WAM! BAM! Thank you, men! Last week, the 2010-11 regular season came to a close with the NHL's tough guys knocking knuckles right up until the final buzzer. The league's tough guys aren't necessarily the guys who go out and beat the snot out of an opponent every night. Sure, goons like that still exist in the game, but a real 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. Read on to see who dished out — or took — some pain in the final week of the regular season. — Punch Imback
Sharks vs. Ducks
On April 6 at the Honda Center, the Sharks and Ducks knocked knuckles two times, with San Jose's Douglas Murray dropping Anaheim's Brad Winchester to the ice in the first and George Parros scoring a win for the Ducks in the third by clobbering Sharks' center Brandon Mashinter.
Ryan Wilson vs. Theo Peckham
The final NHL clash of the 2010-11 regular season took place on Sunday April 10 at the Pepsi Center when Colorado's Ryan Wilson and Edmonton's Theo Peckham battled to a draw. The two players came together in the second period after a thunderous Peckham hip-check on Matt Duchene nearly sent the 20-year-old Avalanche forward through the glass.
On April 9 in Toronto, Mike Brown gave Ryan White the business after the Montreal forward hammered Maple Leafs' defenseman Carl Gunnarsson in the neutral zone. Brown finished the year 3-1-5 in nine fights.
After Mike Rupp gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead on the Islanders last Friday, Trevor Gillies tried to fire up his team and the Coliseum crowd by laying the smack down on Pittsburgh's Eric Godard on the ensuing faceoff.
Seven seconds into an April 8 contest between the Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers, Theo Peckham rocked Clayton Stoner's world when he fed him a plateful of knuckle sandwiches on the game's opening faceoff.
Minnesota's Brad Staubitz dropped the gloves twice in one game last week, but the NHL tough guy was anything but tough in each bout, losing decisions to Edmonton's Jean-Francois Jacques and Steve MacIntyre.
On April 9 in LA, George Parros, the NHL's fighting leader, picked up his 12th win of the season when he bested the Kings Kevin Westgarth. The two ruffians were at each other's throats the night before in the Ducks 2-1 home win at the Honda Center.
Nathan Horton pounded the Senators in more ways than one last week. In a 3-1 win over Ottawa on Saturday afternoon in Boston, the feisty Bruins' winger had a heck of a second period, starting things off by netting the game-winning goal in the opening minute of the period and closing things out by trading haymakers with Ottawa center Zach Smith.
NHLI via Getty ImagesSteve Babineau
Last week, on "Fan Appreciation Night" in Nashville, Blake Geoffrion didn't appreciate being tripped by Derek MacKenzie in the second period. Geoffrion brought the Predators' faithful to their feet when he pummeled the Blue Jackets' forward at center ice.
Last week was a memorable one for Teemu Selanne. Not only did the veteran sniper pot two goals in Anaheim's playoff-securing win, Selanne also scored the first five-minute fighting major of his NHL career. The 40-year-old dropped the mitts last Saturday in LA when Kings center Brad Richardson cheap-shotted the future Hall-of-Famer from behind in the third period.