Friday, November 16, 2007

NHL Hockey Fights: Milan Lucic vs. Mark Bell

Leafs logoBruins logoThe fight took place early in a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins on November 15th.

With the Bruins already leading 1-0, perhaps Mark Bell sensed an opportunity to provide a spark for the Leafs and turn around the momentum. If that was his intention, he picked the wrong 19 year-old rookie to tangle with.

As the Bruins chased the puck into the Leafs' end, Bell and Lucic were jawing face to face as they headed into the corner. Mutual agreement and the gloves went flying.

The first few seconds of an NHL fight can determine the outcome as both players grab each other's jerseys and start swinging.

Milan Lucic tied up Mark Bell's punching arm with a rigid and unyielding gripful of sweater and that set the tone for this scrap. As they were positioning themselves, Lucic's helmet was pulled off by Bell.

Lucic hammers five or six body blows into Bell's side as Bell tries to gain leverage and get his right arm free. Lucic starts throwing some hooks, connecting a few glancing blows on Bell's face and then adds an overhand blow that lands solidly. They are up against the boards now and some re-positioning takes place.

Lucic shows his strength in controlling and moving Bell forward out into open ice. Bell is bent forward and being held down by Lucic. Bell straightens himself and now his helmet is slightly askance, tilted forward and possibly affecting his vision. Lucic backs Bell up against the boards and then Bell does throw one hard punch that connects on Lucic's face.

That's all he can muster for now. Bell leans away from his opponent as Lucic drives another fist into the side of Bell's head. Bell is clearly being overpowered but still manages to set himself and come up from his off balance, hunched over position and in one motion delivers another good overhand shot to Lucic's face.

Lucic quickly counters with another hard shot to the side of Bell's head. The two combatants are slowly pirouetting together as Lucic still has far better unfettered control of his punching arm. Bell's hold of his opponent's jersey is superficial and not hindering Lucic at all.

While holding some fabric near the collar of Lucic's jersey with his left hand, Bell manages a quick left jab into Lucic's face. Lucic drives a well placed punch into Bell's jaw, buckling his knees and ending the fight. The refs move in and break it up.

Definite TKO for Lucic in this one. With the poor set-up by Bell he still had the guts to stay in there and absorb some hard shots, all for the chance of getting in a couple of his own clean punches.

And he made those punches count as other reports indicate Lucic was cut, though of the two, Bell was the one who needed immediate attention after the fight was over.

A solid scrap, the kind hockey fight fans love. Both players willing and able to take a punch and unconcerned by any injuries they may absorb. They're only driven on by the desire to do damage to their adversary, get the win and give an edge to their team or at worst hold their own.

An impressive win by a 19 year-old in his first season in the NHL. Lucic showed some impressive power and was able to dominate Mark Bell in this fight.

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