Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves got into his first NHL fight en route to helping his team beat a Central Division rival.
The Colorado Avalanche need a little grit. They’re a speedy skill team, but teams are going to catch up with you. And sometimes when they do that, they get physical.
In those times, the Avalanche needs some grit.
Well, in the game against the Chicago Blackhawks last night, a new contender in the grit department stepped up — Ryan Graves.
Now, Gravy (personally, I’d call him Gravesy, but I’m not in charge of the nicknames) isn’t exactly a… petite player. The Maritimer clocks in at a tall 6-foot-5 and respectable 220 pounds. And, 50 games into his NHL career, he got into his first NHL fight.
Graves engaged in fisticuffs with one Andrew Shaw, who’s considerably smaller than Gravy. Shawzy, as Hawks fans like to call him, weighs in at 182 pounds on a 5-foot-11 frame.
Doesn’t matter because the 28-year-old Shaw has been fighting in the NHL since 2011. In fact, it’s part of how he got into the NHL. He has 24 NHL fights to his name.
The 24-year-old Ryan Graves, meanwhile, has just one NHL fight to his name — the one with Shaw. He did mix it up a bit in the AHL and the major juniors. But, suffice it to say, Shaw’s fighting resume is much more impressive.
That said, Gravy did hold his own against the more experienced veteran:
Well, our young defenseman started out very strong. He went in for the first punches and landed a few by virtue of his longer arms. However, eventually Shaw’s experience took over, and he took Graves down.
Nonetheless, it was a good showing by Ryan Graves. What’s more, the Colorado Avalanche won the game by a decisive score of 5-2. So, in hockey parlance, that means Graves won because his team ultimately won.
What’s more, Graves was just one assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick. That’s right, Gravesy also got a goal in the game:
Our Maritimer is panning out, eh? That really was a pretty rebound goal from a player who seemed to be an AHLer for AHLer trade. (We sent Chris Bigras to New York for Graves.)
Well, with this win against the Central Division rival Chicago Blackhawks, the Colorado Avalanche are back in the division race. They’re third in the Central. And Graves was a part of making that happen.