While it may appear as though the act of dropping the mitts and throwing fists is slowly being phased out of hockey as skill continues to be the focus of players entering the NHL, there is at least one player who firmly believes fighting cannot die.
Following a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Thursday night, Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty was asked about the sacrifices his team made to secure the victory in an interview with Carrlyn Bathe of L.A. Kings Live. After mentioning the strong play of Jonathan Quick in net, he identified the exact moment that supplied him and his teammates with extra motivation.
“I think the highlight for me is [Kurtis MacDermid] chuckin’ ’em with [Nicolas] Deslauriers — that was a great fight,” Doughty told Bathe, via Sportsnet’s Emily Sadler. “Got us really pumped up and we were able to get the win.”
With Los Angeles up 2-0 midway through the second period, MacDermid of the Kings and Deslauriers of the Ducks exchanged some heavy punches in an epic bout that turned the volume of the arena up a few decibels.
Sick heavyweight tilt between Nicolas Deslauriers and Kurtis MacDermid 😳👊 pic.twitter.com/agGEpT2v8L— Hockey Central (@HockeyCentraI) December 13, 2019
The Kings went on to surrender a power-play goal in the third, but held on for the victory to snap an 11-game winless streak on the road.
And while he doesn’t partake in fisticuffs very often himself (he’s only dropped the mitts once in his 12-season NHL career), Doughty was adamant about fighting’s place in the NHL and impact on a game.
“It can’t make its way out of the league,” Doughty told Bathe. “We need fighting. I know people don’t like it, some of you, but then you’re just going to have all those meatheads running around, little guys being rats out there, and that’s just the way it’s going to go.
“So we need fighting. People need to be able to protect their teammates and themselves,” he continued. “When it’s safe like that and no one gets hurt, that’s the best way.”
Based on that logic and where the Kings currently sit in the standings — last in the Western Conference with a record of 13-18-2 for 28 points — Doughty and his teammates may need to mix it up a little more frequently if they plan on turning their season around.
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