Fighting might be dying in hockey, but politeness is apparently on the rise.
Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon was mic’d up during Saturday’s game against the Nashville Predators. After getting into a fight with Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson, instead of talking trash, Dillon’s words from the penalty box were surprisingly tame.
In the box, Dillon joked with Watson about needing to work on their cardio over the Summer. Watson admitted he was “dying after like 10 seconds” of fighting. The two talked about mixing in cardio with their (assumed) trainer Joey in the offseason, but Dillon said Joey “doesn’t know cardio.” After the friendly conversation, Watson wished Dillon “good luck for the rest of the year,” which Dillon reciprocated.
Following a fight, rarely is the situation as civil as Watson and Dillon’s display.
Take for example, after a bout between Philadelphia Flyers Ryan White and Dallas Stars Antoine Roussell, the conversation got nasty. A fan recorded White’s colored remarks, which are very NFSW.
It can be even worse.
When two players really don’t like each other, the situation can escalate to absurd lengths. In late December in an ECHL game between the Colorado Eagles and Utah Grizzlies, defenseman Michael Sdao started a fight while Grizzlies forward Jon Puskar was in the penalty box. It was sheer madness.
Ultimately, it’s refreshing to see two NHL players fight on the ice and not carry it with them to the box. Dillon and Watson wanted to go and that was it. Players and fans watching at home can learn that fighting on the ice can simply just be that. Tempers don’t need to flare beyond the initial scrap.
Somehow, however, I doubt the fight will start a trend of players being nicer to each other after dropping the mitts.