The second period of the Friday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs became more about face-punching than hockey — which surprises no one considering the Leafs are the Leafs and they still believe the game is decided by whose knuckles drag lower.
There were two scraps before the title bout. First, John Erskine and Dion Phaneuf traded gloved punches, an altercation that linesman Mark Shewchyk seemed to get the worst of. Second, Tom Wilson bloodied his knuckles in a fight with a player with two awful first names, Carter Ashton. I’d punch that guy for that reason alone.
But those were merely the scrumptious appetizers before the two heavyweights on the team, Erskine and Colton Orr, gave us the main course. I’ll end the lame metaphor here, but the entree was probably something meaty, with a heaping of gravy.
Erskine seems angry, no?
Andddddd here’s the KO punch.
After fights, players on the bench and the ice usually tap their sticks in salute. After this bout, however, both benches were more pumped up than usual, slamming the boards with their sticks like they had just watched the most entertaining Pay-Per-View of 2014.
Karl Alzner went a step further. Instead of slamming his stick, he bent over and started slamming the boards with his hands. I guess that’s louder. Or more manly.
GIFs by Ian Oland
Braden Holtby, who has been riding the pine since the Bee Gee’s topped the charts, did the same.
What a salute.
After the game, Alex Ovechkin‘s mind was still on the fights.
“[Tom Wilson] and [John Erskine] did a great job, especially against great guys who can fight,” Ovechkin gushed. “They won the battles and it gave us more confidence. I think [Toronto] started playing rough against us and they showed them who the boss was.”