Berube gives away 3 inches, and as good as he gets, in fight with Crowder

November 22, 1990|By Knight-Ridder News Service

PHILADELPHIA -- For Craig Berube, it didn't seem to amount to much more than another set of raw, bleeding knuckles.

But for those who follow the National Hockey League fight scene, it was a notable event. Berube fought Troy Crowder to what most observers considered a draw during the first period of the Flyers' 4-1 loss to New Jersey on Sunday.

It wasn't a memorable fight, except for the fact that Crowder, a 6-4, 215-pound former Canadian Olympic boxing prospect, has ridden a roll of publicity to the top of the NHL heavyweight rankings.

He has pulverized some of the league's biggest and toughest -- Detroit's Bob Probert, Vancouver's Craig Coxe and the Flyers' Jeff Chychrun and Tony Horacek. Chychrun suffered a concussion after taking a Crowder right to the face Oct. 11.

This time, Berube, giving up 3 inches in height, ducked inside, didn't get hit hard, and stuck his helmet into Crowder's face while landing a few decent blows of his own.

Afterward, Berube didn't think either the fight or Crowder was such a big deal.

"I don't score fights. It was just a fight. I just go out and do my job, do what has to be done," Berube said. "They always try to build up one guy. There's a lot of guys in this league who are as tough as him . . . . There's no king of the league in my mind. There's a lot of guys in the league who can fight."

Berube said it was important to not let Crowder use his long reach.

"I just kind of ducked under his right and grabbed it," he said. "I just tried to throw my rights; he didn't have me tied up. That's the way you've got to fight a bigger guy. I'm not that big of a guy. I've got to kind of get in a little tighter . . . . [But] a fight's a fight."

Crowder thought he was the winner, but he grudgingly acknowledged Berube's strength.

"He kept backing up and backing up, and I was getting frustrated," Crowder said. "I hit him with a couple of pretty good ones, then he got ahold of my arm. I kept trying to get my arm free, but after a while, I realized I just couldn't."

Crowder said Berube's blows struck his helmet.

* Chris Nilan recently scored his 100th NHL goal, playing for his hometown Boston Bruins against the Caps. Nilan reportedly was second-guessing himself afterward, however, for not retrieving the puck. "You've got to have some mementos in this game," he said. "I can't take my penalty minutes home."

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