Matt Niskanen, much maligned for his (perhaps) failed bout against Sidney Crosby in November of this season (reiterated on HBO's 24/7) could have taken his defeat and called it a fighting career. There are lots of guys in the league who fight once or twice and never fight again. It's not their bag.
Niskanen thought otherwise tonight. He engaged a deer caught in the headlights, also knows as Colin Fraser, with an impassioned and determined wild abandon. It was primal. He wouldn't be denied. Call the fight lame if you like, but it seemed to those of us in the building that this one meant quite a bit to the young American. He certainly was victorious.
Of course it was just one of four on the fight card tonight, with the fifth called off because Sutherby granted Gagner a moment to reconsider what he had just gotten himself into and indeed the would-be beat down was quelled before it had a chance to begin. Adam Burish likened it on the post-game show to a little sister challenging a big brother and the latter saying "why don't you get out of here before you get hurt?" His words, not mine.
Funny thing about NHL fights... they're cataloged and voted upon at Hockeyfights.com, and they take the business seriously. Dallas is faring well in last night's fisticuffs but why not sign up and cast your ballots accordingly? Pugilists in the league check that site all the time for scouting purposes and private checks of the ego.
In the mean time we present Colin Fraser. The guy who got beat up by the guy that Sidney Crosby beat up? Ouch: