ST. LOUIS Ryan Reaves clenched his fists and skated backward toward the middle of the ice. Here, at center stage, he would give them what they are always asking for, what they say he avoids too often.
The opponent was Paul Bissonnette. A shove from the Phoenix Coyote left wing had turned into trash talk, which turned into discarded hockey sticks, thrown gloves and pushed-up jersey sleeves.
Frenzied fans at the Scottrade Center stood and screamed, thrilled for a chance to watch Reaves fight.
"They're throwing them," a TV announcer said as the two squared off.
"Reaves is tough," his partner added. "He throws bombs!"
When he decides to throw them, that is. Search for his name on Twitter, and you'll see the things people say about Reaves. They say he should drop his gloves more often. Then, when he does fight, they mention all the times he didn't.
"I know fans always like to see that kind of stuff," Reaves said. "I'm sure sometimes they're frustrated. But I have a job to do. They...