The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/17/13 at 12:26 PM ET
The playoff-bound Grand Rapids Griffins' excellent video staff's promoting their "Between the Benches" videos, which are excellent vieiwng, ahead of Friday's home finale against the Peoria Rivermen and the conclusion of the AHL's regular season on Monday...
But Winging it in Motown's Josh Howard asked me to give his better half's photography website and blog a glance as Jennifer Leigh earned the opportunity to photograph last Saturday's Griffins-Rivermen game...
And as someone who's working his way up that, "Fan turned 'professional' following his-or-her favorite organization and its respective affiliates" ladder, I can relate to Leigh's experiences in a big way, even though she's A) a photography professional who fell in love with hockey while covering games, which is the other way around and B) one-upped everyone who doesn't work for a broadcaster by spending a fight-filled game in Van Andel Arena's version of Larry Murphy's office:
Not long after the game got underway, I started thinking to myself that we were going to come away with a handful or more of broken noses. Left and right guys were thrown into the boards, a few of which were slow to get up off the ice, and then two of those needing the attention of their respective team’s trainers. Toward the end of the scoreless first we were granted the opportunity to see a rare #9 Frances Pare battle of the fists against the Peoria Rivermens’s [Chris]Bruton. Pare dropped the gloves because Bruton executed a nasty hit on teammate, Nathan Paetsch. Pare left the ice and spent the remaining seconds of the first in the Griffins’ dressing room.
The hits and aggravation on both sides continued to escalate in intensity as the game continued into the start of the second period as the Griffins had much riding on this game. Less than a minute in, Peoria notched one past Mrazek to take the lead. A few minutes later, once the Pare/Bruton fighting penalties expired, both were face to face once again on the ice. This time, teammate Brennan Evans stepped in to fight Bruton. Evans and Bruton went round and round, firing up the crowd. Needless to say, Bruton got his ass kicked – he skated off the ice, blood dripping from his face. This time, tempers were flaring on both benches. Words were exchanged from player to player, players to coaches, coaches to coaches and vice versa. This was a first for me, ending up directly between a coaches’ spat. Something about interference, something about ass kicking, something-something, perhaps a “Lift: Do you do it?!” type in there to boot.
She continues and offers some pretty awesome photographic evidence of the fact that Rivermen coach Dave Allison and Griffins coach Jeff Blashill probably weren't asking each other how their evenings were going during their shouting match...
And HockeyFights.com happens to have posted the Pare-Bruton fight:
When one tries to follow a sport on a professional level, one finds that the road to the top is a narrow journey up a crowded mountain, but it's worth the effort and then some when your hard work earns you the right to get paid to cover the teams and players you care about, and it's pretty bad-ass that Leigh's "living the dream."
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.