Habs Enforcer Gets Frustrated & Goes After Concussion-Prone Bowen Byram

Published March 14, 2023 at 12:51
The Montreal Canadiens had a tough game on Monday night against the reigning Stanley Cup champs. The Colorado Avalanche scored 6 goals on their first 14 shots (not G Jake Allen's greatest performance) and held a 6-1 lead less than four minutes into the 2nd period.

To say the Habs were outmatched would be an understatement. They showed some signs of life in the latter half of the game but never came close to tying the game. Losing by a final score of 8-4, the frustration settled in on the Habs' bench early.

One shift in particular when F Michael Pezzetta and Montreal's fourth line were on the ice. Looking for a spark or simply just to blow off some steam, Pezzetta threw a big hit on Avs' D Samuel Girard. Girard's teammate didn't love the hit and let Pezzetta know it; the latter took exception and immediately challenged the concussion-prone Bowen Byram to a fight.

Byram begrudgingly obliged, but it was obvious he wanted nothing to do with it. For starters, the mismatch and general fighting experience are enough to warrant hesitation from Byram's perspective. The prior history of concussions is just the cherry on top.


On one hand, Byram did nudge Pezzetta from behind. On the other, does that warrant a fight? It wasn't an overly powerful blow, more of a "hey, please don't take runs at our guys when it's 8-4."

As a guy with a history of head injuries, though, no one can blame Byram for practically turtling once the fight was engaged. The question is: did Pezzetta cross a line challenging a younger, smaller opponent with a history of head problems to a fight? Or is Byram fair game as long as he's on the ice?