The NHL has had almost TRIPLE the amount of fights this post season than all of 2019
I’m so glad I was able to write the words “MORE FIGHTS”. After all that is a part of hockey that makes it so special compared to the other Big 3 sports. Hockey has always been about grit and toughness. Hockey players take pride in having “summer teeth” (some are here, some are there). Now without fans they are fighting more than ever.
I always thought that Fans were a big reason for these fights to pop off. I’ts like you’re in a bar and 2 people start to exchange words, the crowd helps push them on to fight. Well apparently I was wrong. Dead wrong. (I have no problem admitting when I am) The NHL Covid Style Playoffs are under way and there has already been almost 3x’s the fighting as there was in the entire 2019 playoffs. So far this postseason there has been 8 fights , this week alone! This is more like your intramural league , except with good athletes.
Normally playoff hockey is devoid of fighting because players do not want to sacrifice the big picture just for a little revenge. Not this year! These guys are just whaling on each other. It great for the Hockey fan and non-hockey fan alike.
Why More Fights in NHL
Now the question is why? A few of the NHL coaches and players gave some insight that, I thought, made a lot of sense.
New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz said:
“Guys are full of energy, and there’s guys walking the line a little bit more. In a short series, I think guys are looking to change momentum.When a guy’s coming at you and intense, you’re being intense back, and when those two sparks collide, sometimes there’s fire. We’ve seen a couple of scraps and some have been game-changing.”
Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said:
“You see a lot of fights right after good hits, clean hits, hard hits, and you see a lot of them after questionable hits and you see a lot of them after obviously head shots. That’s become the norm a bit in hockey now where players kind of react to a hit that they don’t see 100 percent of it.”
Calgary Flames coach Geoff Ward said:
“Guys are playing the game purely and for the love of the game and you see how much they love it and how much they want to win. Saying that, there could be a potential for more. But I think that’s just an indication of how much guys are willing to do whatever it takes to shift momentum in a hockey game and you try to help get a win.”
Toronto Maple Leafs‘ Jason Spezza Said:
“I just tried to spark the guys, just trying to show some desperation and have some push-back. Without the crowd you don’t have that, so just trying to create some emotion.”
Spezza’s quote is the exact opposite of what I thought would happen. But, thinking about it that way it makes a lot of sense. Without the fans getting you pumped up you have to find a way to get yourself into the game. Nothing gets me more fired up than punching someone right in the face. (I haven’t been in a bar fight since 2016 but damn was I jacked after!)
As someone is isn’t an ALL IN Hockey guy, more fighting means more watching for me. So keep squaring up all you NHL players. Hockey without fights just doesn’t seem right. I’m glad we are trending up in that area!
Here are some classic NHL Fights!
Here is NBC’s List of Top 10 NHL Fights.