The Value Of Fighting In The NHL

Should this Penguins team ever fight?

Matt Koll
February 06, 2019 - 11:57 am
Zach Aston-Reese fight

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- The injury bug has bitten the Penguins three separate times this season because one thing: fighting.

Former Penguin Jamie Oleksiak, Zach Aston-Reese and Evgeni Malkin have all gone down with injuries and have missed games this season due to injuries as a result of a fight on the ice. 

Fighting has long-time been a part of the fabric of hockey but with its destructiveness this season, it makes you wonder...is it worth it?

The Fan Morning Show has debated this the past couple days and have come to a general conclusion that unless you have the baddest man in the land to go in there and fight for his teammates, it's probably not worth it. Especially for this group of Penguins.  

You can't have a player who offers any kind of scoring prowess or any kind of stout defensive ability to risk short or long term injury by fighting another player.

The guys advocate for players to turn the other cheek and stick to their game rather than mix it up because a guy is getting under their skin. The one caveat might be if say, Garrett Wilson, a fourth-liner that isn't likely to make a huge difference on the scoreboard game-to-game, gets into a fight to stand up for his teammates. You have to go into every fight with players that aren't going to derail your season if they get hurt.

NHL Network analyst Ken Daneyko, a man who is no stranger to hockey fights, joined the show Wednesday morning to offer his thoughts on the matter. 

"There is a fine line, right? I'm still a believer [that] every once in a while you have to have that certain guy that can change a game and that doesn't mean by fighting. Has the game changed? Yes, the game has changed dramatically. Is fighting falling by the way side? Absolutely. But, there's still emotion, there's intensity, it's still a contact sport so it happens."

"Do I think they're ever going to oulaw it? I don't know, I don't see it any time in the near future. I still believe players along the way, sitting on their bench when they have a guy that can handle things when it might get out of hand or it might get chippy, it just makes a player play a half an inch taller and ten pounds heavier," said Daneyko. "You're right, the risk/reward at times isn't worth it but you can't think like that. I mean I guess you don't want your top players scrapping, I personally [think] it's not about fighting it's competitiveness, it's battling along the walls, winning those one-on-ones. Malkin has that competitiveness so every once in a while he's a guy that plays with emotion and has a scrap. Yeah, you hate to see a player like that go down."

What do you think: Is it worth it for these current Penguins to fight?  

You can listen to the entire interview with NHL Network's Ken Daneyko on The Fan Morning Show below.           

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