Kevin Westgarth in good spirits after being bloodied by John Scott

For the most part, NHL enforcers are walking dichotomies. On the ice, they’re fearsome – often huge – fighters and a general menace to anyone foolish enough to clobber a star player on their team. Yet many times you’ll find that they’re gentle giants when they’re not in their paid pugilist roles, whether they’re Ivy League products such as George Parros, tough-as-nails Canadian farm kids or vessels of comedy such as Paul Bissonnette.

Los Angeles Kings fighter Kevin Westgarth took a severe beating from gigantic Chicago Blackhawks defenseman John Scott last night, as you can see from the unanimous decision verdict at HockeyFights.com.

It really didn’t take long for Scott to bloody the face of Westgarth in a fight that was more than a little cringe-inducing. It seems like Westgarth might have suffered a broken nose from the altercation, but he took in stride. He was in good humor about the fight with Rich Hammond of Los Angeles Kings Insider.

Kevin Westgarth was still smiling this morning. Breathing? That too, although it might have been a little more difficult. Westgarth said he likely suffered a broken nose during last night’s fight with the city of Chicago’s only known mountain, John Scott. Scott measures in at 6-foot-8 and north of 250 pounds, so Westgarth knew what he was getting into when he dropped the gloves. After the game, Westgarth had a bandage on his nose, and he skated in practice today with a visor but said he would be ready to play tomorrow if Terry Murray put him in the lineup.

“I’m good for about one a year,” Westgarth joked of his bloodied nose.

There is a sense of honor among enforcers, so given the chance to gloat after the game, Scott instead praised Westgarth’s effort, telling Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, “He’s a good fighter. He’s been around the block. I just got the better of him on this day. I’m sure we’ll fight again and see how it goes.”

Kings coach Murray was effusive in his praise of Westgarth for paying the price to pump his teammates. While fights are frequent events and thus rarely do much to affect a game, there are times when even a lost battle can turn into a rallying cry.

Either way, it’s hard not to like a guy like Westgarth, especially when it’s clear he can laugh at himself – even with a broken nose.

Julien explains comments about Lundqvist’s ‘acting’

Claude Julien
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We’re now over two days removed from last Friday’s tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, but the coaches from both teams seem unwilling to move on.

Moments after that game, Claude Julien claimed that Henrik Lundqvist did some “acting” on the ice to sell a goalie interference call on Brad Marchand.

On Saturday, Alain Vigneault fired back by saying that Julien needed to get his eyesight checked. Vigneault also compared Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup final to Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan in Friday’s game.

Now it was Julien’s turn to address the “issue” at hand.

Julien clarified his original comment about Lundqvist and he also tackled some of Vigneault’s comments.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said . . . I thought Lundqvist sold it,” said Julien. “Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a person, or a goaltender or any of that. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he’s a good person. I’ve met him at the All-Star games and all that stuff.

Julien on his eyesight: “As far as my eyes, I’m not the one that compared Beleskey’s hit to Aaron Rome’s [hit]. We’ll just leave it at that.”

It’s time for both sides to move on.

Good news: Colaiacovo traveling with Sabres

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It was a scary sight.

Carlo Colaiacovo fell to his hands and knees after taking a cross-check to the throat from Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson (above).

Arvidsson received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, while Colaiacovo suffered a dented trachea on the play.

After the game, both Dan Bylsma and Peter Laviolette agreed that there was no malicious intent on Arvidsson’s part.

“I don’t think there was intent there to maliciously cross-check,” Bylsma said. “They kind of lose the puck, turn and his stick is right at that level and delivers a blow. When you look at it, it’s a pretty stiff cross-check to Carlo’s neck.”

“It was tough for Arvidsson,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think he had any bad intentions. He just ran into somebody and the stick got caught a little bit high, but just a tough turn of events.”

The Sabres defenseman left the game and was treated at a nearby hospital, but there is some good news to report.

According to the Buffalo News, Colaiacovo was released from hospital and he was able to travel to Detroit with his teammates.

It’s unclear how long he’ll be out.

Start the Carr: Habs recall another player from the minors

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There’s been a lot of movement between Montreal and Saint John’s lately and that continued on Sunday.

This time, it’s forward Daniel Carr who’ll be getting a stint with the big club.

Carr has no prior NHL experience.

The 24-year-old spent four years at Union College before joining the Canadiens organization as an undrafted free agent.

In his first season as a pro, Carr scored 24 goals (led the team) and 39 points in 76 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2014-15.

This year, Carr has seven goals and 15 points in 20 games.

Montreal is without forwards Torrey Mitchell, Brendan Gallagher and Alexander Semin.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.