So it is time. Yes, it’s THAT time. IT’S TIME FOR REAL LIVE HOCKEY! This means the return of the Throwdown Lowdown report which, admittedly, was running in slack-off mode at the tail end of last season after getting a late start. But the batteries are recharged and the river flows forth. Not only that, the St. Louis Blues’ first opponent is a team not-at-all shy about throwing down the gloves. So let’s hop right into this!
The Blues finished 5th in total fights in the NHL with 73 last year and went 29-20-23 in those fights. They were led by Cam Janssen, who led The Note with 19 fights (11-3-5) despite a five-game suspension and a lot of DNP-Coach’s Decision nights. Janssen was followed by BJ Crombeen with 18 fights (8-6-4), Brad Winchester with 10 (3-2-5), “Captain America” David Backes (2-2-1) and new Capital DJ King (2-2-1) with 5 each, Carlo Colaiacovo with 4 (0-1-3), Erik Johnson (0-1-2) and Barret “SIR JAXX” Jackman (1-0-2) each with 3 and “Captain Roboto” Eric Brewer (1-1-0) and new Panther Mike Weaver (0-1-1) each with 2. Finishing with one fight each were “The Non-Italian, Non-Polish Czech” Roman Polak (Win) and the recently-retired Darryl Sydor (Loss).
The Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia Flyers participated in a whopping 77 fights last season, second (by one) to the Anaheim Ducks. Their W-L-D totals in those 77 fights? 26-22-29 – a fairly even record. They were led by a familiar face – former Blues tough-guy Ian Laperriere and his 25 fights (8-4-13), despite spending parts of last season on the shelf. Unfortunately, Laperriere will start the season on IR because of the last of those injuries, which caused Post-Concussion Syndrome. Following Laperriere was well-known pest Daniel Carcillo with 17 fights (7-5-5), new Penguin Arron Asham with 14 (5-5-4), Scott Hartnell with 7 (3-2-2) and the recently-retired Riley Cote (0-4-0) and captain Mike Richards (0-2-2) each with 4. Daniel Briere (Draw), Simon Gagne (Win), Claude Giroux (Win), Darroll Powe (Draw), former Blues captain Chris Pronger (Draw) and new SEL entrant Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Win) each finished with one fight.
In the only fight between the Blues and Flyers last season – on November 7th in Philly – Cam Janssen edged out Arron Asham in a very even bout. The video of that fight, courtesy of Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights, can be seen here. It should be noted that Asham and Janssen were teammates at one time in New Jersey – this reporter bets the sparring sessions were simply epic at those practices.
It would depend on whether or not both guys suit up (and the chances aren’t great that it would happen that way), but my dream matchup is between Asham and Janssen. While there may not be roundhouses, it would be a very technical bout and would probably take a while to complete. Another possibility? Carcillo and Crombeen, who seem to match up almost perfectly size-wise as mid-heavyweights. It would also be hilarious if Backes and Pronger went at it to continue Backes’ run through Gold Medalists.
You don’t need any more pumping up, do you? It’s OPENING NIGHT! GET JACKED! GET SERIOUS! GET READY FOR HOCKEY!
LET’S GO BLUES!!!!!
Information obtained via the incomparable Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights