In you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up news, Vegas Golden Knights enforcer Ryan Reaves and New York Islanders forward Ross Johnston dropped the gloves in an NHL game because they wanted to impress someone famous in the crowd.
The two behemoths fought three seconds into the game immediately after the opening faceoff.
Reaves dominated the opening half of the fight after Johnston lost an edge to avoid a haymaker. After absorbing a bunch of body blows from Reaves, Johnston rebounded and landed a flurry of right hands before officials broke the two players up. The crowd went wild as Reaves made a hand gesture to rev up the Golden Knights faithful.
It was one of the more exciting heavyweight fights of the season.
Fans and analysts alike were confused about why the two players fought seconds after puck drop. Neither player had a simmering beef with each other; Nor did the two teams they played for.
After the game, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Adam Hill spoke to Reaves and he got the scoop on what happened.
— Las Vegas Review-Journal (@reviewjournal) February 16, 2020
The two were spotted on camera chatting with each other during the opening draw.
“He asked me to go and I said, ‘Let me go run somebody first,’ and he goes, ‘(Tyson) Fury is here.’ I just said, ‘Yeah, that’s true. All right, we’ll do it,” Reaves said.
Reaves admitted that he usually avoids fighting right after puck drop because it ruins his rhythm in the game
“I like to get a shift in just for the reason of what happened,” Reaves said. “I get into the fight, right after the puck drop, and sat there — there was no whistle — until 10:30. There were two power plays (after that) so I didn’t get out there for seven minutes so my legs are shot. I got one shift in me but it’s all right.”
Reaves added that he had no issues with Johnston except the last time they played there was “a little chirping. He said I was old news.”
After the game, lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs), who was at the game and rocked a Vegas Golden Knights hoodie, said he was impressed by the bout.
Fury was at the game ahead of his rematch with Deontay Wilder, which will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, February 22.
“Well I’m glad,” Reaves said. “A heavyweight meets a heavyweight. Anytime there’s a big fight like that the boys enjoy it, the crowd enjoys it, so those are fun ones, especially with a big boy like that.”
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 16, 2020
Headline photo: Sportsnet/@GoldenKnights
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