Kevin Bieksa doesn't give a shit if you like fighting in hockey or not, he's apparently just going to keep throwing his knuckles around until someone tells him to stop.
The Anaheim Ducks defenceman squared up with Philadelphia Flyers d-man Radko Gudas on Tuesday night in what was literally the definition of a one-sided tilt. As the two combatants danced around centre ice in front of a jammed Philly crowd never shy to proclaim its thirst for sweet, sweet violence, Bieksa threw the only punch of the fight.
It was a "Superman" punch (a jumping strike) to the face of Gudas, and it was beautiful to watch. Though, it probably didn't taste too good. Former Flyer Mike Richards can attest to this, too, as he was also victim of a jumping Bieksa bomb back in 2009.
What makes this so impressive—aside from the aesthetics and visual appeal of watching a man leap into the air on a sheet of ice while wearing skates to one-punch another man square in the face—is the fact that Gudas is no slouch when it comes to throwing fisticufs. The tough Flyers blueliner has over 450 penalty minutes in only 278 career NHL games to go along with over 40 fighting majors between the NHL and the American Hockey League since 2010-11.
Bieksa can obviously throw his hands around, too. The 36-year-old has over 80 professional fights, mostly in the NHL, since 2004-05 to go along with over 1,000 penalty minutes in 756 career NHL games.
The scouting report on Bieksa's ground game is still scarce, but his jump-punch ability is one that would be the envy of many of the world's best MMA combatants. Well, maybe not, but when it comes to knocking people out on a giant sheet of ice in the middle of a hockey game, Bieksa is world class.