Fights in the National Hockey League has been greatly diminished in recent years as the NHL has tried desperately to crack down on head injuries in the wake of several lawsuits for former players. Thankfully though for those of us who love nothing more than a good scrap on the ice we still get to see one every once in a while.
On Sunday night the Detroit Red Wings were facing off against the Loss Angeles Kings for the first time this season and although there didn't seem to be much animosity between the two sides it didn't take all that long for things to get pretty rough. The Kings got out to an early 1 - 0 lead but outside of that the game was relatively uneventful, that is at least until the first half of the second period.
With just a little over 6 minutes played in the second frame, Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi found himself on the wrong end of a thunderous body check from Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin. Now despite the fact that 29 year old Jensen is both the bigger and older man, Bertuzzi is only 23, Bertuzzi was able to quickly bounce back up and skate back into the play but not before the hit got the attention of those in attendance, and some of those playing on the ice as well.
One player who got a bird's eye view of the hit was 28 year old Detroit Red Wings' defenseman Nick Jensen and it was quite clear, based on his body language following the big hit, that he was not very pleased with the huge hit from Muzzin. Now to be fair to Muzzin here the hit did not seem particularly dirty and the negative reaction to it seemed to be based more on the impact of the hit and the sound it made as Bertuzzi was crushed into the boards.
Nick Jensen is a significantly smaller man than Jake Muzzin, one need only look at the two men side by side to see that there is a considerable size discrepancy between the two men. In spite of that though Jensen showed absolutely no fear when he went after Muzzin following the hit, intent on coming to the defense of his teammate even at the risk of his own personal safety. Muzzin to his credit was happy to oblige Jensen and it didn't take long before both men had their gloves down on the ice and punches were flying on both sides of the equation.
Early on it looked like Jensen may have bit off more than he can chew, Muzzin appeared to easily keep him at a distance thanks to his superior size and outside of a few light shots there wasn't much going on in the fight. A few second later though Jensen appeared to find another gear and that;s when he began to unload on Muzzin with a flurry of punches. It was the most significant offense of the exchange by far and it was more than enough for me to give Jensen the nod in this one.