Two weeks ago, Joe Pavelski dropped the gloves for only the fifth time in his decade in the league. He’s had some good, he’s had some bad, and he’s definitely seen some ugly (looking at you, Anaheim). Here are Joe Pavelski’s best and only professional fights:
Ryan Whitney, April 27th 2009
In true Anaheim Ducks fashion, a garbage man with the first name Ryan went after a 25-year-old Joe Pavelski after another garbage man with the first name Ryan, last name Getzlaf, tried to take out Dan Boyle. All hell broke lose, but the young Pavelski stood his ground. He knocked off Whitney’s helmet and in a total power move, removed his own, with Whitney’s sweater still clenched in his fist.
Pavs might be small, but that wasn’t a disadvantage — he was able to easily dodge Whitney’s hits while landing a few of his own. This one goes to the man in teal.
Keith Ballard, January 21st 2012
Pavelski had to learn that you can’t win ‘em all.
At the end of a chippy second period against Vancouver, Joe collided with a Canucks player behind Vancouver’s net. Keith Ballard, fed up from an already physical match, took exception and laid Pavelski out.
Sorry, Pavs. This was a total loss.
Kris Russell, April 14th 2012
Pavelski went in for a wrap around goal and when the puck got loose on the rebound, the Sharks attacked. With too many men in the crease, things heated up, and Pavs was far from the only player involved. None other than Patrick Marleau landed a punch straight to the face of BJ Crombeen. Pavs seems to laugh in Russell’s face, while Joe Thornton had to pull away future-Shark Roman Polak, in case the bruising blueliner decided to tap in for the five-foot-ten Russell.
They exchanged a few jabs, with Russell really only landing one shot, but he got over Pavelski’s arm, Pavs lost his footing, and that wrapped it up. It wasn’t much of a fight, but Russell did get Pavelski down to the ice.
Ben Lovejoy, October 26th 2014
Pavelski’s fourth ever fight came in a game that saw five fights total.
As the Sharks were closing in on shutting out the Anaheim Ducks, Tim Jackman took his stick to the back of Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s legs. Jackman then tried unsuccessfully to engage Vlasic in a fight and in the mayhem that ensued, Joe Pavelski and Ben Lovejoy went at it. Pavelski landed a couple quick strikes, but the six-foot-one Lovejoy was able to lord over the five-foot-eleven Pavelski and get him down to a knee before the officials stepped in.
The Sharks came out of it with a four minute power play, and later in the game, Jackman got into an actual fight with John Scott and James Sheppard squared off against Ryan Getzlaf. This game was brutal, but Pavs, unfortunately, wasn’t.
Ryan Johansen, November 1st 2017
In his first fight with the C on his chest, Joe came out on top of Ryan Johansen.
Earlier in the game, Johansen made a questionable hit on Vlasic, in which the point of contact appeared to have been the head. Vlasic left the ice and did not return, while Johansen served only a two minute minor penalty for the hit.
Captain America took it into his own hands and tackled Johansen to the ice. The two faced off against each other, then Johansen trailed Pavs, hitting him with his stick several times. They both dropped the gloves and Pavelski sought retribution for his teammate.
The place of fighting in the game is certainly controversial, and it seems like Pavelski is generally hesitant to drop the mitts. Nearly every instance was in response to an incident involving his teammate. Emotions run high when there’s passion involved and Pavelski is passionate about this team.
Whether you believe fighting has a place in this game or not, you can’t hate how much he cares. That’s exactly what you want in a captain.