September 29, 2010
According to HockeyFights.com, Alexei Kovalev of the Ottawa Senators had participated in three fights since 1993, before Wednesday night's preseason tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs: Against Dave Gagner in 1994, against Alex Hicks in 1998 and when he was jumped by Darcy Tucker in 2006.
The rough estimate on punches thrown: Beauchemin with about a dozen to Kovalev's zero, unless you're going to count those flailing attempts to grab more jersey as registered hits.
But give Kovy credit: He didn't get embarrassed. For a guy whose last NHL fight came before "Talladega Nights" was in theaters, it was an OK effort. We can't go as far as to call it a "noble" effort, because Alexei Kovalev is an essential offensive player for the Senators who put himself in a position to get his face rearranged in a meaningless game. But he made it through the fight, offering the following postgame quotes via Ian Mendes of Sportsnet:
Kovalev on the fight - "I just tried to use my head to hurt him."
Kovalev said he won't be putting out a fighting DVD. "Market isn't too good for DVDs right now. Maybe just put it on the internet."
Meanwhile for the Leafs, who won the game at Ottawa by a 4-3 count, center Nazem Kadri(notes) decided to make life interesting with a 3-point night in what was a make-or-break game for the prospect's chances at making the cut. Luckily for Kadri, he was able to concentrate on hockey and not have pugilistic thugs like Kovalev harassing him...