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. In the heat of the battle, sometimes players not known for their toughness get in on the action and either turn some heads or get their heads bashed in. Each Wednesday, FOXSports.com's NHL Tough Guy Tracker will spotlight those players and some of the best scraps from around the league. In this week's installment you'll read about a fight that was decided by one punch, George Parros standing up for a teammate, and how sometimes a tough guy like Jared Boll of the Columbus Blue Jackets does more in a game than just fight to get his name on the score sheet. You'll also read about a game between the Maple Le
Brian McGrattan, Calgary Flames
Down goes Parros! Down goes Parros! A heavyweight battle at the Honda Center between Calgary's Brian McGrattan and Anaheim's George Parros was decided by one punch when a late McGrattan right cross caught the Ducks' tough guy square on his chin.
Nathan Smith, Minnesota Wild
Last Friday at the Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota's Nathan Smith and New York's Nate Thompson really put on a show at center ice for the crowd just 4 1/2 minutes into the contest. Each combatant had his standout moment in the bout with Thompson dominating early and Smith coming on in the end.
Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins
Boston's Milan Lucic set the tone :21 into a game against Buffalo last Friday when he drilled Sabres' defenseman Henrik Tallinder behind his own net. Lucic, who returned to action after missing 14 games with a broken finger, also scored the game-tying goal in the hard-fought, overtime win.
Matt Cooke, Pittsburgh Penguins
Last week in a game against the Ducks, Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke showed the give and take in his game. In the first period Cooke took a high hard one from Ryan Whitney in the offensive zone. Cooke not only took his medicine, he also got revenge on Whitney later on, landing two hard hits of his own on the Ducks' defender.
George Parros, Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim's George Parros came to the defense of his teammate MacGregor Sharp after San Jose's Frazer McLaren plowed the Ducks forward into the boards in front of the Sharks' bench. Score this one a win for Big George over the 22-year-old McLaren.
Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars
On Nov. 23, Dallas captain Brenden Morrow got his team's blood flowing early when he dropped the gloves with Carolina's Tim Gleason just :25 into the contest. Morrow skated away from the scrap that night a winner, as did the Stars.
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes
Shane Doan gave the Phoenix home crowd plenty to cheer about on Nov. 21 against Philadelphia. Doan not only picked up two points in the 3-1 win over the Flyers, he also chalked up three hits, including a thunderous blow on Scotty Hartnell in the first period.
Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers
Kudos to Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk for sticking up for himself after Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke slew-footed him in front of the Thrashers' bench. Even though Cooke wound up winning the fight, Kovalchuk deserves a lot of credit for manning up and going right after the player who cheap-shotted him. Not many super stars do that these days.
Jared Boll, Columbus Blue Jackets
In a 7-4 loss to the Rangers on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, Jared Boll of the Columbus Blue Jackets did more than just go toe-to-toe with New York pest Aaron Voros. Boll finished the night with one goal, one assist, two fights and two hits. Not your typical Gordie Howe hat trick, that's for sure.