Welcome to Hockey Fights of the Week! If you’re new to this column, the premise here is pretty simple. Each week, we gather up the five best fights from the previous week in the NHL, rank them and present them to you for your viewing enjoyment. That’s it!
5. Adam Erne (TB) vs Andreas Athanasiou (DET)
Hockey is awesome. You probably already know that if you’re here, but if you don’t, the video above shows off some of the game’s best parts.
First, a scoreless game broke down into chaos as the Red Wings and Lightning opted to try and beat one another up instead of trying to beat each other on the scoreboard. The broadcast had a tough time figuring out where to focus as several altercations happened all at the same time around the ice.
As the pushing and shoving continued, Erne and Athanasiou broke free and put on a really good show. Both players got in some good punches and an argument could be made in either direction about who picked up the win. Finally, in perfect hockey fashion, the fight ended with an exchanging of pleasantries.
Never change, hockey.
4. Micheal Haley (SJ) vs Chris Stewart (MIN)
Haley had a pretty rough week. He’s in hot water for his sucker punch on Calle Jarnkrok and the NHL will be forcing him to take some time off. Prior to that, he had a pretty rough go with Stewart.
Can you tell Stewart has a distinct size advantage? At 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, Stewart towers over Haley who is much smaller at 5-foot-11 and 198 pounds. Using all of that size to his advantage, Stewart gets a firm grip on Haley and delivers a barrage of punches without any kind of counter from Haley.
This will be a week Haley will want to forget.
3. Scott Mayfield (NYI) vs Tanner Glass (NYR)
The Rangers and Islanders are on opposite ends of the standings, but that shouldn’t take away from what’s usually a solid rivalry. Mayfield and Glass added some fire to that rivalry by squaring off in a tied 1-1 game.
The cameras were slow to find this battle, but thankfully viewers didn’t miss much as Mayfield and Glass were engaged in a gritty wrestling match. Sometimes fighting in hockey is more about controlling the engagement rather than throwing punches. Glass did a great job in how he locked up Mayfield and then made him pay after things opened up.
This fight could have been a total dud, but it persevered and ended with Glass picking up a big win.
2. Luke Schenn (ARI) vs Cody McLeod (NSH)
It wouldn’t be a hockey fights column without an appearance from McLeod. The regular fighter not only shows up on this week’s list, but he once again dominates in a big way.
Note that Schenn is wearing a visor during this fight. That seemingly unimportant detail is worth noting because the only damage Schenn dealt to McLeod during this entire fight was by causing some discomfort to McLeod’s knuckles as they rattled off his visor. Beyond that, Schenn was mostly a punching bag for McLeod.
Death, taxes and McLeod beating people up.
1. Jarome Iginla (LA) vs Patrick Maroon (EDM)
This is an outstanding fight. The ending might be a bit lackluster, but the overall match between Maroon and Iginla could be a great example for fans interested in studying the technical side of NHL fights. Watch as the fight transforms several times and how the two players react. Things start off with some distance between the two, but then they get extremely tight. Iginla almost grabs Maroon’s face like a bowling ball. The hand placement and overall posturing is beyond impressive.
Maroon is one of the best stories of the season, but as good as he’s been this year both offensively and physically, sometimes experience trumps all. Iginla isn’t the player he once was, but he demonstrated that he can still hold his own when the mitts go flying.
[If you’re interested in the best hockey fights from previous weeks of the NHL season, check out our archive.]