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Nick Foligno and Wayne Simmonds have 33 years of NHL experience between them both. The two veterans have played for 10 combined teams and have the utmost respect for one another.
When they got together on Saturday night, it led to a heavyweight tilt for the ages.
As the Bruins and Maple Leafs clashed in a battle of the Atlantic Division’s top two teams, things got heated in a hurry. Less than three minutes into the game between two Stanley Cup hopefuls, TD Garden was treated to a show at center ice.
Simmonds (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) and Foligno (6-foot-0, 208 pounds) met at the logo, dropped the gloves, and came to blows.
At first, it was the latter who dominated early. Simmonds landed a few heavy hands to Foligno’s head and nearly dislodged his opponent’s helmet with one particularly big shot.
The former, though, did not go down without getting his. Foligno rallied back during the scrap and connected on a few hard punches of his own.
Although the “winner” of the minute-long bout is up for interpretation, they both deserved the raucous applause that was given to them by the crowd in Boston. It was one of the best fights of the year, if not the best fight of the year, and one of the better scraps in recent history.
Foligno and Simmonds finished their fracas on the boards when one of the officials came over to break things up. In a sign of mutual respect, they each shared some love for the other with some taps to the dome.
At 34 and 35 years old, respectively, Simmonds and Foligno are not far from retirement. As their careers wind down, Saturday’s fight is one that they will not soon forget.
It may not have been the most violent, but it was a classic in its own right. Stick taps for the two!