NHL Video: The Top 25 Nastiest Fights of the Season

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2011

NHL Video: The Top 25 Nastiest Fights of the Season

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    PHILADELPHIA - FEBRUARY 22:  Jody Shelley #45 of the Philadelphia Flyers is escorted off the ice after fighting Nolan Yonkman (not pictured) of the Phoenix Coyotes during the second period on February 22, 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pe
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. How true that is.

    When I see two players agree to throw hands, it’s becomes like theater to me. The fighters are the actors in this Shakespearean remake of Othello with attitude.

    While others scoff at the idea of fighting, I embrace its animal-like roots and see each player as a representative of his colors and community and defending both with honor.

    These men stand in there and take serious punishment just to inflict the same punishment back to their opponents, all in the name of team.

    These players are loved in the locker room and they are the linchpins of the NHL.

    To borrow the line from heavy-metal band Megadeth, fighting in the NHL is a “symphony of destruction."

25. Jared Boll Vs. Darcy Hordichuk: Jan. 19, 2011

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    What a way to start off the slideshow.

    Boll and Hordichuk are bona fide tough guys and they proceed to throw bombs at each other.

    Both players land some really hard shots and, for me, this fight was a draw.

24. Shawn Thornton Vs. Matt Carkner: Jan. 11, 2011

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    Welcome to the Shawn Thornton portion of our show, because he is involved in the next three fights.

    Thornton fights almost the exact same way every time. No matter who he fights, he doesn’t shy away.

    Carkner lands some big shots but so does Thornton.

23. Krys Barch Vs. Shawn Thornton: Feb. 3, 2011

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    This fight came from the Boston Bruins versus Dallas Stars game that saw three fights before five seconds of the game had passed.

    Notice the cluster of uppercuts Thornton lands by the Bruins bench and the smile on Tim Thomas' face.

    Thornton was the clear winner in this fight.

22. Eric Boulton Vs. Shawn Thornton: Dec. 23, 2010

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    It seems that Shawn Thornton doesn’t like to wait.

    This fight was one of the best so far, with both Thornton and Boulton throwing hard shots.

    Two things to watch for are when Boulton hides his right hand before they ever throw a punch and then at 55 seconds into the video, Boulton swings his arm like a cartoon character.

21. John Erskine Vs. Michael Rupp: Jan. 1, 2011

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    Winter Classic fights are some of the best in the world.

    Rupp and another Penguin take a run at Erskine and the Capital doesn’t appreciate it much.

    While the fight may not have been better than the previous few landed-punches wise, listen to the outdoor crowd go crazy!

20. John Scott Vs. Cam Janssen: Dec. 28, 2010

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    Scott has the clear size and reach advantage, but Cam Janssen knows how to fight.

    While Scott lands some hard rights, Janssen throws some hard uppercuts and left jabs.

    The fight lasts awhile and I have to give both men a lot of credit.

19. Corey Perry Vs. Pavel Datsyuk: Oct. 8, 2010

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    This fight wasn’t great technically.

    It was the fact that Corey Perry could get one of the classiest gentlemen in the game of hockey mad enough to throw hands that amazed me.

    Datsyuk held his own, but I think the shock of fighting him threw Perry off.

18. Shawn Thornton Vs. Kyle Clifford: Jan. 24, 2011

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    What’s that, another Shawn Thornton sighting? I don’t love the guy, but he is involved in some of the best fights each year.

    This fight was what I call an angry fight. While some fights seem like it’s all about strategy, this fight looked like there were two people trying to hurt the other.

    Watching it makes you grit your teeth.

17. Jody Shelley Vs. Deryk Engelland: Oct. 29, 2010

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    As a Flyers fan, fighting is part of our lives.

    It hurts to say it, but Engelland won this fight. He held Shelley's arms in so he couldn’t land any big shots.

    Engelland lands four or five good shots that bloody Shelley's face.

16. Colton Orr Vs. Chris Neil: Jan. 1, 2011

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    Everybody grab somebody!

    Orr against Neil is one of those fights between legitimate heavyweights that get you out of your seat.

    The fans in the seats behind the fights are evenly split with their jerseys, and the battle between the players sees many heavy blows. Good fight.

15. Kevin Westgarth Vs. Chris Neil: Nov. 22, 2010

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    This was Kevin Westgarth's first real test as a fighter in the NHL.

    Neil is potent with both hands and he gives Westgarth a brutal lesson.

    While Westgarth lands a few, Neil has his way with him and lands at least six solid shots to the face.

