NHL: Fleury challenges Binnington to a fight
Fans almost got a chance to witness a rare goalie duel Wednesday night when Minnesota Wild’s Marc-Andre Fleury challenged St. Louis Blues’ Jordan Binnington.
It’s fitting for the near-fight at Wrestling Night in St. Louis, where WWE Superstar Ric Flair was in the building and part of the pre-match ceremonies to complete the evening’s theme.
Flair jokingly asked in the Blues locker room. “Who’s the bastard on this team?” after appreciating the athletes’ hard work and dedication to the sport and announcing the team’s starting line-up.
Binnington appeared to take Flair’s comment to heart, as after allowing a power-play goal by Minnesota’s Ryan Hartman in the second period, he turned on the forward, sparking an altercation.
Fleury seemed eager to test Binnington’s resolve. The 38-year-old Vezina Trophy winner skated to the other end of the ice to challenge Binnington, dropping his gloves and removing his helmet. Officials on the ice, however, quickly broke up the potential brawl.
But if fans weren’t able to watch the goaltending battle, thankfully the Wild’s social media team picked up Fleury’s mic and released their own video of the matchup.
“It will be fun, won’t it?” Fleury told an official as he was led from Binnington. “Let the crowd go for a bit, eh?”
After it became clear the officials weren’t going to let the situation escalate, Fleury urged the linesman to let him retrieve his equipment.
“I’ll just bring my stuff,” he said. “I don’t like my hair like this.”
Although the fight did not materialize, Fleury told reporters after the game that he felt he had to step in to protect his teammate.
“I don’t know, I saw him jump up there and punch one of our guys, so I felt like that’s my guy to take care of,” Fleury said.
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