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Tales of the Tape: Mike Rupp vs. Paul Gaustad

Two weeks without fights. Going through withdrawal at all? I understand that many people prefer the 'integrity' of the fightless atmosphere the Winter Olympics brought and all, and I'm sure there are people on both sides that could go on and on about it, but that's not what we're here for. We're here to see Mike Rupp beat someone down faster than you can say "Let's have a spirited, yet well-informed debate over whether the NHL should ban fighting to attempt to make it more like the Olympics."

When Johnson comes down on the puck, Paul Gaustad moves towards the crease and gets between Rupp and Jordan Leopold, which apparently doesn't sit well with Rupp. Shoving ensues and words are exchanged before Rupp and Gaustad shed the gloves, rudely interrupting a commercial break. Rupp's first shot takes off Gaustad's helmet, and then the flurry begins. Gaustad gets two weak shots in, apparently hurting his wrist with one of them. Unwilling to worsen his hand, Gaustad decides it's better to let his head take the damage, not blocking Rupp's next five blows before going down. Clearly a win for Rupp.

Now the question here is should a guy like Rupp continued to pummel on Gaustad when he clearly wasn't defending himself? The answer to that is sketchy - I have no idea what Rupp saw or thought in the heat of the moment. He had no idea that Gaustad hurt his arm. I've seen guys take several shots then come right back into the fight - Eric Godard has done that many times. Perhaps Gaustad should have dropped more quickly to get the linesmen in.

Next up will be the Rangers. There's no more Donald Brashear to be fought, but there is Aaron Voros who has 11 fights for the year (EDIT: DigitalGypsy66 pointed out that Aaron Voros was waived by the Rangers), and Brandon Prust who came in from Calgary at the beginning of the month. He has 22 fights thus far this season, which is 2nd in the NHL (behind Tampa's awesomely named Zenon Konopka). That's more than the Predators, Capitals, Red Wings or Sabres have had all season as a team. In comparison, Mike Rupp leads the Penguins with 8.