December 04, 2009
When Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa(notes) fought Mike Richards(notes) of the Philadelphia Flyers last season, there was a bit of indignity involved: The Flyers captain stepped for an injured teammate only to get pummeled in front of the Philly bench by Bieksa.
In Round 2 during last night's Canucks victory at Wachovia Center, Bieska did something Puck Buddy Guy F. said he's never seen before: "[He] threw a MMA-style 'superman' punch a la Georges St. Pierre ... the punch was awesome." Check out the opening blow of the fight to see what he meant:
We're not exactly the MMA blog here at Yahoo!; luckily there is one, and Cagewriter's Maggie Hendricks offered some context for what, exactly, a "superman punch" involves:
It's the kind of punch where the fighter sort of lays out his body, throwing it all into the punch. It's dangerous because it takes all of your might and opens up your hips for a takedown, but when effective, it can KO someone.
Hendricks points to this fight (around the 3:15 mark) as an example; she also gave Bieksa good marks, saying "better technique than I normally see in hockey fights." That bastion of trivia Wikipedia offers additional info on the punch, including a handy diagram.
Wonder if the "superman punch" falls under the NHL's umbrella of "MMA-style moves in hockey fights we're not exactly cool about" ...
As for the Flyers, they're in trouble.
Richards tried to spark them with a fight; instead, Alex Burrows(notes) made it 2-0 Vancouver less than two minutes later. They have 27 points in 25 games. They've lost six of seven. They're not scoring, doing that "quantity not quality" thing offensively with their chances. Richards held a 10-minute closed-door meeting after last night's loss for an airing of grievances.
We're less than a month out from the Winter Classic at Fenway. It's time to start really wondering which Flyers players -- and more importantly, coaches -- are actually going to play in the shadow of the Green Monster.