Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Pezzetta got the crowd buzzing at the Bell Centre Monday night thanks to an entertaining fight that did not finish well for Flames defenceman Connor Mackey.
The fight took place early in the first period, and though Mackey may have gotten the best of Pezzetta in the first few moments, Pezzetta clearly won the fight with a heavy overhand right punch that dropped Mackey to a knee.
Michael Pezzetta absolutely hammers Connor Mackey and gets the crowd on its feet at the Bell Centre pic.twitter.com/iPJ5MeBIco
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) December 13, 2022
This is Pezzetta’s sixth fight of his NHL career. Even though he’s a middleweight, his fight card includes opponents such as the heavyweight champion of the NHL, Ryan Reaves, and the player Arber Xhekaj bullied earlier this season.
Xhekaj was spotted congratulating Pezzetta following the fight, a clear sign of appreciation from someone who knows what it takes to engage in a bare-knuckle fight while more than 20,000 fans cheer.
Pezzetta is not a regular in the Canadiens lineup, and now that Xhekaj has established his role as the team’s enforcer, he will have to work even harder to earn ice time, but he’s no stranger to hard work.
He is one of the hardest-working players in the Canadiens organization and has earned his way into the NHL the hard way, by spending several frustrating seasons in the AHL.
On any given morning, Pezzetta was the first player to jump on the ice for the Laval Rocket, and most often the last player to leave.
When Pezzetta finally received the call, he produced a very respectable amount of offence considering he received very few minutes on the fourth line. In 51 games with the Canadiens last season, Pezzetta scored five goals and added six assists.
The Canadiens will soon have to make a decision regarding his contract, seeing as he signed a one-year contract extension this summer that pays him $750,000 per season.