In two-and-a-half NHL seasons, Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin has a grand total of 52 penalty minutes, 18 of which have come this year. So he’s not exactly a scrapper, and he’s on the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from teammate and renowned goon Colton Orr, who had more PIMs by mid-December of this season than Kulemin has had in his entire career.
But that didn’t stop Kulemin from finding himself on the wrong end of a knockout punch courtesy of Carolina defenceman Tim Gleason Monday night. The two became separated from a crowd at the end of the first period, and Gleason ended the “fight” pretty quickly. Gleason has dropped the mitts 10 times over the past two seasons, and welcomed Kulemin’s invitation to dance with open arms and loaded fists when the winger whacked him a couple times during the scrum.
Kulemin left with a bloody nose and a towel over his face. He had a hard time finding the dressing room gate, and skated head first into the boards. Kulemin received a two-minute roughing minor for his busted face, while Gleason was dinged for the five-minute fighting major and a game misconduct.