When it comes to staged fights in hockey everyone has an opinion, some people hate it and think it ruins hockey and others enjoy the fights. I am for keeping fighting in hockey, but do staged fights serve a purpose? If they do serve a purpose I would not want them to be eliminated the NHL, but if they don’t then they should be.
First let us define what a staged fight is. A staged fight is any fight that takes place just after the puck drop or within about 10 seconds after the faceoff.
The CHL has banned staged fights; In the WHL a player involved in a staged fight will receive a game misconduct, in the QMJHL players will receive a games misconduct as well, and in the OHL players will receive a two game suspension.
With the Canadian Junior leagues banning stage fights from the game is it time the NHL does the same? No, it is not (at least for the Red Wings sake).
Jordin Tootoo‘s staged fights have brought energy to the Red Wings line-up and gives the Wings a legitimate fighter for the first time since McCarty “retired”, the first time. Also, each game Tootoo has gotten into a fight the Red Wings have won. In fact the Red Wings are 3 and 0 in games with fights.
The first staged fight happened in the second Red Wings game of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets, when he took on Jarret Boll. The Red Wings needed to up the tempo and energy from the season opener against the Blues. While we might not know completely whether Tootoo’s staged fight was the reason the Red Wings played better in that game, it didn’t hurt. The Red Wings ended up winning the game in the shootout and achieved their first win of the season.
His second and third staged fights occurred against the Dallas Stars on January 29th. He first took on Eric Nystrom 3 seconds after the puck drop and then Brenden Dillon a few seconds after a faceoff in the Dallas zone. The both fights happened because of the big hit Tootoo laid on Philip Larsen in the first meeting between the teams. Nystrom tried to stick up for his teammate at the beginning on the game and lost to Tootoo. Later in the period, at the end of Tootoo’s shift, Dillon challenged Tootoo as well. Tootoo accepted and laid between 10-20 body shots on Dillon along with a few good shots to the face before the fight was broken up. The Red Wings went on to beat the Dallas Stars 4-1.
Staged fights seem to bring energy to the Red Wings line-up and Jordin Tootoo is more than willing to step in and provide it for the team. Some hockey fans might not like staged fights, but there is no denying that it is working well for the Red Wings. Keep up the good work Tootoo and Let’s go Red Wings!