I think we can all agree that what we saw this past season was the new and improved Edmonton Oilers. They’re big, tough, and a force to be reckoned with. With the additions of Milan Lucic, Zack Kassian, and Pat Maroon, the Oilers have grown into the gritty Western Conference team that we all hoped they would become. As proof of this, the Oilers have improved from 11th overall in fighting majors to fourth overall. I took a look back at all 35 fights we had this past year and put together my top 11, just for you guys!
You may be wondering, why are there 11 fights on this list. Why not just 10 fights like normal lists? Well kids, while rewatching all of the fights from last season I realized that there were a lot more good ones than I initially expected. Now I’m not a very decisive person to begin with, so making a list of 11 makes things a lot easier for me. AND that way my boy Matt Benning can be a part of the list!
Anyways, I hope you enjoy. All the videos were captured from www.hockeyfights.com. Feel free to let me know in the comments below what you think of the ranking, and if you would change anything about it.
#11 Matt Benning vs. Chris Wideman
Yes, maybe I bumped out one of Maroon’s million fights to give some love to Matt Benning. This was his first NHL fight and he couldn’t have done it a better way, standing up for Anton Lander as Wideman cross-checks him into the ice. Such teamwork! Such grittiness!
#10 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins vs. Vinnie Hinostroza
I love watching little Nugey throw some fist kisses! Nuge doesn’t fight often but he picks his battles carefully and does pretty well because of it. The best part about this is watching Benning fly in to protect Nuge. I don’t think Matt expected him to be starting the fight himself.
#9 Zack Kassian & Milan Lucic vs. Michael Haley
I decided to loop these two together as I figured it was a nice fit. I probably wouldn’t crown Kass the winner of his fight but it was a fast-paced scrap with some good shots going both ways. Milan’s fight adds to the fight-combo for coming in and beating the hell out of Haley. I like to think of it as retribution for Kassian’s fight.
#8 Milan Lucic vs. Deryk Engelland
The Battle Of Alberta was live and well this season and it couldn’t have happened without big boys like Lucic and Engelland punching each other in the face as much as they did.
#7 Darnell Nurse vs. Curtis McKenzie
I’d be lying if I said I expected Darnell Nurse to be as good as a fighter as he is. His tall, slim stature doesn’t put off an “I’ll beat the crap out of you” vibe, but Nurse will often surprise you with his feistiness and grit.
#6 Matt Hendricks vs. Brenden Dillon
Want to hear a fun fact? Matt Hendricks ranks 22nd in Oilers history for most fighting majors with 23. The next active player is Patrick Maroon with 11 fights in an Oilers jersey. Hendo didn’t win this fight, but I still think he deserves to be on this list. The best part about this is that he stepped in for Zack Kassian for some reason. I like it when tough guys step up for other tough guys. That’s a good system if you ask me.
#5 Zack Kassian vs. Josh Manson
BOO DUCKS. This was a half fight/half balancing act as both guys were throwing off-balanced punches… which is actually even more impressive. I’d give the edge to Kassian on this one.
#4 Patrick Maroon vs. Brandon Manning
We all know the storyline between Brandon Manning and Connor McDavid from the past two years. Patrick Maroon has been irking for a fight against Manning because of it, and finally got his wish. Not only did he treat him like a rag doll the whole fight, I love him trying to shove Manning’s face through the ice as a finish.
#3 Patrick Maroon vs. Jarome Iginla
I enjoy watching any Jarome Iginla fight, so when he’s fighting an Oiler it’s that much more entertaining. Patrick Maroon held his own in this one against Iggy which ended up being a lengthy, strategic fight between the oversized men.
#2 Darnell Nurse vs. Michael McCarron
Darnell Nurse only fought three times this past season and two of them ended up on my top 11 fights lists. Am I biased? Maybe. It seems like he’s always involved in good scraps, especially in this one against McCarron.
#1 Patrick Maroon vs. Cody McLeod
Watching two dudes punch each other in the face might be a favourite hobby of mine, and this is exactly what happens here. Maroon and NHL fight leader, Cody McLeod both get some good rights in against each other in this lengthy fight. Pat Maroon lead the Oilers in fighting majors and finished 10th in the league for most fights (9). It’s only fitting that he tops the list of the Oilers best fights from the 2016-17 season.
Even though this wasn’t a very good fight, I think we still need to acknowledge how amazing it is. Nation HQ has voted this clip as our favourite moment from the season. Enjoy!