Screenshot: B/R Open Ice

New York Rangers rookie center Matt Rempe got into a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy Ryan Reaves during Saturday’s contest. It was his fourth such battle since making his NHL debut.

At the time it was just his seventh game in the league. This means he was over .500 when it comes to fighting.

The fight was sparked by a hit from Rempe on Leafs’ defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin, which led to Reaves seeking retribution. Despite Reaves’ reputation as a skilled fighter – he has 75 such NHL fights – Rempe held his own in the battle, trading blows with the veteran.

RELATED: Rangers’ Matt Rempe Singlehandedly Bringing Back ‘Old Time Hockey’ Fights

Matt Rempe Bringing Back Old-Time Hockey Fights

As Bounding Into Sports reporter Calvin recently analyzed, Matt Rempe is almost single-handedly bringing “old-time hockey fights” back to the NHL.

As was reported, the Rangers tough guy hit the ground running – or rather, the ice, skating … or something.

“Rempe made his NHL debut under a pretty glaring spotlight: the NHL Stadium Series game, outdoors and under the lights, against the New York Islanders on February 18. And he did not disappoint,” wrote Calvin. “A few seconds into his first shift as an NHL player, Rempe squared off against the Isles’ veteran enforcer Matt Martin.”

From there, Rempe got entangled in scraps with Mathieu Olivier of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nicolas Deslauriers of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The latter can only be described as a good old-fashioned slobberknocker. The physicality was off the charts as both Deslauriers and Rempe took significant blows.

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Earning Respect On The Ice

While the stats for Matt Rempe prior to Monday’s game against the Panthers were rather ridiculous – 7 games, 4 fights, 37 penalty minutes, and two points – some are beginning to view these altercations less with awe and more with concern.

Hockey writer Ken Campbell notes, “Rempe has created his space and made his name. Now, it’s time for him to stick to hockey.”

While Peter Baugh, writer for the Athletic, points out that “both he (Rempe) and the Rangers have to be careful for his health’s sake.”

Said Baugh, “Fighting every two games doesn’t feel sustainable.”

Still, Rempe earned some praise from none other than his latest opponent. Reaves declared the 6′ 7″, 240-lb Rangers enforcer was going to serve as a “menace” in the league.

After chatting it up in the penalty boxes, Reaves said that Rempe is “a really nice humble kid.”

As for the fight itself, Reaves was absolutely thrilled that some fans and players still appreciate the art of the old-time hockey brawl.

“It was almost cool to see because it shows that fighting is not dead in this sport,” he said. “People still kind of get amped up for it and enjoy that part.”

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