Montreal Canadiens rookie Arber Xhekaj has engaged in yet another tussle, this time against Florida Panthers forward Givani Smith.
The game featured a multitude of dirty hits, fights, and questionable decisions by the referees, leading to a predictably chaotic third period, which included three fights.
As has been he case throughout the year, Xhekaj’s opponent did not last very long, and is probably regretting his decision to invite Xhekaj to the dance floor.
Xhekaj landed a series of rights that quickly downed Smith, although it’s worth noting he kept his left glove on prior to engaging, and actually refused to fight Smith earlier in the game, pointing to a possible hand injury.
The injury speculation aside, it was a fairly easy win for Xhekaj, who continues to climb the NHL’s tough guy rankings, having lost perhaps one fight since joining the NHL.
Givani Smith wanted to fight Arber Xhekaj.
I do not think it was a smart idea on his part pic.twitter.com/0mKTvW1OEU
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) January 20, 2023
Xhekaj taken on all comers so far this season, with Pat Maroon, Adam Lowry, Zack Kassian and more. At no point has Xhekaj ever chosen to pick on a smaller player or needlessly chase after a fight.
The enforcers of the NHL seem to all gravitate toward him, and Arber Xhekaj isn’t one to back down from a challenge since joining the Montreal Canadiens as an undrafted rookie defenceman.
Beyond being one of the bes stories in the NHL, and an important member of the Canadiens’ defensive squad, Xhekaj is quickly burgeoning into one of the league’s most physical and punishing defenceman and is one of the biggest surprises of the season in the National Hockey League.
See the rest of Arber Xhekaj’s fights in the NHL this season: