Mike Green fought Ilya Kovalchuk this weekend, and the guys at Russian Machine Never Breaks have a total breakdown of the events and the backlash directed towards Mike Green as a result of it. Fans on NHL.com repeatedly claimed that Mike Green was kind of a wuss about the whole thing; and RMNB disagrees. I'm actually siding with the fans on this one. Check out the video, and I'll tell you why after the jump.
My problem with RMNB's analysis is that they base some of their conclusions on a handful of pictures. Pictures are worth 1,000 words, but video is worth even more. Pictures are like the American dollar; video is like the Euro.
Some of the focus of the fans' derision was that Green appeared to skate away from the fight in its early stages. RMNB showed this picture to discredit that. The problem is that, in the video, you can see that Green skates backwards almost all the way across the ice right after that encounter.
Others wanted to get on Green for his fighting style once he was engaged. RMNB counters with this. Looks like he threw a hell of a punch here, but it missed Kovalchuk by about three feet. No style points in a fight from me.
To me, it looks like Mike Green didn't really do a great job in this fight. The back skating, some missed punches all show that he held his own for a little, but nothing I would call successful.
But that's okay, because I do agree with RMNB's stance on Mike Green participating in the fight to begin with. He did so in defense of another player on his team, and I would never criticize a player for doing that. Still, just because he chose to fight, doesn't mean he's any good at it. He gets points for starting the fight, but that's the extent of my praise.