We’re only in the third month of the 2010-11 season, yet we’ve seen a full campaign’s worth of unexpected fights. From Pavel Datsyuk expressing his distaste for the Anaheim Ducks with his fists to Sidney Crosby’s semi-comical scrap with Matt Niskanen and Mike Green getting into a skirmish, unlikely parties have become pugilists.
It’s now time to add Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin to that list.
Who knows if it was because of self defense or simply to rile up his bench (the Caps were down 4-0, now 7-0), but Ovechkin got into a short but spirited squabble with New York Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky. Dubinsky probably took exception to Ovechkin’s hip check on Daniel Girardi, which happened just a few moments before the two scorers decided to drop the gloves.
Ovechkin doesn’t throw knuckles very often, though. In fact, it’s been more than four years since his last fight; he last scrapped with Paul Gaustad on December 2, 2006. Hockey Fights.com fans voted Ovechkin the loser in both bouts, giving Dubinsky more than 70 percent of the votes in this one.
Check out the fight video in all of its “Capitals fans holding their breath that he doesn’t injure his hands” glory below.
It’s been an odd night at Madison Square Garden so far.
For one thing, the Rangers’ goal scoring has been fairly mind-blowing. Brian Boyle is transitioning from a Los Angeles Kings castoff to a jumbo-sized find, as his two goals brings his season total to seven. The most surprising tally, though, goes to Derek Boogaard. The fearsome fighter scored his first goal in 234 games and it wasn’t any accident; he slapped that puck into the top of the net to foil Michal Neuvirth. (We’ll try to track down video of that for tonight or tomorrow morning.)
But goal scoring isn’t the only area of oddness, as you can see from the fight above. While it won’t make it into many best fights compilations, it’s worth a look because of the unlikeliness of the combatants: offensive defenseman Mike Green and two-way forward Brandon Dubinsky.
Unlike in many surprising star fights so far this season, this one seemed to lack much zip. It didn’t seem particularly sloppy or passionate, as it seemed like both were tuckered out enough that it was easy for officials to break them apart.
On the bright side, it was pretty funny. Who do you think won the fight … if anyone?
Say what you will about their “techniques,” but Calgary Flames forward Olli Jokinen and Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner really threw some passionate knuckle sandwiches in last night’s entry in the Battle of Alberta.
The pugilistic pundits at Hockey Fights.com awarded Gagner the win with 57.6 percent of the votes, while Jokinen and “draw” received 21.2 percent each. (Oddly enough, one commenter described the passionate, yet technique-light fight in a very similar way that I did. Good to know you’re not crazy/there’s someone equally crazy.)
So, the question is, which out-of-left-field finesse player will fight next? It’s been a while since Vincent Lecavalier got his pretty face dirty … just saying.