Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen had seven career NHL fights and had yet to drop the gloves at all this season before Sunday’s game. He’s a tough player but not a fighter. On Sunday, Niskanen agreed to exchange punches with Flyers forward Scott Laughton.
Niskanen dropped the hammer, just like he did a few weeks ago.
On January 14, Niskanen freight-trained Laughton on open ice. It was a clean hit. It was perfectly legal. Several Flyers took umbrage anyway.
In today’s rematch, Niskanen indulged Laughton’s request to fight after a face-off.
He won it with the takedown.
Both teams saluted the combatants.
I don’t think Niskanen should have had to answer for the hit, but granting Laughton’s request shows a lot of respect, both to his own teammates and to Laughton in tying off the original confrontation. Laughton appeared to thank Niskanen after the fight. Now let’s all move on.
Hopefully, the six-million dollar man’s hand is not hurt.
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