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Leafs’ Foligno Criticized for “Need” to Fight Perry After Tavares Hit

Both fans and analysts alike are questioning whether or not Corey Perry needed to fight after his accidental collision with John Tavares.

After a terrible incident in a Game 1 of a North Division playoff series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens that led to John Tavares being stretchered off the ice, some are questioning whether a fight immediately afterward between Corey Perry and Nick Foligno needed to happen. In fact, some are jumping all over Foligno for seemingly goading Perry into a fight and holding him accountable to some kind of “code” that didn’t need to exist in such an awful situation.

Related: John Tavares Involved in Scary Collision During Leafs vs. Canadiens Game

Early in the first period, Tavares got hit by Habs defenceman Ben Chiarot and fell to the ice. As he was trying to get back up, Perry attempted to jump to avoid contact with the Leafs captain, and instead caught him directly in the head with his shin pad. What ensued after was very scary, as it was clear Tavares was in a very bad situation and required medical staff to rush to the ice. Moments later, he was stretchered off.

Given that Perry, who has had some questionable hits over the years, was involved, many were thinking this incident may have had intent. However, after multiple replays, it was clear it was just a very fast acting play and that he did everything he could to try and avoid Tavares completely. While it seemed everyone agreed it was just a very unfortunate play, that didn’t stop Foligno from challenging Perry to fight just minutes afterward, and while the Habs forward obliged, many felt he didn’t need to.

When asked by media why Foligno felt the need to challenge Perry, he simply repeated, “Our captain was laying on the ice”. Foligno admitted that the hit wasn’t intentional, but it wasn’t about that. He felt that something was going to need to be done and the situation needed to be addressed. If the two prolonged Perry having “to answer” for it, the series couldn’t really move forward. Essentially, the idea was that they get it out of the way immediately.

Not only did many not think he needed to fight in fact, but quite a few thought it was unnecessary of Foligno to even challenge him for something that was clearly accidental. It brings in to question “the code” which has always been around in hockey. For those unfamiliar, “the code” is part of an unwritten rule where if a player lays a dirty hit, they need to drop the gloves later on as a result. For the most part, people are okay with this as it allows the players to police themselves. However, many felt last night was different.

The fact that Foligno admitted to the media he knew the collision regarding Tavares and Perry was unintentional led to some more questions from both fans and analysts, including Ken Campbell from The Hockey News.

Opinions may vary on this, but from a personal standpoint, I completely agree with what he is saying. There are still times where fights are necessary in today’s game, as like mentioned above, it helps the players police themselves. However, for an incident like this that was so clearly unintentional, it was not necessary and did not need to happen.

Tavares’ Health

While the fight afterwards is an interesting point of discussion, the most important thing in all of this is how Tavares is doing. The incident that many witnessed last night was very scary, but thankfully it appears he is alright. After staying the night in the hospital, it has been confirmed that he was discharged this morning. Though he is out of the lineup indefinitely, it sounds like he is going to be okay, which is fantastic news given how bad the outcome could have been.

Next: Tyler Seguin Talks Kucherov and the Lightning’s Salary Cap Controversy



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