It was quite a first period in Thursday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and bitter rivals Columbus Blue Jackets.
With about five minutes left in the 0-0 frame, Penguins tough guy Ryan Reaves threw a beautifully clean and electrifying hit against Columbus’s Markus Hannikainen. As happens in this era, Reaves was immediately challenged/jumped by Lukas Sedlak.
Reaves essentially three punched Sedlak and the fight was over before it really began. The crowd loved it, and the Penguins still ended up on the power play because of an extra roughing penalty given to Sedlak for voluntarily getting himself into that mess.
Now, it worked out Pittsburgh got a pretty nice immmediate trifecta out of it. A huge hit, a clear fight decision and a powerplay. The crowd ate it up.
On the other hand, Columbus wasn’t getting great energy so far in the game. The Penguins had some serious jump and had all the lines rolling, something they haven’t been able to do for some time. Reaves and his unit in particular were playing very effectively. He took himself out of that mix and had his bench scattered for 5 minutes.
So with knowing the possible positive outcomes gained by fighting and still taking the current game situation into consideration, if you were Reaves would you have dropped the mitts or would you have declined?