Feb 11, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mike Brown (18) goes after Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban (76) as the referee gets between them at the Air Canada Centre. The Canadiens beat the Maple Leafs 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

PK Subban, Pugilist

 

Of the stupid, nonsense memes that surround P.K. Subban, none is more prevalent than that he doesn’t fight to back up his actions.

To which the obvious answer should be, “He’s a number one defenseman, he’s not going to take himself out of the game for 5 minutes to satisfy your primitive urges.”

But since this meme seems to have legs I’ve taken it upon myself to find out how often a defenseman fights and whether Subban is notably shirking his knuckle-dragging responsibilities.

Top 2011-12 NHL Defensemen by Fighting Majors

Defenseman

Fighting Majors

Rank

Bickel

12

1

Brookbank

8

T2

Engelland

8

T2

McQuaid

6

T4

M Stuart

6

T4

Schenn

6

T4

Gudbranson

6

T4

M Weber

6

T4

Stoner

6

T4

Gleason

5

T9

Vandameer

5

T9

Chara

4

T11

Bieksa

4

T11

Reghr

4

T11

Sarich

4

T11

Falk

4

T11

Sutton

4

T11

Ballard

4

T11

Commodore

4

T11

Subban

3

T20

Phaneuf

3

T20

13 Others

3

T20

Would you look at that, tied for 20. On a good fraction of the teams in the league he’d be the top fighting defenseman. For defenseman whose team actual relies heavily on, he’s in the top group in the league for fights, not far from Gleason’s 5. But Subban isn’t just relied upon, he’s his team’s number one guy, plays in all situations. How does he compare to players like that?

Fighting Majors of 2011-12 NHL Top Defensemen

Defenseman

Fighting Majors

Rank

Zeno Chara

4

1

Dion Phaneuf

3

T2

P. K. Subban

3

T2

Erik Johnson

2

4

Dan Boyle

1

T5

Drew Doughty

1

T5

Keith Yandle

1

T5

Victor Hedman

1

T5

Tyler Myers

1

T5

Everyone Else

0

So by top defenseman standards, Subban fights a lot. Second in the league. Both guys tied or ahead of him are also a lot bigger than Subban’s 6’0″.

But maybe this was just a matter of him getting a couple fights in this year but its typically a suck? Well he’s only played for 2 seasons, but what if we compare him to his peers over that time?

2010-12 NHL Top Defensemen by Fighting Majors

Defenseman

Fighting Majors

P. K. Subban

7

Dion Phaneuf

7

Zeno Chara

6

Erik Johnson

4

Kris Letang

3

Bret Burns

2

Mike Green

2

Dan Boyle

2

Brent Seabrook

2

Others

2>

Well how about that. Turns out top defensemen don’t fight very frequently and that Subban fights as much as anyone of his caliber. A guy like Shea Weber who hits tons of people hasn’t fought a single opponent in two years of regular season play. By the standard Pernel Karl is held to he’s a massive pussy that hides behind his teammates.

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