Two things completely unexpected happened in Thursday night’s 4-1 St. Louis Blues home victory over the New York Rangers. First, the Blues were able to dominate action for about 45 of the 60 minutes of play despite a full four-day layoff. Secondly, there was only one penalty called, and at that, it was a petty holding call deep in the Rangers’ zone. This means that there were no fighting majors recorded by either team – which included the Rangers, one of the most punch-happy teams in the National Hockey League. So the Blues stay at 11 fighting majors collected on the season, good for a tie for 20th in the NHL in the category with the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs. Perspective to be found here – Ottawa Senators forward Zenon Konopka has 11 fights BY HIMSELF, which would tie him INDIVIDUALLY with the Blues, Oilers and Leafs in the fight standings. Yikes. The Blue Note’s fight record remains at 5-1-5. Smashville? More like Twangville to me, but I think I can manage. I am typing at you live from a hotel in downtown Nashville, Tennessee in preparation to watch tonight’s Blues game with the Nashville Predators. We covered this team way back on October 8th here on the Throwdown Lowdown report. You’ll find almost everything you need to know about last year’s fighters on this Predators squad and how they did as a team after dropping the gloves last season. But what you really need to know here is this – despite the divisional rivalry and matchup, expecting a fight in this contest is not exactly the wisest thing to do. That said, the Preds have fought a little more often than the Blues this season – 13 times, in fact, which ties them for 12th in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild in that category. The Preds’ fight record is alright as well – 6-3-4.
Preds players who have fought this year begin with journeyman enforcer Brian McGrattan (6’4”, 235lbs, 4-0-1) with five fighting majors on the season and one of my least favorite NHL players, Jordin Tootoo (5’9”, 199lbs, 2-0-0), with two. Solo fighters include Blake Geoffrion (6’1”, 190lbs, Draw), Matt Halischuk (6’0”, 185lbs, Draw), Mike Fisher (6’1”, 208lbs, Draw), Colin Wilson (6’1”, 210lbs, Loss), Francis Bouillon (5’8”, 198lbs, Loss) and Zack Stortini (6’4”, 215lbs, Loss to Ryan Reaves).
I fully do not expect to see a fight in tonight’s contest, but if it does happen, expect it to be early and expect McGrattan to mix it up with Reaves. I’ve seen sillier things happen.
Time to turn Smashville into . . . something other than Smashville. Whaddaya say, gang?
LET’S GO BLUES!!!!!
Information obtained via the incomparable Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights