Somebody tell these boys that the game doesn't even count in the standings!
For fans and even some of the players preseason games in the National Hockey League can be relatively meaningless due to the fact that, as I mentioned above, they don't count towards your point totals at the end of the season. They do however mean a great deal to several players that are trying to establish themselves as regular fixtures on their respective NHL rosters, and in many cases these are young guys fighting for their livelihoods. As a result tensions can boil over even in the preseason as players try to get themselves noticed, and that is exactly what happened on Sunday night.
The only game on the schedule this evening was a match up between the Arizona Coyotes and the Las Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and it did not disappoint. There was plenty of action throughout the game including a number of goals, which included a hat trick from Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty, as well as a number of physical altercations throughout the game. Pacioretty himself had a huge hit early on in the game, and that was answered by a very question hit from Golden Knights hopeful Keegan Kolesar. That hit would see Kolesar ejected from the game however, and we were not done there.
We would also see a battle between two NHL hopefuls in Jan Jenik of the Arizona Coyotes and Patrick Brown of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Brown, 27, has not seen regular season action since he was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes while Jenik, 19, has yet to play his first game at the NHL level. It was clear that both these guys were out to prove something, so when they crossed one another's path it was not long before the two men got to talk and shoving. Moments later the gloves were off and we had ourselves a battle at center ice, in the very first game of the NHL preseason no less.
Now to be fair this was not some knock down drag out brawl, but for a preseason game I certainly won't complain.