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My Goon Can Still Beat Your Goon

By January 30, 2013

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Matt Beleskey #39 of the Anaheim Ducks fights Aaron Volpatti #15 of the Vancouver Canucks

Not everyone was in peak form when the 2013 NHL season finally began.

But the goons were ready.

As soon as the puck dropped, so did the gloves.

The early games featured plenty of tussles, as the old-timers call them, and nobody was surprised. 

While long-term trends show fights on the decline in the NHL, only a fool would expect the imminent extinction of the enforcer.

Fighting isn't tolerated in other team sports. So why does it still thrive in the NHL and throughout the hockey world?

There's no simple answer. But it helps to understand how deeply the fist fight is ingrained in the roots of the game.

Read A Brief History of Hockey Fights.

Photo: Anaheim's Matt Beleskey and Vancouver's Aaron Volpatti have a go (Harry How/Getty Images).

Comments

January 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm
(1) Richard MacDonald says:

I am a Senoir citizen and hockey to me has been #1. Through the years this sport has completely changed. The game was skating skill and finesse in passing and shots on net. No one wore a helmet or mask. When the “slap shot” was started that changed the attack. Then Jacques Plante started to wear a face mask. Now EVERY club has its goon to have the fight and take someone out . I agree 100% no fights. You fight you are out and a big fine

January 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm
(2) Papa says:

Loosen up Richard! Don’t forget, hockey fighting goes way back, even before Howe and Lindsay. It’s part of the game and most fans love it. If they didn’t have fighting, there would be way more dirty trips and slashes that would result in more injuries than the fights. Go Red Wings!

February 8, 2013 at 3:14 am
(3) beingbobbyorr says:

There’s no simple answer.

Actually there is. (1) Hockey players travel x2 as fast as athletes in any other sport. (2) They move on a hard, slippery surface with 2 mm blades, with legal body-checking. (3) Out-of-Bounds = your face planted into unforgiving glass/boards. (4) The athletes carry lethal weapons in their hands, which no other sport but baseball (and then one player, the batter, at a time) has. In that context, it’s easy to see how lots of normal activity can easily be mis-interpreted as an egregious attack upon the self.

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