Sam Gagner – Enforcer

By , October 4, 2009 12:54 pm


Sam Gagner vs. Craig Conroy Fight

For those that missed it, here is the fight video again. Now obviously the “Enforcer” title for Sam Gagner is purely tongue in cheek, but he actually held his own pretty well. According to HockeyFights.com, Gagner was 1-1 going into the fight (with a win over Ryan Kesler – hmmmm – and a loss to Jack Johnson). Craig Conroy also only had 2 bouts, with one being a loss to Jared Boll in 2008, and the other being a fight way back in 2000 vs. Jarome Iginla that was unranked on HockeyFights.com, but I can tell you (as you would expect) that Conroy did not do well. So he was 0-2 going into the bought. So far, Gagner is winning the ranking on the fight by about 5%. That’s pretty impressive, given that Gagner was at the disadvantage being up against “old man power”.

So, shame on Craig Conroy for instigating a fight with Sam Gagner, right? Even Quinn pondered “I don’t know where the instigator went” during Hockey Night in Canada’s After Hours segment. Well, believe it or not, it was Sam Gagner’s idea.

“I wasn’t expecting him to say anything but he leaned over to me and said ‘you want to get this thing going?”’ Conroy said of Gagner. “I’m not known for it, but he wanted to go. He was probably frustrated. He wasn’t getting to play a lot. Maybe I shouldn’t have fought him because he came back to get the tying goal.”

“Mutual agreement…I don’t have anything against him personally but I was just trying to get involved any way I could,” said the seasoned scrapper, Gagner, who was doing his best Mike Keane impersonation on the fight.

Ater the pre-season, Quinn sent the young center a message to be a better team player by demoting Gagner to the 4th line with Moreau and Stortini (although Quinn states that he doesn’t put emphasis on line numbers). But the old man was impressed with Gagner’s play Saturday night, declaring “that’s the best I’ve seen Sam play since I’ve been here.”

“Guys that are selected high need to start making some steps,” Quinn stated on HNIC After Hours. “We were looking for that earlier on and I only got to watch him for 2 and a half to 3 weeks and he hadn’t shown a lot of what he does well, but he did tonight. After he got in the little mix-up, he seemed to be enthused by it. Maybe he’s been concentrating so hard at not following up that he wasn’t playing his game and maybe after that it loosened him up. All of a sudden he was a significant player. He jumped on that loose puck for the (3rd) goal, and enough so that I finished the game playing him on a regular basis when I cut down to 3 (lines).”

So I’m not sure if that positive game means we’ll see Gagner bumped backed up to a better line, but he at least caught the coaches eye and showed adversity. Whether he’s back on line 3 as of Tuesday or not, I suspect we’ll see him moved up very soon.

17 Responses to “Sam Gagner – Enforcer”

  1. Horpensky says:

    goon Gagner the goal getter. I really can’t see Conroy instigating it, and I think Conroy hit it on the nose that Gagner was frustrated that he didn’t get to play a lot, and he wanted to make some sort of impact.

  2. DropIt says:

    A pretty decent featherweight fight last night. I laughed when I saw the gloves drop, but it turned out to be pretty entertaining and pretty even.

  3. Racki says:

    Yah it was a surprisingly good tilt. I don’t want to see it very often from Gagner though :P

  4. DropIt says:

    Definately not. Your right. But respect to him for sparking the team.

    I’m hoping that by game 2 we can get a good tilt going involving both teams’ heavyweights

  5. Racki says:

    Do the Flames even have a heavyweight anymore? (honest question)

    I don’t know the team well, but I would guess that Prust is probably your toughest fighter, no? We’ve got Big Mac, but god knows how much action he’ll see this year.

  6. DropIt says:

    Mcgratton was an offseason aquisition.

    He is just out for the first week or so

  7. Racki says:

    Oh ok. Too bad he won’t be there for Thursday’s game then.. but I’m sure MacIntyre won’t either anyways. I have a tough time seeing his use on the team anymore. Especially with Gagner laying down the law. lol

  8. gr8one says:

    Hey, did they do away with that extra penalty for fighting without those jersey tie downs?

  9. Racki says:

    No, still exists. Thats a good point though, Gagner got lucky. Maybe it wasn’t called because his jersey never actually came off until after the fight? I don’t know.. or the strap broke… hard to say. But I’m sure he probably didn’t have it tied down and just got lucky.

  10. gr8one says:

    lol…I hate that rule, fights where someone got “jersied” were always the best.

  11. DropIt says:

    Ya Racki. Mcgratton and Mcintyre will probably see similar time throughout the season on their respected teams… And as I see it that means games in the Northwest division, mainly between the canadian trifecta and minnesota.

    Players like Milan Lucic are going to start proving their worth in the league soon. Being able to post 20-20 seasons consistantly and throw hands.

  12. Racki says:

    Yah guys like Lucic are a rarity. He fits the old B’s image perfectly, so it’s not hard to see why people there love the guy.

    I’m hoping that somehow JFJ turns into that type of player. I can’t see him being as effective at the scoring aspect of his game though. One can dream :P (and yes, I realize how ridiculously far fetched that dream is)

  13. chucker says:

    Beautiful effort. He should have been tossed for the tie-down thought.

  14. Steve-O says:

    Jersey didn’t come off until he was being separated by the ref, thats why he didn’t get tossed

  15. DropIt says:

    Quote, Craig Conroy:

    “I know what it’s like to be a young guy trying to make an impression on your coach, and looking to get into his good books. So when he asked me to go I figured I’d help him out a bit. I liked his enthusiasm.”

  16. Racki says:

    Conroy strikes me as a pretty savvy vet. Gets pretty fired up on the ice at times, but seems like a good dressing room guy and teammate. So I’m not surprised that he obliged Gagner, even though he’s on another team. He didn’t hold back in the slightest though.

  17. DropIt says:

    Ya, his reputation as being one of the nicest guys in the NHL almost cost us though. Edmonton definately got fired up from that fight.

    After going down 3-1 Rexall was like a morgue… Hopefully he doesn’t do the opposition too many favours lol.

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