WAM! BAM! Thank you, man! An NHL tough guy isn't necessarily someone who goes out and beats the snot out of an opponent every night. Sure, goons like that still exist in the league, but an NHL tough guy is more than that. He is a player who will not only stand up for himself and/or his teammates, but will also play through and dish out pain or a game-changing check whenever his team needs him to do so. Each Wednesday, FOXSports.com's NHL Tough Guy Tracker will spotlight those players and some of the best scraps from around the league. — Punch Imback
Shawn Thornton vs. Jody Shelley
Philadelphia's Jody Shelley and Boston's Shawn Thornton got the TD Garden crowd going early Thursday night by dropping the gloves a little more than two and a half minutes into the game. Shelley got the best of his heavyweight dance partner in the scrap by keeping Thornton off balance with effective jersey jabs, which set up the decisive blows in the match.
Kris Newbury, New York Rangers
In his first game since getting called up from the minors, Kris Newbury tried to get the Rangers going Saturday night in Montreal after the Canadiens went up 3-1 on New York. Hoping to provide his new team with a spark, the feisty fireplug dropped the gloves with Montreal's Travis Moen seconds after Andrei Kostitsyn put the Habs up by two goals.
Blues vs. Ducks
Hockey fans drove to the Honda Center last Wednesday expecting to see an NHL game between the Anaheim Ducks and the St. Louis Blues. In the end, they got to witness the Golden Gloves. The 7-4 Ducks romp over the Blues turned ugly in the third period as the teams combined for four fights and 15 penalties.
Brandon Mashinter vs. Ryan Reaves
In only his second career NHL fight, San Jose's Brandon Mashinter looked like a veteran enforcer against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, landing bomb after right-handed bomb on his defenseless opponent Ryan Reaves.
Theo Peckham vs. Ryane Clowe
Thursday night at the HP Pavilion, Edmonton's Theo Peckham was giving the Sharks' Dany Heatley the business in front of the Oilers net until Ryane Clowe came along and showed him who's boss. The San Jose enforcer buried Peckham in the first and then followed that up by burying his 12th goal of the season in the third period, giving Sharks' fans some things to cheer about in the 5-2 loss to the Oilers.
Benn Ferriero vs. Ian Cole
One of the two fights that took place Saturday in San Jose between the Blues and the Sharks featured two NHL rookies squaring off for the first time. Both Benn Ferriero of the Blues and Ian Cole of the Sharks fared well in the spirited back and forth tussle, which in the end wound up being too close to call.
Gregory Campbell vs. Craig Adams
On Jan. 15 at TD Garden, Gregory Campbell brought the Boston crowd to their feet when he turned Pittsburgh's Craig Adams into a human punching bag. Once Campbell got going, Adams had no chance in the first period bout as the Bruins feisty forward landed a flurry of rights for which the Penguins' winger had no defense nor answer.
Mark Fraser, New Jersey Devils
On Monday afternoon on Long Island, Mark Fraser had his hand in everything in the Devils' win. First, he used his fists to take care of the league's penalty minutes leader Zenon Konopka, then he dished out two assists in the second period in New Jersey's 5-2 win over the Islanders.
Brad Staubitz vs. Aaron Volpatti
After witnessing his teammate Jared Spurgeon get crunched behind his net, Minnesota forward Brad Staubitz immediately got in the face of Aaron Volpatti and laid the smack down on the Vancouver winger, sending him down to the ice with a vicious left hook.
Troy Bodie vs. Adam McQuaid
On Jan. 17, Boston's Adam McQuaid was all over the ice in a 7-0 win over the Hurricanes. First, he opened up the contest by picking up a pair of helpers on the Bruins first two goals. Then after throwing his weight around all night, he finally found someone to drop the mitts with after seeing Carolina tough guy Troy Bodie take a run at Mark Stuart in front of the Bruins bench. In the third period, the 24-year-old defender immediately came to the defense of his teammate, launching bomb after lethal bomb, including a vicious lid-lifter that left Bodie stunned.