Nasty scene last night in Nashville involving Anaheim Ducks D Francois Beauchemin and Nashville Predators C Mike Fisher. Midway through the first period, Beauchemin jumped into the neutral zone and delivered a lethal shot to an unsuspecting Fisher:
Nashville head coach Barry Trotz was rather blunt regarding the incident that marred Nashville’s 3-0 win. “I’ll leave that up to the league,” Trotz told The Tennessean about the legality of the hit. “I look at it and I think it’s pretty clear, but I’ll leave it up to the league.”
Beauchemin, who received two minutes for an illegal check to the head (and another two for roughing after getting jumped by Preds D Kevin Klein, who got four) was quick to defend his actions. “That’s just one of those fast plays that happens. Just a hit shoulder to shoulder,” he told the Orange County Register. “That’s what the league is looking at and I really had my arm tucked in. (No) elbow. Nothing. Maybe the point of the impact of his head on the ice hurt him more than anything else.”
Fisher left the ice immediately and didn’t return to the game. According to the Predators, he’s out with an upper-body injury.
The hit renewed the heated rivalry these two built up during last spring’s opening playoff series. Six minutes after Beauchemin hit Fisher and Klein jumped Beauchemin, George Parros and Brian McGrattan threw down in a spirited (and lengthy) fight:
Later in the third, Matt Beleskey and
Blake Geoffrion also threw down. The teams ended up combining for 42 penalty minutes all told, confirming that this is one of the league’s more heated rivalries. You don’t normally think of Anaheim-Nashville as a grudge match, but there’s definitely some bad blood between them.
We won’t have to wait long for a rematch, either. On Nov. 9, the Ducks will host the Predators at the Honda Center in what should be a contentious affair.