Obviously this 2011-2012 St. Louis Blues team did not want to keep remembering the ass-kickings they took at the hands of the Dallas Stars last season and early in this one, earning a hard-fought 5-3 victory over their former division-mate and soon-to-be conference-mate. There was a fight in this game, and as I was suspecting, Steve Ott got himself involved. He has a tendency to rile up whoever happens to be the “Whipping Boy” defenseman in St. Louis. So yes, he got into it with Barret Jackman this time. I happened to be in attendance, and watching this one develop was quite interesting, to say the least. And in this instance, it almost led to a second fight, which was pretty fun (check the video of the whole incident here). As an added bonus, it was on national television! So now, many more hockey fans than before know about how much of a jerk Ott is. The fight itself was relatively weak, as after Ott got up from Jackman taking him down a second time and after Jackman face-washed Ott, Ott punched Jackman WHILE HIS GLOVE WAS STILL ON (a douche move), then after shedding the gloves he got a couple rights in, after which the two hugged it out and fell on the ice. Somehow, this was not voted a draw – instead, Ott was declared a winner. I have a feeling that result may change, but nonetheless . . . the Blues move up to 14 fights on the season, good for a tie for 15th in the National Hockey League with the Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets and last night’s opponent in that category. With the loss, the team’s fight record “slides” to 5-2-7.
Now, the Blues take their first trip to Joe Louis Arena on the season, not to mention their first of two trips to that arena in less than a week. Yes, it’s our old “friends”, the Detroit Red Wings! I’ve spoken twice about these folks this season, both for home contests (November 15th and December 6th, to be exact). There really isn’t much to say about the Wings that you don’t already know. They don’t drop the gloves as often as any other team in the league, and they are rarely baited into a fight. You can’t go into a Red Wings game thinking there WILL be a fight, actually. The Wings are currently all by themselves, DEAD LAST in the NHL with four fighting majors collected on the no-longer-young 2011-2012 season. To put this in perspective . . . coming into tonight’s game, there are 39 NHL players who have fought four or more times – 26 of those players have fought five or more times (including our own Ryan Reaves, who has fought five times), and seven of THOSE players have fought at least eight times, or DOUBLE the amount of fights the Red Wings have been part of as a team. That’s incredibly hard to accomplish as a team, if you ask me. Anyway, in these fights, the Wings have gone 2-2-0, which I guess is not horrible.
Of those four fights, Justin Abdelkader (6’1”, 219lbs, 1-1-0) has taken part in two of them. The other two were battled by Jonathan Ericsson (6’4”, 221lbs, Win) and youngster Jakub Kindl (6’3”, 216lbs, Loss). So obviously, there is not much to sift through when talking about fights with the Red Wings.
And as you could guess, I do not anticipate there being any more fights to add to the list tonight. Sorry!
Great news on the fisticuffs front for the Blues . . . third-line grinder BJ Crombeen, who tied for the team lead in fighting majors in the 2010-2011 season, returns to the lineup tonight after missing the first 35 games of THIS season due to a broken scapula suffered in the preseason. Former Blues pugilist and current Blues radio color commentator Kelly Chase broke the news on Twitter this morning. While he’s not the most skilled player on the team, his return adds a definite grit factor to the team and adds to the surplus of forwards the Blues have been accumulating since players have been coming off Injured Reserve with their injuries. Also, I love the way this guy plays, and many partial Blues observers also have taken a liking to him as he displays a hard-nosed style to his game. A further report on BJ’s return is upcoming on The BlueNote Zone.
The Blues have won both games against the Red Wings this year. Can they make it a third? Please, let this happen.
LET’S GO BLUES!!!!!
Information obtained via the incomparable Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights