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No wonder Detroit Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock has downplayed the notion that his team needs an enforcer: The Wings have had a secret fighting machine named Marian Hossa on their roster the entire time.

Hossa dropped the gloves for the third time in his NHL career last night, taking on Ryan Suter of the Nashville Predators midway through the third period of Detroit's 6-2 victory. In addition to fighting majors, Hossa would receive a game misconduct for not having his jersey tied down; Suter would receive the public humiliation of having lost a brawl to Marian Hossa:

OK, so it's not exactly a whirlwind of preposterous assault, like the first time we saw Yoda fight in Episode II. But it's also not some overmatched offensive dynamo attempting to play the bongos on an opposing defenseman, either.

The fight judges at HockeyFights.com have called this one a draw; evidently, these snobs like brawls in which punches actually land ...

Once again, we see what a fight can mean for team camaraderie and chemistry. From the postgame coverage in the Freep, here's Nicklas Lidstrom and Hossa:

"He jumped in there and was defending his teammates, and I think that's great to see, even though we don't want to see him get hurt," Lidstrom said. "He does it all."

The bad blood began when Dan Hamhuis rammed into Hudler, and it soon segued into Franzen jawing with Hamhuis and Hossa slugging it out with Suter. Hossa landed at least one good right and several quick lefts before the two ended up in a pile on the ice. Hossa was tossed for not having his jersey tied down, skating off to a cascade of delighted "Hossa! Hossa!" cheers from fans.

"I know there was a couple of slashes in the game, a couple of shovings, and I just found him and basically we just dropped the gloves," Hossa said. "No big deal. I totally forget I don't tie my jersey down because I only get in a fight once maybe every two years."

And now we know why: Because the rest of the League understands that Marian Hossa is, like Jeff Speakman, the perfect weapon. Or he's out for justice. Or maybe he's seen "Road House" as many times as we have, and he thought Ryan Suter was stealing from the till. Really, pick your knuckle-busting late '80s/early 90s action flick.

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