January 03, 2009
Between Sidney Crosby's off-the-faceoff pummeling and this Alexander Semin fight with Marc Staal in the Capitals' 2-1 win over the New York Rangers, this is shaping up to be the most awkwardly surreal day of hockey pugilism in recent memory:
The local coverage of the fight in D.C. is here, and announcer Joe Benenati is correct: It literally looks like the Washington Capitals winger is attempting to play the bongos on Staal's chest at the end of the fight.
Have you ever seen anything like this from an NHL player? Semin looked like one of the gorillas from "Congo" trying to skull-crush an intruder. Or like Staal had just stolen his Nintendo DS, and Semin was doing the "give it back jerk" two-fisted cluster-pummel you see from aggrieved 13-year-olds. Or, as one YouTube comment read: "Semin looked like a transvestite beating up it's cheating boyfriend on jerry springer."
We don't want to say Semin might need a few mandatory lessons in technique from teammate Donald Brashear ... but we're also quite sure a punch during a hockey fight isn't supposed to look like this:
In case you couldn't tell from the game misconduct he received for not having his jersey tied down, this was Semin's first NHL fight. His last documented tussle according to HockeyFights.com was against Cory Larose in an AHL game back in 2004. We'd love to see footage from that tilt. Then again, we'd love to see footage of any hockey fighter who looks about two slap-punches away from attempting a noogie on his foe.
Yes, it is oddly coincidental that Semin and Crosby both throw down on the same night, considering their recent history. After seeing them in action, these two really need to drop the gloves when they finally face each other this season. It's guaranteed Sidney throws the first punch ... but we're rather confident Semin will still have the best drum solo.