There’s no guarantee that he will or he won’t play on Saturday night against Nashville, but after events like the one that rocked Joe Vitale last year, it’s fair to ask whether it’s worth it for the Yotes to risk their best forward for a little pride.
This isn’t about fighting and whether it should be allowed or not.
I don’t mind fighting. It’s not my favorite part of hockey, but I cheer the home team and boo the opposition anytime the gloves are dropped.
Players see it as a way to police the game they play for a living, and if it’s fine with them…well, I guess it’s fine with me.
It’s to deal with cheap shots, bad hits, and overall surliness from opposing players.
Max Domi’s job is to score and create goals.
That is a job that he does very well. He’s tallied 5 goals and 11 assists for 16 points this season.
If he had some better finishers and puck movers around him, he could easily be pushing towards a point-per-game.
Seeing a player like Domi fight is a thrill for fans and teammates alike. Rarely does a skill player get involved in the guts and grit side of the game.
There’s a reason for that, though. On most occasions it’s not worth the risk.
Several of Domi’s fights have been him losing his cool and taking exception to a hit, legal or otherwise, that he’s taken. Others, like the Ryan Garbutt incident, were the result of him coming to the aid of his teammates.
Max Domi should stick up for Oliver Ekman-Larsson and whomever else is being targeted when no one else is stepping up.
He shouldn’t be losing his cool with every shot he takes, however. That’s why Ryan White is eating up a roster spot. White needs to do his job, too, and not just at the start of games.
Perhaps this time Domi escaped with nothing more than some stitches and a black eye.
Next time? Who knows. He’s not a fighter, he’s an arguably undersized scorer who likes to fight.
It’s not worth the risk of Domi sitting with a concussion or suffering worse effects due to an ill-taken battle with a more seasoned brawler.