Let’s start off by saying I am pretty confident in saying that if there was an over under for NHL players I could name, the line would be 15. My idea of hockey is that of the standard sports fan, bullshit through the season until playoffs, realize we have some new additions that are funny and cool and root for the Pens to go all the way. I don’t feel I’m too far from the medium of sports fans when it comes to hockey, but I’m much closer to not being a fan than to being one. I think though with a pretty straight face that everyone can agree on one thing. NHL fights are more important than goals.
There’s nothing funnier than watching the difference between hockey and other sports. This season, the NFL had about three fights and none of them were good or fair. They were all blind sided hits or tackles followed by wrestling and punching helmets. I would love for the NFL to allow a quick boxing match during a play, then have them go back out and have to run 40 yards. Even basketball has had its fair share of tussles, with Draymond Green and Bradly Beal hugging each other to death a few months back.
Basically what I’m getting at is fighting is still the one reason I love to watch hockey. At any moment these 6’6” guys who all look like your moms new boyfriend literally take off all of their protective gear and drop their wooden weapons to throw some fists. Most of the fights are reasonable, like when a top player for one team gets hit and the teams enforcer glides over like a greek god to save the day. The fights I can’t comprehend but love way more are when two guys just say “wanna go?”, chuck balled up hands at each other, then proceed to love each other after.
If you’re unaware of the term goon, there are a few good movies about the concept. I wish there were more legit guys who had no reason being on the ice but would just go out there to assert dominance and murder the other teams champion. Look, I understand the flow of games and the penalty minutes and the injuries are all reasons to take the fights away, but nothing is better than looking up from your beer at a bar to see two gladiators on ice circling one another and the one guy who came to the bar to watch the game kick his barstool back three feet and scream “F**K HIM UP”. Only two things make men want to watch something they don’t always find interesting, and you can’t really let people have sex on the rink, so blood it is.