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By Richard Gonzalez
The Colorado Avalanche season is fast approaching. The anticipation of which players will continue to thrive and which others will have a breakout season. One thing that most of the fans look for is the big hits and of course the fights. These fights have a lot more meaning to the game. Standing up for a teammate, policing the game or answering a call, these players deserve the recognition for dropping the gloves for their teams.
In the 2017-18 season, the Avalanche had 12 fights, with Nikita Zadorov (three) and Nathan MacKinnon (three) leading the way. In 2018-19, the Avs had a total of 18 fights with Matt Calvert (six), Ian Cole (four) and Zadorov (three) leading the way. Let’s take a look at the 18 fights throughout the season with a bonus 19 at the end.
All fight videos and percentage ratings came from the HockeyFIghts.com website.
The first fight of the season happened on Oct., 16, 2018, when New York Rangers defensemen, Fredrick Claesson took a low hit on Calvert, which prompted Calvert to respond with a few punches before taking down Claesson.
77.1%% of the votes were in favor of Calvert winning the fight. The Avalanche would drop this game 3-2 in overtime.
97.9% of the votes were in favor of Zadorov winning the fight. The Avalanche won this game 5-3.
Fight number three happened on Oct., 20, 2018, when Carolina Hurricanes forward, Micheal Ferland took a couple runs at Avalanche’s Tyson Jost and Sam Girard. Erik Johnson had enough and decided to confront Ferland.
98.2% of the votes were in favor of Ferland winning the fight. The Avalanche won this game 3-1.
Fight number four happened on Oct., 14, 2018, when Tampa Bay Lightning forward Yanni Gourde came to the aid of teammate Dan Girardi after he took a big hit from Marko Dano. If you like wrestling then this is a scrap for you. Dano did land a few.
61.8% of the votes were in favor of Dano winning the fight. The Avalanche would drop this game 1-0.
89.7% of the votes were in favor of Bennett winning the fight. The Avalanche would drop this game 6-5.
Fight number six happened on Nov., 30, 2018, St. Louis Blues defensemen, Vince Dunn attempted to mix it up with Jost. Cole ended up jumping in and the fight was on.
74.4% of the votes were in favor of Cole winning the fight. The Avalanche would drop this game 3-2 in overtime.
Fights number seven and eight happened on Dec., 02, 2018, against the rival Detroit Redwings. The first was Cole laid on a big hit on forward Andreas Athanasiou. Tyler Bertuzzi took exception to that hit and went after Cole.
84.7% of the votes were in favor of Bertuzzi winning the fight.
Patrick Nemeth and Anthony Mantha would end up pairing off in the game’s second fight of the night.
90.1% of the votes were in favor of Mantha winning the fight. The Avalanche might not have won the fights but they ended up winning the game 2-0.
Fight number nine happened on Dec., 11, 2018, when Edmonton Oilers Defensemen, Matt Benning and Calvert mixed it up with a few cross-checks. They subsequently would drop the gloves only to have Benning hitting the ice again.
44.9% of the votes were in favor of Calvert winning the fight. The Avalanche would drop this game 6-4.
Fight number 10 happened on Dec., 14, 2018, when Blues forward Brayden Schenn takes down J.T. Compher on after the draw. Schenn continues to push down Compher until he had enough and drops the gloves.
47.1% of the votes were in favor of Schenn winning the fight. Compher also had a goal and assist in this game which completed the Gordie Howe hat trick. Unfortunately, the Avalanche dropped this game 4-3 in overtime.
Fight number 11 happened on Dec., 22, 2018. This was my favorite fight of the season. Be sure to closely watch at the 41-second mark. Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse and Gabriel Landeskog decided to drop the gloves.
98% of the votes were in favor of Landeskog winning the fight. The Avalanche would drop this game 6-4.
Fight number 12 happened on Jan., 19, 2019, when Los Angeles Kings defensemen Dion Phaneuf took a little run at Calvert. The Kings were already losing this game 7-0 in the third when this fight happened.
33.3% of the votes were in favor of Phaneuf winning the fight. Calvert got some got shots in before the headlock came into play. I think Calvert won. Regardless, the Avalanche won this game 7-1.
Fight number 13 and 14 happened on Jan., 21, 2019. The first is when Nashville Predators defensemen, Matt Irwin and Calvert had enough. After a short jousting match, the gloves came off in a pure emotion fight. Austin Watson attempts to get hold of Calvert but the other two were already committed.
29.4% of the votes were in favor of Irwin winning the fight. This fight was a pretty good one and could be argued in favor of either player.
Watson would end up getting a fight but was not the opponent he tried to go after. Zadorov just Z-smashed another Predators player and Watson was responding.
71.7% were in favor of Zadorov winning the fight. The Avalanche would drop this game 4-1.
Fight number 15 happened on Feb., 07, 2019, when Cole clipped Evgeny Kuznetsov. Cole would end up getting a game misconduct on the play but not before having to answer the call from Washington Capitals tough guy, Tom Wilson.
97.5% were in favor of Wilson winning the fight. Wilson absolutely destroys Cole in this fight and left him bloody. The Avalanche dropped this game 4-3 in overtime.
Fight number 16 happened on Feb., 07, 2019, when. Winnipeg Jets defensemen, Joe Morrow and Calvert decided to exchange fist gifts after Morrow took a hit from Calvert.
Morrow would leave the ice limping after the hit. Calvert also received a two-minute roughing call for his hit. The Avalanche won this game 4-1.
Fight number 17 happened on Feb., 20, 2019, when Jets forward, Adam Lowry seems to be begging for a fight. Zadorov is happy to grant him his wish.
69.7% were in favor of Zadorov winning the fight. A few big hits were landed and after the round-a-bout was over, both players decided to stop. The Avalanche won this game 7-1.
Fight number 18 happened on March 19, 2019, when Minnesota Wild forward, J.T. Brown and Calvert but took exception on each other’s hits. Both helmets wanted no part of these blows.
65.1% of the votes were in favor of Calvert winning the fight. The Avalanche would win this game 3-1.
Lastly, the bonus fight. This fight happened on Dec., 08, 2018, in a game against the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
40.8% of the votes were in favor of Nazem Kadri winning the fight.
The new direction seems to be cutting back on fighting, which is really unfortunate because it is part of the integrity of the games and has a lot more meaning. I am glad that the Avalanche players were there to answer the call when needed, especially being Calvert. He is definitely one of the guys you want on your team and will grind it out for his team.
Which was your favorite fight?
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September 21st, 2019