Kaboom, Niskanen. I don't particularly like fighting, and when you're losing the game, it's certainly a bad idea to have your star player off the ice for 5+ minutes.
Looking at it from another perspective, Dallas captain Brendan Morrow took on Kristopher Letang on the previous play. Letang was recovering from a hand injury at the time. Naturally, a measured appropriate response is to arrange a face-off fight with Matt Niskanen.
Deadspin's Barry Patchesky doesn't call this a good fight, as he wouldn't, because as an American mouthbreathing trogdolyte he probably expects a good fight what dentists call "getting rich":
I guess we have to technically classify this one as a hockey fight, even though everything from lead-up to takedown looks more like some mites who have seen hockey fights on TV, and want to go through the motions.It was a good tilt, and while Niskanen isn't a feared fighter, he had Crosby on the ropes early on. The Kid showed off his lower body power and got into a dominant position. A 'skilled' fighter would probably have slipped out from under his feet from the ropes that early (perhaps this is just bias from having watched Darcy Hordichuk all of last year).
In one of the later games from last night, Jarome Iginla scuffled with former teammate Brad Stuart. But didn't:
At the tail end of the second period Wednesday, Jarome Iginla shucked his helmet, likely looking to stoke his dormant inner embers by handing Brad Stuart a detailed map to Queer Street, the hard way. Linesman Jay Sharrars and Scott Driscoll stepped in before any right hands were swapped (lucky Stuart!), yet all Iginla had to show for the fit of pique was an extra two minutes for cross-checking.Oh boo-hoo Jarome. I know we aren't supposed to admit that Jarome Iginla has hit a career snag, but he's hit a career snag something fierce.
Iginla has two goals. The Flames have 33. In the five years since the lockout, not including this one, Jarome Iginla has scored 17 per cent of the Flames goals. This year it's 6 per cent, but the Flames have been winning games.
Since the beginning of the Darryl Sutter era, Jarome Iginla has been all the scoring for the Flames. Conroy, Langkow, Jokinen (V.1), Tanguay (V.1), all pretty useless playing with or playing complimentary to Iginla. The Flames are finding scoring from René Bourque, Brendan Morrison, Niklas Hagman, and Curtis Glencross. The secondary scoring is there, finally, and the Flames are .500 without a significant level of output from Jarome Iginla.
Cold streak to start the season? Possibly, but over the past two years his goal-and-point per game output over his career has dropped, after peaking with his 50-goal 2008 season.
Nobody really wants to admit it just yet, but Jarome Iginla is showing the signs of being a 'heart-and-soul' guy who will stick around with the team out of pure nostalgia more than anything. Picture Trevor Linden in his last few years with the Canucks, but in a salary cap era.
Iginla is 33 and has two years left after this one on his 5-year, $35-million deal. The season is young and he could turn it around and avoid being the proverbial 'problem contract' but the film 'Jarome Iginla; Superstar' may have reached its closing credits.
UPDATE In true spirit of the Internet, we must share this Youtube beauty that was forwarded to us (well, me). This is Crosby and Iginla going at it, EA style: