Islanders Ross Johnston: Don’t Fight Him Cause You’ll Lose
Islanders winger Ross Johnston is a feared combatant in the NHL. For good reason, the literal Islander is virtually undefeated in NHL fights.
In the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Islanders forward Ross Johnston dropped the gloves with Lightning forward Luke Witkowski. As soon as the fight began it was over with Witkowski down on the ice and Ross Johnston towering over him.
Standing 6’5″ and tipping the scales at 235lbs the Islanders winger is an imposing figure on the ice. Enforcers like Ross Johnston who are used to establish a physical presence, some intimidation, and to police the ice aren’t around much as the NHL goes skill heavy.
What allows Johnston to give the Islanders an intimidating presence is because he rarely loses a fight.
After that quick fight with Luke Witkowski, I tweeted some free life advice from the Eyes on Isles account:
You don’t fight Ross Johnston if you’re looking to win the fight. Based on his NHL record, Johnston is rarely bested when fists fly.
According to HockeyFights.com Ross Johnston has fourteen NHL fights in his career. Some of these are pre-season games. Of those ten fights, Ross Johnston holds a 13-1 winning record based on votes cast by HockeyFights visitors.
HockeyFights hasn’t yet loaded the fight with Luke Witkowski, but I imagine once they do that voters will give that fight to Ross Johnston once again. Giving the PEI native a 14-1 record in NHL fights.
That lone loss came during the 2014-15 pre-season when Johnston fought Chris Breen of the Boston Bruins. Johnston was 20-years-old at the time. He clearly learned his lesson and applied it going forward because he hasn’t lost a fight since. That makes Johnston a player to be feared on the ice.
He’s more than just a guy who lets his fists do a lot of the talking. Just like most enforcers, he’s a great teammate and is great in the locker room.
He’s also providing the Islanders with something more than just physical play. He ranks seventh on the team in Corsi-for with 46.67 percent. He’s generating the most high-danger chances for per 60 on the team with 23.62. And he’s sandwiched between Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal at fifth on the team in scoring chances for per 60 at 29.08.
(Thanks to NaturalStatTrick for the stats.)
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With Matt Martin out for 4-6 weeks, Johnston is going to get a number of games under his belt. Hopefully, he doesn’t have to fight, but we know if he does he probably won’t lose.