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
Photo: Full Length/John Russell
Brandon Prust vs. Ben Eager
Rangers pest Brandon Prust gets credit for taking on and hanging in there against a much bigger opponent in the Sharks' Ben Eager. In 71 games this year, Prust has dropped the mitts 15 times.
Ryan White vs. Johnny Boychuk
In an Original Six showdown on March 8 at the Bell Centre, Montreal's Ryan White rang Boston's Johnny Boychuk's bell when he unloaded an assortment of lefts and rights on the Bruins' defenseman in the opening minutes of the first period.
Kevin Westgarth vs. Jared Boll
With his team down 3-1 to the Kings in the third period last week, the Blue Jackets' Jared Boll tried to get his team going by dropping the gloves with L.A.'s Kevin Westgarth. In the end, the Kings won the game 4-2 and Boll didn't even land one punch against his much bigger opponent.
Jason Chimera vs. Brent Seabrook
Last Sunday at the Verizon Center, Chicago's Brent Seabrook pounded Washington's Jason Chimera to the ice after Chimera ran over his goaltender Corey Crawford in the closing seconds of the second period. While Seabrook came away with the win against Chimera, the same can't be said for the 'Hawks, who wound up losing 4-3 in overtime to the red-hot Caps.
Adam McQuaid vs. Paul Gaustad
With time winding down in the second period of a 2-2 game between the Bruins and Sabres on March 10, Boston's Adam McQuaid and Buffalo's Paul Gaustad set up an entertaining third by going toe-to-toe at center ice.
Michael Haley vs. Adam Mair
With his team down 1-0 to the Devils on March 12 at The Rock, the Islanders' Micheal Haley tried to get his team going by taking on and beating the Devils' Adam Mair.
Memo to Colorado's Cody McLeod: If you're gonna drop your gloves you should think about using your fists. In a March 11 scrap against Anaheim's Brad Winchester, McLeod didn't even throw one punch before getting knocked to the ice by the Ducks' willing winger.
After not fighting all year, Montreal's Paul Mara dropped the gloves twice last week. First, the Canadiens' veteran defenseman battled the Blues' Ryan Reaves to a draw on March 10. Then on March 12, Mara bested Pittsburgh's Maxime Talbot in a 3-0 win over the Penguins.
In the closing seconds of the second period on March 12, Jordin Tootoo brought the Predators fans to their feet when he pummeled Colorado's Ryan Wilson with a series of vicious lefts and rights. Photo: Full Length/Frederick Breedon
Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski definitely gets the nod for Tough Guy of the Week. On March 10 at the ACC, the Leafs' 27-year-old forward scored his most painful goal of the year when he redirected a Dion Phaneuf blast past Philly's Brian Boucher with his face.