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Videos: Milbury, Jones debate merits of staged brawls

Jan 21, 2013, 9:28 PM EDT

If you were pining for NHL-level fights during the lockout, then the first few days of the 2013 season should whet your appetite with fast food-like efficiency.

The Tampa Bay Lightning-New York Islanders game added to a growing trend of fights happening right off the faceoff during Monday afternoon and that didn’t halt at night. Jared Boll and Jordin Tootoo fought three seconds into the Columbus Blue Jackets’ home-opener against the Detroit Red Wings, which is happening right now on NBC SN:

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Mike Milbury and Keith Jones took notice of this pugilistic pattern, prompting them to share their thoughts on the subject during the first intermission of Red Wings-Blue Jackets:

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Now, it’s not like this is a tradition that began on Saturday. Last season’s Penguins-Islanders brawl-fest ranks as just one of the examples of how choreographed staged fighting is becoming. It just seems like quite a few teams are welcoming fans back by dropping the gloves early.

Bonus fight

Technically, Colton Orr and John Scott didn’t drop the gloves first-things-first in tonight’s Buffalo Sabres-Toronto Maple Leafs game. Still, fighting 2:34 into a contest is still a pretty hasty duel … and a mighty battle that some of you will enjoy regardless:

So, how do you feel about these fights? Do you lean more toward Milbury’s stance or Jones’ side of the argument?

  1. franchisethighs - Jan 21, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    By now we’ve all heard about how Sid
    single-handedly saved the NHL season because he was finally bored of
    bedding all of your daughters. All the push-ups that he had to do to
    penetrate so many willing participants were helping both his slapshot
    power, accuracy, and your daughters dreams come to fruition. A god
    among men.

    The one and only person happy about the lockout situation that just
    perspired is Wayne “I wish I were as good as Crosby” Gretzky. The fear
    that the Can has put into the supposed (second) great one is
    astonishing. At 25 and having to deal with a shortened season, Wayne’s
    measly goal record is so close to being broken he can’t bear to watch
    any of the games this year. Unfortunately we all know Paulina will be
    watching the games religiously surrounded by a John Bohnam like drum
    set made entirely of Campbell’s.

    • lordfletcher - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      what was the point of your idiotic ramble ?

      You sound way too much like Mike Milbury

      • sabatimus - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        As much as I hate to admit it, Milbury is never THIS far off point–Milbury’s merely wrong about his points a lot of the time and he’s a jackass.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      haha WOW what the hell was THAT?

      That’s some serial killer kind of crazy.

    • cweez2 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM


      Cocaine’s a hell of a drug

      • barkar942 - Jan 22, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        Hey Mr. O’Brien, if franchisethighs and orpiksdeadeyes is the same soup can idiot, can you re-ban him?
        All he does is create multiple names, all with references to his pe*is envy of Cindy and Geno, and wastes valuable bytes on your servers, and valuable seconds of my life trying to even figure out what he is even attempting to say, other than he has a man crush on the two of them.

        Now as for the topic of this article, I personally am not a fan of the staged fight. I believe this has evolved because of the instigator rule. Neither wants the extra penalty for their team. All that has to be done to eliminate this is after you are involved in a staged fight more than once, you get a game misconduct.
        I am not against fighting, I just like it more when two guys are battling on the ice and then they get involved.

  2. nobandwagoners - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    Can’t stand staged fights – makes a mockery of the sport. Makes the NHL look like some bush league and takes away from the real skill to play the game.

    That doesn’t mean I favour removing fighting completely from the game – I think it has its place – but stages fights are absurd and rather pointless.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Staged fights have their place. Dropping the gloves on the opening draw gets the crowd into the game immediately and that’s something you certainly want if you’re the home team.

      • lordfletcher - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM

        the only fights I can’t stand are when a player feels like they must throw down when one of their teammates get’s legally checked down to the ice. If the play was clean, continue the game. Ref’s should be dishing out penalty minutes for those trying to fight a skater who made a legal check.

        Drives me nuts, otherwise, I love fighting in the NHL.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        Yes! Totally agree, that should be a 10 min misconduct or something.

      • cweez2 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        What will get the crowd into the game – and keep them there – is a team that doesn’t suck.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 22, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        Not sucking doesn’t get the fans out of their seat and right into the game one second into the first period. Nobody can score a goal that fast.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      Maybe absurd, but not pointless.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Yea, everyone in the crowd really looks like they hate it too

  3. mp1131211 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    …. this criticism about what gives hockey a bad name comes from the guy who climbed the bleachers and hits a guy with his shoe……

  4. mp1131211 - Jan 21, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    I like both types of fighting, don’t get me wrong, but if you step back and look at it from the perspective of general sportsmanship, staged fighting is actually more acceptable. When fights erupt out of frustration or anger, its more of a foreign concept to the sports world than two willing combatants agreeing upon a fight at center stage.

    I don’t mind either of them, honestly, but if Millbury is worried about giving hockey a bad name, he’s got to get some perspective here. Sportsmanship generally doesn’t involve retaliation fights for hits on a star player.

  5. dougr42 - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    fighting just for the hell of it at the beginning of the game really annoys me. at least get some hockey played in the hockey game before you start slugging away. fighting to police the game is one thing, but these opening face-off fights are gratuitous and unnecessary.

    I turned off the Rangers-Pens game as soon as I saw the gloves drop.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      What a complete lie

  6. thehighcountrybear - Jan 21, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    While respecting Milbury’s need to offer point counterpoint, I hardly think he has grounds to argue these fights give the game a bad name? I would argue that climbing into the crowd and beating a guy over the head with his own shoe, though richly deserved, hardly did much for the game’s image. But then, Mike always was a sole man…

  7. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    I’m not a fan of staged fights but the masses would rather see it so it’s not going away. If a player is going to drop the gloves, I’d rather it be in retaliation to a dirty hit/play. I’m sure I’m in the minority though.

    • hockeywithdrawal - Jan 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Nah I agree…there’s just no point to staged fights…if you are upset about something that happened, or trying to get your team in it, ok. But if your team isn’t pumped up 10 seconds into the game, then just get back on the bus!

  8. lionstigersandwingsohmy - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Sometimes staged fights lead allow players to get thier fustrations out and lead to a cleaner game. Remember the Detroit/Colorado rivalry? After McCarty beat the pulp out of Lemuix in the bloody game, the two fought right off the faceoff in a later game. It was staged, but allowed Lemuix to go into the fight willingly and it ended up being a draw. I believe that is the last time those two fought and I cannot remember that game being dirty.

    • lionstigersandwingsohmy - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      Maybe I’m wrong about the game. Can’t remember if that was the one where Osgood fought Roy.

  9. whatthepuck2012 - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    I agree with lordfletcher…stop hunting guys down because they legally knocked your guy over. I love fights, hate retaliation for legal hits.

  10. sabatimus - Jan 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Anybody else read “Fight!” on the front page and think Mortal Kombat?

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