Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Nick Ritchie engaged in the team’s second fight of the season Tuesday. He dropped the gloves with Nashville Predators forward Michael McCarron late in the first period.
The beef started when Ritchie flattened McCarron with a hit near the Nashville blueline, creating a scoring chance for linemates Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. McCarron followed Ritchie deep into the Nashville zone and the gloves came off.
Ritchie, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, got the better of McCarron early then finished him off by switching to lefts and landing several more clean shots.
This was Ritchie’s 10th career regular season fight, according to www.hockeyfights.com.
Nick Ritchie has zero goal and two assists in 16 games this season. The Maple Leafs made a trade earlier in the day to acquire gritty winger Kyle Clifford, so maybe there was some pugilistic urgency created with that move.
On the other hand, it was not really Ritchie who insisted on this fracas getting started. It just so happened that he finished it.
McCarron, who goes 6-foot-6, 232 pounds, was recently called up from the American Hockey League. That was the 12th regular season fight of his NHL career. Tuesday’s game against Toronto was fourth NHL game of the season and 79th NHL game of his career.