Raitis Ivanans and Derek Boogaard are no strangers to one another. The two first threw down way back in 2003 during an American Hockey League game between the Milwaukee Admirals and Houston Aeros. Since then, both have graduated to the National Hockey League where they've given hockey fans a trilogy of fights that would rival boxing’s Mickey Ward-Arturo Gatti series.
Ivanans is 6-4, 263 lbs. Boogaard is 6-7, 258 lbs. I don’t think I've seen heavyweights that big square off since the Undertaker defeated Psycho Sid at Wrestlemania 13. All three fights have not disappointed and last night’s tilt during the Minnesota Wild-Los Angeles Kings game was quite the classic.
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To steal a line from the rap group, House of Pain, those boys came to drop bombs. And how about some kudos for the referees letting Ivanans and Boogaard get the most out of their fight and not stepping in early.
Los Angeles ended a 0-for-26 power-play slump and was led by Kyle Calder's goal and assist en route to a 5-2 victory over Minnesota. Niklas Backstrom, the Wild’s lone All-Star representative, saved 26 shots, but allowed four goals in the first two periods before being replaced by Josh Harding for the third period.
This latest episode in the Boogaard-Ivanans series begs the question: Has there been a better collection of fights between two players in recent memory? Take a stroll down memory lane for Boogaard-Ivanans Part I (2006) and Part II (2007) and be sure to check out their HockeyFights.com stat card where fans have in voted in favor of the “Boogeyman” in the pairs’ history.
Could Boogaard and Ivanans be the modern age equivalent to Bob Probert-Troy Crowder’s classic battles in the early '90's? More importantly, will Ivanans be a guest instructor at the Boogaard’s fighting camp next summer?