Even though it was a hell of a fight, we cringed when Nathan Horton of the Boston Bruins dropped the gloves with Zack Smith of the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, because Horton is a vital piece of the Bruins' Cup puzzle and Smith already has his tee times scheduled.
We're sure more than a few Anaheim Ducks fans had the same reaction when they saw Teemu Selanne — 40! — in what HockeyFights.com claims is his second NHL fight last night vs. Brad Richardson of the Los Angeles Kings:
Jack Johnson of the Kings was the first catalyst, driving Selanne into the boards late in the third period. Then Richardson offered his cheap shot to the back of Selanne's head. Which got the Finnish Flash in the mood for revenge, and he sought out Richardson after that Brookbank/Clifford scrap.
"You don't see that very often," Selanne said, smiling. "When you feel that somebody tried to hurt you, you have to do some action out there. I had to do what I had to do.
"I can look after myself. Usually you don't want to hurt your hand and stuff, but I was pretty mad. I know when somebody's trying to hurt me. That shouldn't be the case in this league."
Hockey Fights notes an altercation with Selanne, then of the Winnipeg Jets, and Chris Chelios of the Chicago Blackhawks in Jan. 1993 as his first "fight," although he didn't receive a fighting major:
When did "Tka-chook" become "Tka-chuck" exactly?
Ducks' pugilist George Parros's assessment of Teemu's fight last night, via Ducks Blog: "I'm not happy he's fighting, but he handled himself well."
Again, you never want to see a player that vital put himself in harm's way this late in the season. On the other hand, pretty much the only way Selanne could endear himself more to Ducks fans at this moment is if he bought pizza for the entire arena after the first playoff home game.