While both Wayne Simmonds and Jordie Benn put up their dukes late in the third period of Thursday’s game between the Canucks and Maple Leafs, only one was truly prepared to fight. Simmonds unleashed a flurry of haymakers on the Vancouver defenseman, who initiated the on-ice showdown when he took exception to a hit on teammate Quinn Hughes into the board.
It was clear very quickly that while Benn was doing the noble thing in sticking up for his teammate who was slow to get up, he was no match for the man who was called “the spider” in his junior days because of his incredible reach.
After landing over a dozen punches, Simmonds then slowed down in what appeared to almost be an act of mercy, or pity, to let Benn try and get a lick or two in before referees stopped the showdown.
There’s never a good time to try and fight a guy like Simmonds, who seemingly has never lost a fight in his life, but now more than ever seems like a particularly inopportune time to do so. The 32-year-old veteran started out this season slow, 0 points through six games, but a string of road games where he scored in three straight games has given him his confidence back.
It even got Simmonds a spot in the second line with John Tavares and William Nylander at a recent practice.
This isn’t to say that had Benn known this, he would have tried to avoid fighting Simmonds, but it at least would have prepared him a bit better to take on an incredible on-ice fighter who recently had his confidence restored.
Published: 2021-02-05 18:10:39
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