14. David Liffiton Vs. Tim Jackman: Oct. 28, 2010

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    Welcome to the NHL, Mr. Liffiton. Not only does he fight in his first-ever NHL game, he takes on a real heavyweight in Tim Jackman.

    They exchange a flurry of hard shots and Liffiton holds his own through the whole fight.

    The best shots in the whole fight are three lefts that Liffiton hits Jackman with at :26.

13. Rick DiPietro Vs. Brent Johnson: Feb. 2, 2011

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    When goalies collide, hilarity it provides.

    I know it’s not Shakespeare, but I told you that it’s like watching theater to me. It’s unrefined elegance.

    The two should have never fought and it was silly overall, but the fact that Johnson side-steps the ref and knocks DiPietro out with one punch is awesome.

    Proving once again how fragile DiPietro is, his head exploded on impact.

12. Tanner Glass Vs. Matt Martin: Jan. 11, 2011

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    Now the fights are starting to get better.

    Martin comes out throwing some serious punches before Glass starts to take over.

    Then Glass lands a serious shot to Martin's face and drops him to the ice.

11. John Scott Vs. Kevin Westgarth: Nov. 27, 2010

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    John Scott won this fight.

    If you don’t believe me, watch at 38 seconds into the fight when Westgarth taps out on Scott's back.

    It was a good effort but Scoot is a big man and he knows how to land shots. He bloodies Westgarth in a big way.

10. Nolan Yonkman Vs. Jody Shelley: Feb. 22, 2011

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    The top 10 fights get better as you go so really soak in the videos.

    Jody Shelley lands a couple hard shots, but Yonkman hits Shelley hard above the eye, busting him wide open.

    In true Jody Shelley style, he sees blood and tries to hit harder.

9. Derek Dorsett Vs. Patrick Kaleta: Dec. 3, 2010

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    This is what I love. People say fights are useless but read this as you watch the fight and listen to the crowd.

    Dorsett checks a Sabre into the bench and Kaleta took exception to that.

    While Dorsett lands a few good shots at the beginning of the fight, Kaleta lands a ton of lefts in what I would describe as an angry fight.

8. Darcy Hordichuk Vs. Shawn Thornton: Nov. 18, 2010

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    Yes, this is the fifth fight for Shawn Thornton on the list, but the man can flat-out throw hands.

    The winners of this fight were the fans, because these men went blow for blow.

    Every time one would land a shot, the other would come back with one that hurt more. Great fight.

7. Raitis Ivanans Vs. Steve MacIntyre: Oct. 7, 2010

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    That’s a knockout folks.

    They both exchanged good shots back and forth, but Ivanans was in over his head.

    MacIntyre lands a shot right on his chin and knocks him out.

6. Colton Orr Vs. Deryk Engelland: Oct. 13, 2010

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    People can say that this is just goons trying to hurt each other, but at 20 seconds in, Orr pulls Engelland's helmet off instead of punching his face in with it over his eyes.

    The two exchange some serious blows before Engelland catches him right in the mouth.

    This was a great fight.

5. Zenon Konopka Vs. Daniel Carcillo: Oct 30, 2010

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    This was the first of two fights between these players during this game, and it was the best.

    This was the longest fight so far on the list. And it has to be one with the most punches landed as well.

    Neither will admit defeat, and they brutalize each other until the referees stop it.

4. Francis Lessard Vs. Jay Rosehill: Feb. 19, 2011

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    I really didn’t know who these players were until I watched this fight.

    Now I know.

    That was the most even of all of the fights, and they smash each other before calling it a draw. That’s what it’s all about.

3. Jarome Iginla Vs. Jamie Benn: Dec. 23, 2010

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    Any time your captain jumps into a fight to defend one of his players, it’s a big deal.

    Iginla is not a rookie to fighting, but it’s still exciting anytime you see a "C" on the chest of a participant.

    While it looks like Iginla takes the worst of the fight, I actually have Benn losing to the captain.

2. Krys Barch Vs. Cam Janssen: Jan. 2, 2011

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    If you didn’t like Cam Janssen before, you won’t like him after this showing.

    At one minute into the video, Janssen starts taunting and they exchange direct hits for 30 seconds.

    The announcer calls it Rockem' Sockem' robots, and he is 100-percent correct. Great fight!

1. Eric Boulton Vs. John Erskine: Nov. 14, 2010

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    This fight didn’t have the most punches thrown or landed and it didn’t end with a big knockout, so why would it be No. 1, you ask?

    We call a heavy shot from the opposite hand that you’re grabbing the jersey of your opponent with a haymaker.

    This fight had at least 15 clear headshots, and it’s not easy to get one. Like the announcer says, they stood back and tee’d off on each other.

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