Friday’s game in Nashville between the Predators and Blackhawks had been a rather spirited get-together.
After the two teams combined for a four-goal first period, including one from P.K. Subban in his first game with the Predators, the physicality, specifically when it came to fights, started to pick up in the second period.
After Chicago’s Jordin Tootoo and Nashville’s Anthony Bitetto dropped the gloves early in the period (a fight that resulted in Bitetto leaving the game with an injury, apparently after falling to the ice), Jonathan Toews and James Neal had a disagreement of their own.
It all started when Neal gave Toews a slash coming through the neutral zone. Toews responded by shoving Neal, which eventually resulted in the fight you see in the video above.
Based on the track record of both players in their NHL careers, that is definitely an unexpected matchup.
For Toews, that is only his fifth fight in the league (he had two a year ago), while Neal had only been involved in eight before this one.