Call it pointless or riveting or horrifying, the fight that stunned the Air Canada Centre was definitely a mismatch. When Frazer McLaren dropped his gloves 26 seconds into Wednesday night’s game against the Ottawa Senators, the Maple Leafs enforcer was a veteran of 20-some NHL fights.

His opponent, rookie winger David Dziurzynski, was clenching his fists in his first. McLaren is six-foot-five and 230 pounds, which meant, according to the program, that Dziurzynski was giving up about two inches and 26 pounds.

“A little bit out of his weight class,” Senators forward Zack Smith would say later, shaking his head a little, speaking of his linemate.

Call it entertainment or macho tradition or needless nonsense, the result was predictable. A couple of punches into it, maybe it looked like the makings of an even bout. A few punches later, McLaren’s fist hit the Senator’s chin. Then the Senator’s chin hit the ice. And suddenly the ritualistic violence that’s heralded by its proponents for providing energy to buildings and motivation to benches produced a distinct result. There was no rock-and-roll celebration of a heavyweight knockout. There was only the sound of uneasy murmuring in an arena not quite sure if they’d just seen a man fall on his face unconscious or fall on his face plain dead

Perhaps that’s a bleeding heart exaggerating. But watching Dziurzynski hit the ice as if shot by a gun didn’t do much for anyone, save for raise the question of how close we’d just come to seeing an NHLer dying in an NHL game.

As Dziurzynski was helped off the ice by teammates Smith and Chris Neil, his legs resembled rubber. He wobbled a little as he passed the Senators bench. He clearly couldn’t muster the strength to lift his skate blades and get through the gate to dry land.

So much for the myth that no one gets hurt in an NHL fight.