Welcome back to another edition of Hockey Fights of the Week! The NHL is hitting its stride and already the season has been full of surprises. Who would have guessed that the Auston Matthews hype would ever grow this big this quickly? Who would have guessed that the Edmonton Oilers would come out of the gate this hot?
Who would have guessed that Dylan Larkin would not only fight, but (spoiler alert) lead this week’s rankings of the best fights?
5. Brayden McNabb (LA) vs Jamie Oleksiak (DAL)
McNabb isn’t a bad fighter, but he looks completely frozen in this fight against Oleksiak. There isn’t much to this fight, but it is a big win for Oleksiak who forces McNabb down before he has time to turn the tables.
4. Dion Phaneuf (OTT) vs Jonathan Ericsson (DET)
The Senators and Red Wings really, really don’t like each other. This was the first fight in their matchup, with the second fight coming later in the third period (you’ll find it ranked #3 on this list). We love the buildup before the punches start flying and by the time things have settled down, Ericsson emerges as the victor.
3. Chris Neil (OTT) vs Justin Abdelkader (DET)
What has gotten into the Detroit Red Wings? The club has been leading the list of fighting majors so far in the young NHL season and that comes as a big surprise considering they’re one of the few teams which rarely engage in fisticuffs. Abdelkader doesn’t win his fight with Neil, but he, along with his teammates, have the NHL talking about the sudden fighting mentality of the Red Wings.
2. Brandon Dubinsky (CBJ) vs Jamie Benn (DAL)
The Dubinsky-Benn fight lands on the second spot on our list mostly for the aspects of fighting hockey fans rarely look at. There weren’t too many big blows thrown here, but the work from both Dubinsky and Benn to tie-up their opponent is beyond impressive. This fight could have earned the top spot on our list had either fighter broken free, but it’s still a great example of how to control the engagement when the gloves go flying.
1. Yannick Weber (NSH) vs Dylan Larkin (DET)
We already talked about this fight at PDL, but it’s worth showing again. This is just a dominant performance from Larkin which caught many, including us, completely by surprise. Larkin has already sent the NHL a message with his speed and skill, but this scrap also proved he’s a tough customer who you may want to avoid messing with.