I promise you, this isn't nearly as cool as when former Bulldog Jason Garrison scored his first NHL goal a week or so ago.
However, the first NHL fight is an important moment in a hockey player's life. Its life equivalent is the first steps. You can be a well-developing baby without walking until you've reached a certain age. However, you have to eventually walk before you can develop past a certain point.
There is only so much you can do in the NHL without getting in a fight first.
Garrison has done some really good things for the Florida Panthers this season, and it's been fun to watch as he gets more and more ice time. I thought he played pretty well this week in a game against Minnesota, and it was nice to know that some of the people who got to know him really well when he was at UMD got to go to St. Paul and see him play in person.
(Having been in the XCel Energy Center to watch the Wild trample the Stars -- in a game Matt Niskanen scored in -- I know what it's like to have the best of both worlds.)
Anyway, Garrison planted Joe Pavelski into the boards during Florida's matinee at San Jose Saturday, and Shark Manny Malhotra took exception to the hit. Here is the video.
Not much of a fight, with Malhotra getting in the best shots. However, Garrison ended it with his takedown. That's two points in some worlds.
As a DECC staffer noted, he's not a fighter.
But I bet he's better at it than Max Talbot.