There's no doubt in my mind that veteran Cal Clutterbuck deserved every second of this beating, and perhaps he even deserved a little more.
The 20-year-old New York Islanders forward drew the ire of the Edmonton Oilers and their fans when he delivered a completely unforgivable, and inexcusable, cheap shot to the back of 26-year-old Oilers winger Iiro Pakarinen. Pakarinen was making his way off the ice for a change and was practically already on the bench when Clutterbuck skated up behind him and delivered a vicious crosscheck to the back of the Oilers forward.
According to the Oilers broadcast Clutterbuck hit him so hard in the back that the crosscheck actually broke Clutterbuck's stick, but it's hard to tell on the replay if that did in fact happen or if the Oilers broadcast was merely being hyperbolic in their description of the rather dirty cheap shot from Clutterbuck.
What made matters even worse for the Oilers was the fact that there was only a minor penalty called on the play, another example of the excellent officiating fans have been treated to this season in the National Hockey League, and Oilers head coach Todd McLellan made sure he gave the officials on the ice a piece of his mind after the play. Clearly the Oilers felt that a play like that, away from the puck, and on a player who was leaving the ice warranted more and I would be inclined to agree in this case.
Thankfully it wasn't too long before Clutterbuck had to face some real justice in the form of 23-year-old Oilers center Jujhar Khaira, a mountain of a man to put it mildly. Jujhar Khaira began chatting up Clutterbuck every time he was on the ice and roughly 5 minutes after the original crosscheck to the back of Pakarinen, the two men dropped the gloves.
It was a decision that Clutterbuck would likely come to regret as he appeared to connect with just one punch, the very first punch of the fight, while Khaira delivered a vicious beatdown on the Islanders forward. Khaira peppered Clutterbuck with huge right hands that came both in the form of overhand rights as well as heavy uppercuts from the bottom.
The crowd roared in appreciation as Clutterbcuk's face was pounded repeatedly and given the nature of the cheap shot he was being challenged for I was right there along with them.