)
Both of these players have led the NHL in penalty minutes for multiple seasons in their careers.
So, when the two were tangled up it was easy to see a fight coming. What ended up occurring was one of the best fights of the entire 2010-2011 NHL season produced.
Early in the fight, Konopka was able to land some punches before Carcillo fell down. Once Carcillo got up, he landed three hard rights, one of which knocked Konopka down.
The fight settled down for a few seconds, as each fighter attempted to regain some energy. Once they found themselves back against the boards by the penalty box, they exchanged punches with Carcillo clearly getting the better of Konopka.
No. 1: Jody Shelley vs. Chris Neil (January 20, 2011)
While the Carcillo-Konopka fight may have been the most entertaining bout the Flyers' fight card produced this season, what happened here was an example of Philadelphia hockey at its finest.
If one team in the league's history has persistently exemplified toughness, that characteristic belongs to the Philadelphia Flyers.
This mindset is the result of a cheap shot in a brawl from April 13, 1968. Near the end of a playoff game against the St. Louis Blues in their first-ever season, the Blues' Noel Picard punched Claude LaForge from behind, ending his career.
After this occurred, Flyers' founder Ed Snider said "That will never happen again."
Philadelphia began drafting bigger, stronger players. If they were going to lose, they didn't have to be pushed around.
Shortly after being signed in this past offseason, Jody Shelley said in an interview, "People will know coming into our building what they'll get away with and what they won't. We've got a lot of big guys, there's a lot of pride and there's a way to act when you're wearing a Flyers uniform, and every team that plays against the Flyers for years has known that."
Earlier in the game, Philadelphia Flyers' forward Claude Giroux applied a check to the Senators' Jesse Winchester. Ottawa's Chris Neil skated towards Giroux, pushed him from behind and hit him with two punches as Giroux was falling down, with Neil on top of him.
A scrum resulted as of this, the only fight being Philadelphia's Jeff Carter drawing with Winchester. A few minutes later, Giroux answered the call for his hard hit by fighting Nick Foglino, getting edged out.
After this, Jody Shelley found himself on the ice with Neil for the first time since Neil went after Giroux.
Shelley exemplified his role as enforcer late in the third period of this game by fighting Chris Neil in response to Neil going after Giroux. He clearly beat Neil and certainly did his job.
As this occurred, pesky players Scott Hartnell and Jarko Ruutu fought in an even matchup. Simultaneously, Flyers' defenseman Sean O'Donnell attempted to fight Ottawa's heavyweight Matt Carkner, but was unable to get his gloves off. The fight never developed.