When you think Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs hockey, the first image that pops into your mind probably has something to do with Paul Maurice, who's coached both teams. It's likely not a bunch of ridiculous fights.
Last night in Raleigh, where they're preparing for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, the teams combined for 57 penalty minutes, an ejection, and a controversial goal call.
Nine of those penalty minutes came on a "fight" between Toronto's Nikolai Kulemin and Carolina's Tim Gleason. Gleason's a tough guy, known for his bruising hits and his skill as a shutdown defenseman. Kulemin's a soft, smallish forward who's never experience an NHL fight before. It was weird, then, that Kulemin decided to mix it up with Gleason at the end of the first period.
The result? A broken nose and a whole lot of regret.
Kulemin got a roughing penalty on the play while Gleason picked up a fighting major, a roughing minor and a game misconduct. Some are going to get on Gleason's case for dropping Kulemin like that, but how would you feel if a guy was hitting you in the face? Don't disturb the snake if you can't handle the bite, right?
Oh, and the Hurricanes won the game, 6-4.