It was a busy night for fights on Saturday – there was outdoor UFC action in Abu Dhabi, Evander Holyfield beat Frans Botha in Vegas, but I’m giving my nod to another Evander for fight of the night.
Evander Kane of the Atlanta Thrashers, named after the now 47-year-old pugilist who once had part of his ear nibbled off, showed a different side of his game on Saturday night – getting in a tilt early in the second period of a 1-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins (and handing the NJ Devils the Atlantic Division title).
I don’t know if I would call it a fight, per se, though…but it was a beautiful thing.
If there’s one guy in the NHL that deserves to get his butt kicked, it’s probably Matt Cooke. In an age where certain players seem to have lost respect for one another, Cooke finds himself as the poster boy for that style of game after several dirty hits in the past two seasons.
On Saturday, Cooke was up to his old tricks, trying to get under the skin of the 18-year-old Kane, which turned out to be a bad idea.
All it took was one punch.
Feel free to watch it a few times – it gets better each time.
Kane on the fight (via Yahoo! Sports):
“He challenged me and asked me to fight, and I was not going to back down. It’s part of the game.”
Atlanta coach John Anderson on the Pens hounding his player for a couple of hits on Sidney Crosby:
“If they take exception to who gets hit out there, does that mean you are supposed to start a fight? I don’t get it. Crosby is so great for this game, but when you’re always around the puck, you’re going to get hit a little bit. Every time he gets body checked, does that mean somebody is going to get attacked? Cooke came at an 18-year-old. What goes around, comes around. That’s all I can tell you.”
Oh snap! Ain’t that the truth! Wouldn’t it be a sweet dose of karma if Cooke wound up with a concussion and missed some action?
I’m not saying I hope it happens, but if it did happen – I wouldn’t feel bad for him.
On the topic of fights, check out this Sports Illustrated Players Poll on who the league’s toughest fighter is. There are a couple of surprises in there, but the Heavyweight Champ is pretty clear-cut.
Check back before Wednesday for a playoff preview!