In the category of hockey fight mismatches, this one has to rank high on the list.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Arron Asham decked Washington's Jay Beagle in the third period Thursday night during the Caps' 3-2 win. As you can see in the video here, it was a one-sided affair - and not surprising considering Asham is a veteran bruiser with nearly 100 fights on his NHL resume (according to hockeyfights.com). By comparison, Beagle had exchanged punches just once in his NHL career.
But it was what Asham did after the knockout punch that had everyone talking. While Beagle lay bleeding profusely on the ice, Asham spread his arms out, palms down, like a boxing ref signaling a knockout. He then placed his hands on the side of his head to imitate someone sleeping.
Asham later apologized, admitting the gestures were "classless."
"It's unfortunate the way the fight ended," Asham said. "I wanted to win but I didn't want to go out and hurt anyone. It was uncalled for."
Washington captain Alex Ovechkin said Asham was "not respectful" for going toe-to-toe with an inexperienced fighter.
"It's a hockey game, but that was pretty tough," Ovechkin said. "Beagle ... he's not a fighter, he's just, it's not his job to fight. I don't know, it's kind of unrespectful for players on a different team."
Hockey pundits and bloggers had mixed reactions.
TSN analysts said Asham went overboard, calling the gestures "bush league."
But Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports said the criticism was unwarranted.
"It's called adrenaline," Wyshynki writes. "It makes you do things after intense situations you might later regret. If you've been in a fight and knocked out an opponent at center ice in front of 17,000 delirious fans, then I'll listen to what you have to say on Asham's actions."
What do you think?