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Three potential battles to watch for the Habs between now and the end of the season
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

The place of fighting and brawling in today’s hockey has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years.

It’s an element of the sport that is adored by some for its spectacular nature, but loathed by others because of the danger and violence that comes with it.

The fact remains that, for the time being, fighting is still very much a part of NHL hockey (not in the QMJHL, though), and all the more so in recent weeks.

Indeed, the arrival of young Matt Rempe with the New York Rangers has single-handedly rekindled the amount of fighting in the NHL.

The 6’8″, 21-year-old forward wasted no time in making his presence felt in the world’s biggest hockey league, as he quickly established himself as a goon who wasn’t afraid of a fight.

In six games, Rempe has four fights and 32 penalty minutes, which says a lot.

The kid decided this was what he had to do if he wanted to stay in the NHL.

Although Rempe is already pretty banged up, andwill have to take it easy, it’s anyone’s guess as to the potential opponents Rempe could face in his next few games.

Obviously, the name Arber Xhekaj is associated with Rempe.

A potential battle could take place between the two players on April 7, when the Canadiens will be in New York to face the Rangers for the last time this season.

If both players are in uniform, it will clearly be one to watch.

And as Habs fans, we find our excitement wherever we can, given that the club clearly won’t be making the playoffs.

Some would say that’s pathetic, but hey.

The Habs also have two other potential battles to watch out for between now and the end of the season.

Obviously, we’re all hoping for Xhekaj vs Reaves part 2 next Saturday, when the Maple Leafs are at the Bell Centre.

We all remember that in the first game of the season, Arber Xhekaj and Ryan Reaves threw down the gloves, and it was Xhekaj who came out on top, as he completely toppled Reaves over the net.

It wasn’t a real fight, and that’s why we’re all waiting for a second one.

Reaves, who didn ‘t like the way Xhekaj came at him, said he’d be back for a rematch.

Finally, on April 11, when the Habs visit the Islanders, Brendan Gallagher will surely have to throw down the gloves against Adam Pelech.

The Islanders’ defenseman will clearly want to avenge the nasty blow Gallagher dealt him in the head during their last confrontation on January 25.

Another potential fight to watch.

So, to recap, in chronological order:

  • Arber Xhekaj vs Ryan Reaves: March 9?
  • Arber Xhekaj vs Matt Rempe: April 7?
  • Brendan Gallagher vs Adam Pelech: April 11?

That’s what you’ll be watching for between now and the end of the season in terms of potential fights.

As for the rest, the Montreal Canadiens continue to fight for a top draft pick in their last 22 games.

In a gust

As expected, it’s now done for Elias Pettersson, who has signed an eight-year contract worth $11.6 million a year with the Canucks. An excellent contract, if you ask me.

– The Rocket back in action today.

– Good news for the Capitals.

– Ilya Lyubushkin’s return to Toronto makes people happy.

– It’s on!

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