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Flyers Fight Report: Rating the fights so far

We’re looking at bouts and giving them a rating.

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Welcome to the Broad Street Hockey Fight Report. Each time a fight breaks out during a Philadelphia Flyers game, we will be here giving our takes on it and grading it on a scale of one to five stars. Let’s take a look at The Fights.

It might be just a few games into the season, but it is clear that the Flyers have decided that fighting will be a consistent theme on the ice. Down a couple goals? Fight. Leading by one? Fight. Right at the beginning of the game to set some sort of tone? Fight.

They have enough players on the roster that are comfortable dropping the gloves, so we should be in for a whole lot of tilts through the next 78 games of the season, and we cannot wait. Let’s look at what we’ve seen so far.

Oct. 15 — Nic Deslauriers vs. Kyle Burroghs

In the third period of a tight game, Vancouver Canucks’ Kyle Burroghs takes some offense to Nic Deslauriers going hard and finishing his check, so the Flyers brute decides to punch his head in. After a couple of checking jabs, just to make sure each one wants to go for it as a non-verbal agreement, Deslauriers grabs Burroghs and puts him in this skillful hold where his right arm is free to punch away and his opponent cannot do anything about it.

With his first punch, Deslauriers sends Burroghs’s helmet flying off his head, keeps on throwing hooks at the same spot, dodging the one punch attempt the Canucks skater was able to, and before sending him down to the ice, threw a couple more towards his head.

This bout was basically like watching one fighter able to submit another one within the first minute of any real fight. Just pure domination and outclassing the willing participant. Plus, the Flyers ended up winning the game after this. All that was missing was some dramatics, it was just a clean job.

Rating: ****1/4

Oct. 18 — Nic Deslauriers vs. Pat Maroon

Two Flyers fights this season and both times Deslauriers answered the call. This time, the Flyers’ fighter had a tougher and more experienced opponent in Patrick Maroon, which provided a fairly even battle at first glance, but the Philadelphia skater got the upper hand in actually making contact.

Deslauriers was unable to really connect any punches at first, and during Maroon’s only time on offense, he was just throwing his fist into the armpit of the Flyers winger. But after his last punch was thrown, Deslauriers quickly went on the counter and connected easily, with Maroon having to duck and put his chin down to avoid the full force of the punch. And even after the readjusted and squared up again along the boards, Deslauriers got a couple last thrown in there as punctuation on what was an underlying one-sided fight. Not as devastating as his first, but he clearly would earn the victory if hockey fight judges were a thing.

Rating: **1/2

Oct. 18 — Justin Braun vs. Corey Perry

In the only non-Deslauriers fight so far of the season, things went fairly poorly for Flyers defenseman Justin Braun. It was a fight that started out of emotion more than anything else, as Braun was sick of Corey Perry and the rest of his Lightning cohorts encroaching on their crease, so the blueliner did something about it as every other skater was partnered up.

Immediately, his helmet was shoved off by Perry, then Braun did the same. After some jersey collar tugging, the Flyers defenseman was the first one to throw a punch — so he gets at least some credit for that — and it appears to have caught Perry cleanly on the side of his head. But after that one single effort of offense, Braun covered and attempted to get his head as far away as possible from any incoming fist. Perry attempted a few uppercuts, then a quick exhausted shove to Braun’s head which caused them to tumble to the ice.

Braun is a unique fighter. As this was only his sixth fight in his 795-game NHL career, but what is more bizarre is that three of those fights came in the postseason. He seems to only drop the gloves when it is necessary, and he feels it coming on. Maybe in this game he was inspired by Deslauriers’s bout in the prior period. Not a bad showing for someone that doesn’t focus on it too much, but in the end it was sloppy and he bit off a little more than he could chew.

Rating: *3/4

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