By Adrian S.
We’re down to the final stretch of the NHL regular season, when teams are fighting tooth and nail for every point in the standings in the hopes of getting that last playoff spot. While it’s great if you love seeing the standings change faster than a game of musical chairs, but for those who actually watched games lately it can be akin to watching a chess match unfold. In fact, to say you watched the game may be a generous term; it can be more like endeavoring to stay awake while players making my year’s worth of salary – in one game – floated around in a neutral zone trap for 60 minutes. Scoring is down as parity – and the stakes involved with winning – increases in the NHL.
But just when we seemed resigned to a ho-hum last week of the 2012 NHL season, the Flyers and Penguins get into an outright bruhaha on April Fool’s Day, capped by Flyers’ forward Scott Hartnell mixing it up Hulk-style with heckling Penguins fans:
It got me thinking how fights – whether you’re for or against them – liven up the game and excite the fans. And I’m not just referring to the fights off the faceoff between two 4th-line enforers. I’m talking about a good old fashion scrap, the ones where the refs didn’t intervene, hair pulling was acceptable, benches would clear, falling to the ice was just another position to continue fighting from and players would fight fans in the stands.
Here’s just a few of my favorites, but I’m sure you must have some too:
If Sunday’s game was any indication, there will be plenty of bad blood in the probable first-round matchup between the Penguins and Flyers in this year’s playoffs. Even in the veritable mosh-pit that is the Western Conference playoff race, the Canucks and Sharks could very well renew acquaintances from last year’s conference finals. What are some of the match-ups you’d like to see in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs?
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