DETROIT — Heading into Wednesday’s games, there had been 112 fights in 186 NHL games played. At this point last season, there had been just 86 fights, an increase of 26 percent.
Justin Abdelkader thinks the increase could be due to the shortened season.
“Every game is important,” said Abdelkader, who led the team with six fights last season. “I think maybe the start of the season fluctuated the numbers a little bit. Maybe you won’t see as much fighting as we go later into the season. But I think at the start, teams were sending messages.”
Columbus’ Jared Boll leads the NHL with seven fights in 11 games. He’s on pace for 26 fights in 48 games. Last season, Brandon Prust, who played for the New York Rangers, led the league with 20 fights in 82 games.
Jordin Tootoo leads the Wings this season with four fights in 12 games. He’s on pace for 16 fights.