(Photos by Caps Outsider) It was all about the fans Saturday night...
Tale of the Tape: Latta vs. Rinaldo and Oleksy vs. Simmonds
Michael Latta: Height: 6’0″, Weight: 209 lbs, 2 career NHL regular season fights
Zac Rinaldo: Height: 5’11”, Weight: 169 lbs., 24 career NHL regular season fights
December 15th, 2013. Verizon Center. 6:21 into the second period. Score tied 1-1.
This one is actually a little bit difficult to determine how exactly it happened. But, if I had to guess, it stemmed from an earlier off ice incident. You see, Michael Latta and Zac Rinaldo happened to eat lunch together before the game. They just wanted to clear the air, because they had fought before in juniors. It started off as a nice little meal, each one just discussing their NHL seasons, asking how each others families were. It was really lovely. Latta ordered a large caesar salad, because he understands the importance of good pre game meal, but Rinaldo ordered a bacon and fried onion cheeseburger, because Rinaldo does not. When the bill came out, Rinaldo assumed they would split the bill 50/50, even though his meal cost $5.00 more. Latta tried to explain simple dining etiquette to Rinaldo, but he simply was not understanding. Latta became frustrated, and told Rinaldo he was going to go to the bathroom as the check came out. Instead, Latta sneaked out of the restaurant, leaving Rinaldo to pay for the entire bill. As Rinaldo skated on the ice, he was reminded of this incident, and went after Latta. And it was on.
Rinaldo got a quite a pretty heavy shot on Latta towards the back of his head, really only connecting with his helmet. Latta tries to quickly answer, but loses his balance. Rinaldo sees his opportunity, and throws three big ones, again, only connecting with the back of Latta’s helmet. Latta regains his balance, and quickly lands a right hook. Latta flicks off his pads as they twirl around a bit. As they twirl, Rinaldo swings way around to try to land, and falls down, bringing Latta with him. But, as they fall, Latta fires a big hit directly on Rinaldo’s nose. As they get up, you can see that Rinaldo has blood coming out of his nose.
And….the winner is….WAIT…it’s a draw….
But that wasn’t the only fight of the night.
Steve Oleksy: Height: 6’0″, Weight: 190 lbs., 6 career NHL regular season fights
Wayne Simmonds: Height: 6’2″, Weight: 183 lbs., 38 career NHL regular season fights
December 15th, 2013. Verizon Center. 2:05 into the third period. Caps down 2-1.
Ok. I know exactly why this one happened. It’s a dead give away. As you can see in the video, Steve Oleksy tries to stick his leg out to take out Wayne Simmonds. This is exactly what happened last week when the two were playing NHL 2014. They were playing each other online, each were playing with their respective teams. Oleksy was playing a fair game, but Simmonds was not. When Oleksy was controlling his own video game version of himself, he was skating up the ice, and in a much similar fashion to what happened during events leading to the fight, Simmonds took his video game character and took out video game character Oleksy’s leg. It knocked Oleksy’s guy out for the remainder of the season. Oleksy loves using his own character in video games, and clearly wanted to get revenge on real-life Simmonds. And when he tried to, it was on.
The two actually began the fight with all of their closest friends surrounding them. Oleksy and Simmonds just exchange love pushes to the face, and the rest of the players on the ice realize that the two would really like to dance, and they all back away. Oleksy starts off by trying to push Simmonds right over the bench, and knows that he has to get in close because of Simmonds’ long reach. Simmonds throws the first big punch, connecting with the side of Oleksy’s head. Oleksy tries to stay in close, and at first it works, as he’s able to throw a few lift jabs at Simmonds. After Simmonds attempt to push Oleksy into the bench, the two spend some time trying to regain their balance. Simmonds gets an upper cut off that hits Oleksy in the gut. Oleksy stumbles, and Simmonds pounces, getting a good shot right on Oleksy’s face. Oleksy tries to wrestle Simmonds away to gain a little space. Simmonds pulls off another upper cut into Oleksy’s ribs. Oleksy desperately tries to get a punch off, but Simmonds’ long reach is just too much for him to overcome. Simmonds then lands the fatal blow to Oleksy’s head, knocking him down to the ice. And that was the end.
And….the winner is….in a unanimous decision…..WAYNE SIMMONDS
And while a 0-1-1 fighting record is not that great for the Caps, a 1-0-0 game winning record for the day isn’t all that bad.