Funny thing about my obsession with hockey, it all started because I found out there were actual fights that regularly happened in the game. Back when I found this all out the Sabres had the likes of Rob Ray, Matthew Barnaby and the fearless boogeyman Bob Boughner, so needless to say there was no shortage of fights regardless of who the opponent was. I honestly had no interest in the actual game being played, but as I tuned in every other night to get a little taste of legal violence I started learning the rules of the game, the players that played it and the incredible amount of passion that lies into almost every aspect of the game.
Regardless of all the talent, passion and determination that lies in the sport though my favorite part of the game will always be the fighting. Nothing gets me excited like a full line brawl with goalies and all going toe to toe. After writing about nothing but football for the last two years I am more than excited to have the opportunity to recap all of the fights our Buffalo Sabres have throughout the season, and that includes the pre-season. The Sabres closed out their 6 game pre-season in a fightless 6-1 loss to the Carolina Huricanes on Friday, giving them a pre-season record of 2-4 with 6 fights.
The first Sabres fight of the 2014-15 (pre)season was between Sabres defencemen Tyson Strachan and Capitals winger Tim Spencer. Strachan signed with the Sabres in July as a free agents and even if it doesn’t seem like it, this was his 16th NHL fight. Strachan decisively lost the fight but to his credit he took one hell of a shot that would of dropped a lot people, there is a nice slow-mo of the vicious right he took at 1:22 of the video
The next fight of the pre-season comes to us from none other than Drew Stafford. Now Drew is not by any means known for his fighting but don’t let that make you think he wont throw down and hold his own. Drew averages roughly one fight per season and even took on tough guy Scott Hartnell last season. This was a brief scrap with Dion Phaneuf that actually took place during a commercial break, Phaneuf was looking for a fight and got punched in the face for it, nice job Drew.
For those of you that don’t know who Chris Stewart is, he was part of the package sent to us from St. Louis for Ryan Miller and Steve Ott and is sure to have a lot of people asking “who is this Chris Stewart guy?” this season. Stewart is a gritty player who scored 2 goals before beating the shit out of Maple Leafs Sam Carrick. If you didn’t know who Chris Stewart was before this season you’ll probably have his jersey before the end of it.
If you thought everybody was going to be getting into fights this preseason and Cody McCormick was going to just stand by and watch it happen then you don’t know Cody McCormick. Not that McCormick was looking to get into this one because it seems David Clarkson was the aggressor, but Clarkson sure didn’t throw any punches and just got hit in the face multiple times before falling on top of Cody. Best part of the fight is when it was over and the announcer says “perhaps not much left in the tank” because from the moment the gloves are dropped it was roughly 15 seconds before the fight is over, so if after 15 seconds there is nothing ‘left in the tank’ then maybe you shouldn’t be trying to fight people in the NHL.
This next fight is actually a little deceiving, Colton Orr instigates a fight with Mike Weber perhaps not realizing how tough Weber actually is. When you watch the fight at first it appears that Orr is the victor, but upon closer inspection Weber seems to have the slight upper hand in the end. The best punch landed is the first right thrown by Weber who follows up with quite a nice jab with his still gloved left. Orr then throws a flurry of wild worthless punches before Weber over powers Orr and slams him to the ground. I’m pretty sure Orr went to the box re-evaluating who he decides to fight in the future.
Last but not least we got the best fight of the preseason for the Sabres and once again Chris Stewart tees off, with Dane Byers looking for a fight Stewart was quick to kick the living shit out of him. This was the best fight of the preseason for several reasons. Not only was it the biggest ass whooping a Sabre put on someone this preseason, but Stewart was sticking up for his teammate. Byers originally tried to fight Marcus Foligno who has been recovery from a bad shoulder injury, after Byers dropped his gloves and grabbed Foligno, Marcus looked at him like “I’m not fighting you, you guys are losers”. Stewart didn’t care that we were winning 3-0 at the end of the first though, he seen somebody going after his teammate so he grabbed that guy and beat the crap out of him. Chris Stewart just became my favorite player, this drinks for you Stewart, cheers!!!