We were treated to a pretty good scrap in the National Hockey League this evening.
The Florida Panthers were in Canada on Sunday night visiting Western Canada as they were set to face off against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. The contest between the two teams did not produce a great deal of fireworks largely due to the fact that the Panthers never really seemed to get things going offensively. Of course full credit goes to veteran Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom who made some spectacular saves during the game to keep the Panthers from ever getting any momentum going their way, but nonetheless it was largely a blowout late in the game with the Canucks cruising to a 5 - 1 victory.
That being said though there was one pretty good highlight during the game that came in the closing minutes of the very 1st period. That highlight came courtesy of veteran Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson and veteran Florida Panthers forward Micheal Haley. The 2 men apparently were not enjoying one another's company during the first 18 minutes or so of the game and I say that because it seemed like both men were determined to get a big piece of one another. With only 2 and a half minutes to go in the period the two men were in the face off circle and it was less than one second after the puck had dropped that they were squaring off with one another and were both dropping their gloves to the ice.
Now first things first, I have to give Micheal Haley a ton of credit here for having the guts to take on a much, much, bigger man in Erik Gudbranson. I know that Haley is an established fighter at the National Hockey League level but you could tell in this fight that the size caused him to take significantly more damage than he would have had all things been equal, and in spite of that Haley never faltered for even a second.
In fact both men swung wildly at one another and at times both men connected with shots of their own, and in fact even when they lost their balance and fell to the ice it looked like they still wanted to go at it. It took everything the NHL officials on the ice had to get these 2 men separated and send them in to the penalty box.