When the New York Rangers signed enforcer Derek Boogaard on July 1 to a "ludicrous" contract, a lot of fans were of the opinion that the Flyers were the ones who forced their rivals into that decision. After all, the Flyers had just signed a tough guy of their own that same day in former Ranger Jody Shelley, and Rangers GM Glen Sather wasn't going to be outdone in The Great Atlantic Arms Race of 2010.
Tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, the Rangers and Flyers will hook up for the first time this season, and because of the occasion and the likelihood that these two will drop the mitts, I decided to take a look back at the entire history of Shelley vs. Boogaard to see exactly who has had the upper hand.
They've fought five times in their NHL careers and, as a Flyer fan, you might not like the results.
January 27, 2006 - There's no video of this fight online, unfortunately, but we do have a description from the fine folks over at HockeyFights.com.
Shortly after the faceoff these two drop the gloves and grab onto one another. Shelley starts off with an awkward right. Boogaard returns fire with a right of his own just a second later. Boogaard sticks with the right throwing about four more with Shelley sneaking in one too. They grapple for a moment and Boogaard throws about five rights to the body. Shelley breaks the momentum with a missed uppercut. Another moment of grappling before Boogaard lands a straight right. He then attempts a couple of more shots, but they seem to come up short, as does Shelley's counterpunch. They're grappling and trying to mix in shots that don't seem to land. Boogaard attempts to bounce Shelley off of the boards and throw an immediate right, but Shelley ducks under it. Shelley then misses with a monster over the top left and falls to the ice. Boogaard gets another couple of rights in before the linesmen come in to break it up.
The voting over on HockeyFights? 77.3 percent say Boogaard won, 19.1 percent say draw and just 3.6 percent give the edge to Shelley.
October 14, 2006 - Wooo, we have video.
Boogaard is a big, big man. Shelley isn't nearly as big. This presents a problem for him. Boogaard's reach is just so superior and Shelley can't seem to get many punches off. They each miss a few wild ones at the beginning before Boogaard seems to have his way with Shelley. To his credit, Shelley doesn't allow Boogaard to open him up and land some nasty ones, but Boogaard does control the fight.
November 23, 2007 - With this video quality, are we sure its not November 1973?
This one's more of a wrestling match than anything else. Hard to give a win to either participant since I don't think anybody landed a punch. Draw.
March 19, 2008 - Shelley's now a Shark.
You're never going to blame Shelley for not being a tough dude, but Boogaard really hands it to him here. It's another case of Boogaard's reach just being too great, not to mention an early landed punch seems to knock Shelley off balance and he doesn't seem to ever recover.
December 31, 2008 - Their most recent duel. This one's tough to watch.
Just an absolute win for Boogaard here. Hard to call it anything but that.
So they've fought five times in their careers and it doesn't look like Shelley's won even a single fight against Boogaard. Do you want to see if six is his lucky number tonight?