Two big heavyweights have just kicked off the 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season in epic fashion.
The Dallas Stars got out to an early lead on Saturday night during the first period of their Western Conference match up against the Winnipeg Jets and it wasn't long before things began to get ugly on both sides of the ice. Now it seems fair to suggest that tensions were running high due to the fact that both teams have high expectations for this season as well as the fact that Dallas was already up by a pair of goals in the first period.
The tensions were particularly high between two players however, Winnipeg Jets center Adam Lowry and Dallas Stars forward Brett Ritchie. Although we couldn't see it due to the camera angles provided by the broadcast, the crew in the booth repeatedly let us know that both men could be seen visibly arguing with one another on their respective benches. With the two men flapping their gums at one another it seemed only a matter of time before things spilled out on the ice and that is in fact exactly what happened.
Ritchie and Lowry continued to argue with one another once they got on the ice and it was long before the gloves came off of both men and as they agreed to engaged in a fight. This wasn't just some scuffle for show or to inspire their teammates either, the genuine animosity between these two men was palpable and you could see it behind every punch that was being thrown. It appeared quite obvious that each man was trying to take the others head off because every swing from both guys looked like a fully loaded haymaker designed to inflict maximum punishment on the opponent.
These aren't little boys either, both of these men are well over 210 lbs and there was plenty of weight and power behind every punch. If you have any doubts about that you only need to look at the damage to their faces once it was all said and done, with Ritchie seemingly taking the worst of it, looking like he had several lacerations all over his face. That's not to say that Lowry himself wasn't also banged up from the exchanges between the two big boys but the damage to Ritchie was definitely the most visible upon first inspection.
Now if I were judging this fight I would have to give it to Lowry purely based on damage inflicted to the opponent, but he did manage to gain a key advantage for himself during the fight that may explain why he did more noticeable damage. As the two men were exchanging wild swings with one another Lowry cleverly found an opening to take off Ritchie's helmet and you could really see him begin to swing with no regard for his hand once the helmet had come off.
Regardless of who you think won this one I think I'm going to walk away from this great fight thinking that it is us, the fans, who won tonight,