Kurtis Gabriel
San Jose Sharks forward Kurtis Gabriel dropped the gloves with Los Angeles Kings defenseman Kurtis MacDermid during Monday night’s clash. Gabriel now has more penalty ice minutes than shots in his NHL career. Photo: Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is trying hard to rid itself of the image that the players are goons. More emphasis has been put on the skill these amazing athletes possess in the last number of years. There are still those tough guys who will drop the gloves should it be needed, like Vegas Golden Knights Ryan Reaves or Calgary Flames Matthew Tkachuk, but for the most part going into a game looking for a fight has disappeared. Sadly Kurtis Gabriel hasn’t gotten the memo.

GABRIEL AIN’T NO ANGEL

The San Jose Sharks forward has 36 penalty minutes in the ten games he’s played this season. During the 2018-19 season while with the New Jersey Devils he racked up 59 penalty minutes, which is more than his 48 total NHL games played. He’s also attempted only 15 shots on goal over those 48 games (according to hockey-reference.com) and it’s become obvious Gabriel is not here to play hockey.

On Tuesday he was fined $3,017.24 for a cross-check on Los Angeles Kings Kurtis MacDermid before Monday night’s game had even started, which the Sharks on NBCS twitter seemed to find amusing.

The two players later dropped the gloves and Gabriel got his ass handed to him.

https://twitter.com/nbcssharks/status/1374193931773218819?s=21

And it wasn’t the first time as he also got a beating by Vegas Golden Knights Ryan Reaves earlier in the season

You can call it intimidation, creating a spark for your team, or playing hard but at the end of the day if you’re prowling the ice before a game looking for someone to fight you don’t belong in the NHL. I know I’ll get backlash from the old schoolers for saying that, but if you want to watch fighting go watch the UFC. If you want to watch a physical game played with skill and at a fast pace then hockey is for you.

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