I know. We’re not supposed to like fighting.
I know. There are plenty of people who say there’s no place in hockey for fighting.
But if you talk with anyone who’s played the game, they’ll tell you fighting has a purpose — like keeping players from other teams from taking shots at your skill guys, or changing the momentum of a game when your team is dragging.
In this instance, I think from 1993, two of the game’s most infamous enforcers, Bob Probert and Marty McSorley, had been picking at each other all night and finally decided to go. It should be noted: Probert, who may still be the all-time leader in penalty minutes although he’s been retired for years, was a Red Wing at the time; McSorley, who was suspended after a vicious attack on Donald Brashear during a game, was brought to Pittsburgh to protect Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, after doing the same for Wayne Gretsky in Edmonton for years.
I don’t think we’ll see anything like this once the Pens and the Red Wings start their series for the Stanley Cup tomorrow, in part because there aren’t many guys like Probert and McSorley left in the NHL.
I know. There are many who would say that’s a good thing. I’m not sure I’d be one of them.