#5: Nathan MacKinnon’s First Fight
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Center Nathan MacKinnon is one of those skill players who typically has a teammate coming to his defense (or head coach Patrick Roy, as we saw in that seminal opening night game against the Anaheim Ducks). However, MacKinnon spent some time at the beginning of the 2014-15 season learning how to fight on his own.
First, he took “lessons” from energy player Cody McLeod. Later, he practiced his fisticuffs with power forward and veteran Jarome Iginla.
Well, Nathan MacKinnon wasted no time in finding a rival on which to practice his fighting skills. Unfortunately, he selected a well-seasoned — and huge — rival, Jonathan Ericsson of the Detroit Red Wings. Ericsson, a massive 6-foot-5 and 220-pound defenseman, is a veteran of 12 fights in the NHL.
Let’s be realistic — MacKinnon gets his butt whooped. Huge props to the kid, though, for standing up for himself no matter his opponent. (He also managed to get a few licks in.)