Ten goals, two fights and a victory are three good ways to shake out from a hard-battled, emotional road loss 24 hours previous. The St. Louis Blues also got some home-cooked enthusiasm in that 6-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. As for the two fights, they were both draws, though for different reasons I figured an edge would be given either way in both fights. First, Roman Polak FINALLY got on the fight board, and while his fight with Dane Byers (By the way, what in the bloody hell is a Dane Byers?) was adjudged a draw, I thought Polak might have been given the edge in that one because of some post-fight punching by Byers (video here). In the second bout, Ryan Reaves expectedly went at it with Jared Boll, and while Reaves started out decently, I felt Boll might have had the edge because he landed a big shot at the end of the fight (video here). Alas, both fights were called draws, and I can live with that in both instances. Also of note – Polak’s fight with Byers marked the first time a Blues player had picked up a major fighting penalty in nearly three weeks (November 29th, to be exact, was the previous time). The Blues now move into a tie for 16th in the National Hockey League with the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets, each team earning 13 fighting majors on the season thus far. Adding the two draws, the Blues now hold a fight record of 5-1-7.
And the boys go back to Denver. It’s a two-game Mountain Time Zone swing that the Blues go on, first visiting “The Land of Tebow” (Yes, I am a long-time Denver Broncos football fan, sorry) and squaring off with the Colorado Avalanche. We covered this team a few weeks back (December 2nd, to be exact), and all things considered, when you take away the record and the goaltending, this is pretty much the Blues – a few studs offensively, a couple blue-line standouts and a few brawlers. But that goaltending . . . well, we’ll just leave that alone, as it’s not my area of expertise. The Avalanche have fought 14 times now this season, all alone in 15th in the NHL in that category. The Avs are a mediocre 3-6-5 in those fights.
This is about the point in the season where I forget about telling you how these teams fared in fights last year, as every team is now at least 30 games deep into the season. So let’s recap how individual Avs have fared in fights during the 2011-2012 season, shall we?
The team is led, not surprisingly, by fighter extraordinaire Cody McLeod (6’2”, 210lbs, 2-3-1) with six fights on the season. Following him are a trio of players with two fighting majors each – Shane O’Brien (6’3”, 230lbs, 1-0-1), Ryan Wilson (6’1”, 207lbs, 0-0-2, on IR with a head injury) and David Jones (6’2”, 210lbs, Day-To-Day with a groin injury). Two Avs players have fought once each, they are Ryan O’Byrne (6’5”, 234lbs, Loss) and Daniel Winnik (6’2”, 210lbs, Loss).
While McLeod may be a touch undersized for Reaves, the Manitoba native would likely not back down from a challenge by Reaves. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if McLeod challenged Reaves to a fight. But who knows what will happen, really? I’m just saying that McLeod and Reaves is the best bet.
LET’S GO BLUES!!!!!
Information obtained via the incomparable Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights