Monday, November 24, 2008
Courtesy: Tim Sullivan, San Diego Union Tribune
ANAHEIM - Chris Young saw the fight coming before the first face-off. The Padres pitcher has yet to attempt ice skates, but the man knows his hockey.
He knows Donald Brashear by reputation and he has known George Parros since they were Princeton pals nearly a decade ago. So as he stepped out of his limousine Wednesday night at the Honda Center, Young was already anticipating a bout between the two NHL enforcers.
Exactly three scoreboard seconds after Washington's wondrous Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal in the second period, Parros and Brashear put down their sticks and put up their dukes. After dislodging Brashear's helmet, Parros was able to administer eight solid rights to the back of the head before a loss of balance stopped the bout and allowed him to ice his hand in the penalty box.
Later, after taking three stitches in his right elbow, Parros admitted his punches were premeditated. The Ducks' right wing is employed to create energy and change mood, to enliven the listless and, ideally, to draw blood. With his team down two goals in a game it would lose 6-4, Parros recognized his cue for fisticuffs.
"He was reluctant to fight, obviously, 'cause they were on the road and he didn't want to give away any of that momentum," Parros said of Brashear. "He said we weren't going to fight and I'm like, 'I understand, but I'm going to make it look like I'm asking you anyway, so everyone knows.' "
Hockey fights are sometimes spontaneous, but they are often so predictable as to appear preordained. According to hockeyfights.com, the 6-foot-5, 231-pound Parros has now been involved in 65 regular-season fights in 174 NHL regular-season games. His career totals include six goals scored and 455 penalty minutes served.
To Young, the Padres' 6-foot-10 galoot, Parros is the Princeton goon. Within the small circle of the Ivy League institution's professional athletes, this can be considered a term of endearment.
"When he came to Princeton, he had already been drafted by L.A., so you knew he was a really good player," Young said of Parros. "Seeing his size, I assumed he was a defenseman. I went to a game and saw he was a forward."
For the rest of Tim Sullivan's story, click here.