This crazy up-close look at Brayden Point and Andrew Cogliano going at it shows you how an NHL fight gets made

Everybody loves a good NHL knuckle chuck. Even the people who say they don’t, deep down do—like NASCAR fans who say they don’t watch for the crashes but drool for “The Big One.” The only problem with NHL fisticuffs, is that by the time they’re underway and the play-by-play guys notice and the cameras hone in, we’ve missed a huge part of the process. We’ve skipped the appetizers and gone straight to the main course, and what is life without a jalapeno popper or two, if you catch our drift.

Thankfully, however, on Tuesday the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Brayden Point and the Dallas Stars’ Andrew Cogliano gave us an up-close-and-personal look on how NHL fight gets made, and suffice to say, it is pure, unfiltered entertainment.

Mere inches away from the glass, we see Act 1 begin. Cogliano catches Point with a little shoulder upstairs. First mistake, last mistake, as they say. Point then races over to Cogliano and slams him into the boards. At this point Act 2 gets underway, as Point looks Cogliano dead in the eyes, nods and mouths something as the two players sign a legally binding human contract to pound on each other’s skulls. Finally, Act 3 is the fight itself. This is where we normally come in, but thanks to the incredible camera angle, we finally experience the true ferocity—Point’s helmet flying off like a shook-up Coke cap after a hard right, Cogliano’s prone body being thrashed upon the ice. Even ol’ Bill Shakepeare couldn’t have dreamed up this theater.

In the end, it’s a pretty short lived bout by hockey standards, and maybe not even the best of the night, with The Workhorse from Whitehorse throwing some absolute crop-dusters up at MSG. But Point vs. Cogliano is proof that perspective matters. It’s less about the fight and more about the anatomy of the fight. It’s not an action movie as much as it is a documentary about how that action movie got made, and as always, the reality is infinitely cooler.