Michael Pezzetta and Ryan Lomberg engaged in a very spirited fight on Thursday night, exchanging wild punches for over half a minute.
The fight occurred in the third period of the Canadiens versus Panthers game, the third fight of the match. It took place shortly after another intense fight, though unlike the Lomberg and Pezzetta match up, Arber Xhekaj’s fight with Givani Smith was definitely a one-sided beatdown.
Simply put, the referees let the game get out of hand in the first two periods, and the result were predictable.
Not only did they miss a blatant interference call on Mike Matheson, which resulted in Eric Staal leaving the game with an injury, the missed a blatant boarding call on Xhekaj, not to mention a litany of dirty plays from both teams.
They failed to do their jobs, and the players took matters into their own hands. Literally.
Lomberg, who is only 5’9″, matched Pezzetta’s intensity, landing as many blows as his opponent despite the significant size mismatch.
That’s not to say Pezzetta fared poorly. He probably landed more punches, but given how many bombs were thrown, it’s rather difficult to declare a winner.
But one thing is certain, there was a loser in this situation, and that’s the actions of the referees. Or rather, the lack of action from the referees.
Wheewwwww Pezzetta and Lomberg were chucking bombs pic.twitter.com/4ep23a1REy
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) January 20, 2023
This was the third fight of the season for Michael Pezzetta, and his eight fight of his NHL career. His previous opponents were Corey Perry, Mark Borowiecki, Erik Gudbranson, Radko Gudas, Zack Kassian, Connor Mackley, and Mark Kastelic.
Oh, and the reigning heavyweight champion in the NHL: Ryan Reaves.
The fight against Reaves certainly did not go according to plan, but it went to show Pezzetta is not afraid to face anyone, and is willing to put his body on the line to defend his teammates.