Ryan Reaves’ humiliating gesture after knocking down Coyotes’ Liam O’Brien in heavyweight fight has fans fired up

Ryan Reaves has been criticized heavily by NHL fans since his move to the Toronto Maple Leafs prior to this season.

Reaves has a reputation for being one of the toughest guys in the league, and Toronto signed him to bring physical presence to the team.

Reaves has been in plenty of fights during his NHL career, but he’s been a disappointment in Toronto so far.

He hasn’t contributed much offensively and has been slammed for his lack of physical engagement.

During several times this season, Toronto players have been pushed around—most rememberable when Brad Marchand sent Timothy Liljegren into the boards—but fans feel Ryan Reaves hasn’t done anything about it.

But on Thursday, the fans in attendance at Scotiabank Arena witnessed a Ryan Reaves fight in person as he dropped the gloves with Arizona tough guy Liam O’Brien.

The scrap occurred in the first period, and both landed some good shots. After a while, Reaves took over the fight, and there’s no arguing that he won the heavyweight tilt.

Reaves also did the most Reaves thing ever, as he gave the crowd a point to his flexed bicep in an attempt to fire up the fans. This was Reaves’ second fight of the season.

The last time he dropped the gloves was in the second game of the season, and many now prepare for a tilt between Reaves and 6’8” rookie Matt Rempe as the Maple Leafs play the Rangers on Saturday.

On social media, Reaves received praise for his fight with O’Brien, but many also felt it was a long time coming and that he’s still not doing enough to justify his salary.”

”Only took him 3/4 of the season to do what he’s getting paid for,” one said on X, formerly Twitter.

”When you have 3 minutes of ice time per game, you’ve got to do everything you can to remind people you exist,” another said.

”Great that he’s firing up his team to beat a team that had lost 13 straight. What a hero,” a third said.

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