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
Brandon Prust and Kris Newbury, N.Y. Rangers
With the Rangers getting rocked 3-0 on the scoreboard last Thursday in Carolina, Brandon Prust and Kris Newbury tried to get their team going on the ice by doing a little rocking and socking of their own. The two New York ruffians squared off nine seconds apart in the second period, with Prust taking on and beating Jay Harrison and Newbury burying Ryan Carter.
George Parros, Anaheim Ducks
Two big boys dropped the mitts on Jan. 20 when Toronto's Colton Orr squared off with Anaheim's George Parros. The Ducks' enforcer laid the smack down on Orr pretty good in the first period, downing the Maple Leafs' scrapper with a big right to the chops 43 seconds into the fracas.
Cam Janssen, St. Louis Blues
After getting whipped in the first half of a fight Monday night against Colorado's David Koci, Blues brute Cam Janssen hung in there long enough to score some meaningful blows late in the scrap and earn a draw against a much bigger opponent.
Daniel Carcillo, Philadelphia Flyers
With his team down 1-0 to the Flyers on Sunday, Jake Dowell decided to drop the gloves in the second period against Philly tough guy Daniel Carcillo to try and get the Blackhawks going. Dowell fared well in the beginning of the bout by opening up Carcillo's nose with a lethal left, but the Flyers' enforcer fought through the bloody beak to land a slew of lefts and rights that knocked Dowell to the ice.
Tom Kostopoulos, Calgary Flames
A fight between Calgary's Tom Kostopoulos and Vancouver's Kevin Bieksa was over before it started Saturday night at Rogers Arena. One big right from Kostopoulos buckled the legs of Bieksa, causing the officials to come to the rescue of the Canucks' loopy defenseman.
Jared Boll, Columbus Blue Jackets
Jared Boll got very involved in the Blue Jackets' 5-2 win over the Blues last week. First, the feisty winger pounded B.J. Crombeen in a first-period fight after the St. Louis instigator threw an open-ice elbow at him just inside the Jackets zone. Later on, Boll buried the tying goal in the second period, helping Columbus beat a division rival in more ways than one.
Dan Girardi, New York Rangers
New York defender Dan Girardi took his job to a new level on Jan. 22 when he came to the defense of teammate Marc Staal after Atlanta's Andrew Ladd drove him hard into the backboards to the right of the Rangers' net. While Girardi didn't earn a win over Ladd, he did earn the respect of his teammates after breaking his nose while standing up for the Rangers' young blueliner.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Ottawa Senators
A hockey game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators turned into a barroom brawl last Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center. The two teams dropped the gloves five times in the nasty contest, combining for 28 penalties and 126 PIMS. At one time in the third period, three fights broke out at once, with the Jody Shelley/Chris Neil scrap being the main event of the night.
Tim Gleason, Carolina Hurricanes
Toronto's Nikolai Kulemin started something he couldn't finish Monday night in Raleigh. At the end of the first period, the Maple Leafs winger gave Carolina's Tim Gleason a few glove smooshes to the face and before he knew what hit him, Kulemin was down on the ice with a broken schnoz.
NHLI via Getty ImagesGregg Forwerck
Kyle Clifford vs. Shawn Thornton
On Jan. 24, L.A. rookie Kyle Clifford and Boston veteran Shawn Thornton emptied their tanks in a spirited bout that had everything a fight fan could ask for. Clifford and Thornton threw haymakers, uppercuts, body blows, hooks, crosses, roundhouses . . . You name it these guys threw it in the wildly entertaining and energetic draw.