Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore dropped the gloves for the first time in his NHL career in Tuesday afternoon’s 5-2 win over Anaheim at T-Mobile Arena.
Well, at least one of them.
Theodore, who last fought as part of a line brawl in a juniors game back in 2013, took the unorthodox approach of keeping his left glove on as he traded blows with Max Comtois in the corner during the closing minute of action.
Comtois went for Theodore just after the Knights’ defenseman checked Isac Lundestrom into the boards.
“At that point, some guys are just trying to start something or make some kind of an impact and sometimes stuff like that happens,” Theodore said of the skirmish.
His close friend and teammate Alex Tuch expressed disappointment in himself for allowing Theodore to be in that position.
“First and foremost, I was a little late getting in there,” he said. “I don’t want him fighting. There’s no point. I hesitated for a second and I need to get in a little quicker. But you know what?I thought he held his own and Comtois is not a small guy.
”I just thought it was unnecessary, honestly. But when a guy drops his gloves, it’s really hard not to drop them yourself. I’m just glad he’s fine. He was joking around about it with us, so that’s good.”
“I wish (Comtois) would have gone after me. I don’t think (Theodore) was the right guy to go after if you’re trying to make a point.”
Coach Gerard Gallant, himself a noted brawler during his playing days, took a lighter approach.
“Good on (Theodore),” Gallant laughed. “He got his first major in I don’t know how long. Maybe he’ll start doing it every game.
“But when you crosscheck a guy from behind on the boards, you’ve got to expect it and (Theodore) is OK.”
The officials stepped in before either fighter could launch much of an attack.
Tuch breaks drought
Tuch’s first goal since Dec. 5 won’t make many highlight films. It’s more likely to show up on a Ducks’ blooper reel.
Tuch’s shot in the final minute of the first period ended up under Anaheim goalie John Gibson, though it was never secured and no whistle was blown.
The puck shook free under Gibson and was knocked into the net by defenseman Josh Manson, who either thought the play was dead and banged it in out of frustration or hit the wrong side of the puck while trying to clear it.
Either way, Tuch and his teammates got to celebrate a 2-1 lead.
“It topped the goal in New York when the defenseman pushed (Henrik Lundqvist) into his own net,” Tuch said. “I had no idea where the puck was. I was like, ‘Why hasn’t there been a whistle?’
“The ref was right behind me pretty much at ice level looking at the puck. He just watched it keep moving, so yeah probably the weirdest and luckiest goal of my career.”
Tuch wasn’t really sure he would be credited with the score until it was announced.
“I remember shooting the puck,” he said. “I looked at (Paul Stastny) and he said he didn’t touch it. We were the only two guys around the net really on that side.
”So we celebrated as a group because I think everyone pretty much touched the puck before the goal, honestly. So it was an all-around good play and I was lucky enough to get credit.”
Schmidt reaches milestone
Knights’ defenseman Nate Schmidt recorded the 100th assist of his NHL career on Jonathan Marchessault’s empty-net goal in the third period.
Schmidt has 65 assists in three seasons with the Knights and 13 in 31 games this season.
The 28-year-old has 126 points in 368 career games with the Knights and Washington.