Is there really any setup necessary here?
As soon as Matt Cooke hit the ice (to a chorus of boos), Shawn Thornton skated up to him and it was ready to go. Whatever your thoughts on Cooke's hit to Marc Savard, you have to give it to him - he didn't avoid the situation. He immediately dropped the gloves and accepted the fight. Cooke got a brief offensive in, but quickly lost it (as well as his helmet) to Thornton's rights. Cooke went down, the linesmen jumped in, and that was that.
Well, except that Thornton kept punching and the two had to be pulled apart. Now, defending your fallen player from a hit like Cooke's is one thing, but Thornton had Cooke cleanly beaten. Honor guarded and fight won. Cooke was down and out. There was no reason to keep going once the linesmen were in, and it won Thornton a 10 minute misconduct penalty. Now how did he manage to come out of that with Cooke looking like less of a jerk? That's talent.
This was not a good fight for Rupp. Starting off unbalanced on his skates, Rupp tried to match swings with Chara, but couldn't get any of his shots to connect. Chara mixed some solid shots to the helmet (brutal on the hand) with some Jody Shelley-style jersey jabs which clearly shook Rupp up. A couple shots later, Rupp was face down on the ice, and the linesmen broke the thing up.
The momentum boost didn't work, though. Despite losing the fight, Rupp answered back with a goal in the third period. So who's really the winner here?
With these two pretty obvious losses, I'm going to do something different in the poll. Rather than asking who won the fight, I want your opinion on the effectiveness of Thornton's 'revenge' fight against Cooke. Fans were yelling for some retribution - I even saw several calls to injure Sidney Crosby which totally makes complete sense. Cooke hit the ice, dropped the gloves, and that's that. Right? Did Thornton go about it right? Is this thing really over?
Next up is the Hurricanes, who only have 29 fights for the season (24th in the league). Their only fight this season against the Penguins involved Tim Gleason fighting Bill Guerin. Not expecting anything from them this time around.