According to Hockey Fights, Travis Zajac only has six NHL fights despite being a regular since 2006-07. You wouldn’t know that from the way he went after Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas on Thursday.
Gudas angered the New Jersey Devils after a strange hit where he left his feet and made contact with forward Kyle Palmieri, who might be OK.
Seriously, it was a little odd, but dirty or not, New Jersey wasn’t happy:
Zajac proved as much, going after Gudas with shocking ferocity, if not effectiveness (the punches might not have always reached their mark, but made an impact in showing he’d stick up for teammates).
This situation has “unexpected” written all over it. Not only was this a wow moment from Zajac, it actually interrupted a remarkably uneventful stretch for Gudas.
The frequently suspended defenseman went without a single penalty since returning to action from a 10-game suspension on Dec. 12. Gudas wasn’t even guilty of an obstruction-type infraction for a stretch of 21 games. Yes, that Radko Gudas.
Strange days indeed.
The Devils ended up winning the game 4-3, and were not happy about the hit afterward:
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.