Chris Schneider - AP
What's wrong with this picture? On first glance, this picture is great! A Canucks fourth-liner, Desbiens, stepping up to fight Colorado's Cody McLeod to keep the Canucks momentum going in a sterling 3-0 win last night. What's more, Desbiens conclusively won the fight, bloodying McLeod with some solid punches.
And then he left the game with a broken hand.
Take another look at that picture.
What in the world is Desbiens' thumb doing inside his fist?! I'm a pacifist and I know better than to do that! Desbiens, on the other hand, is meant to be a competent pugilist with fighting a big part of his resumé for playing on an NHL fourth line. It's simple: "Never make a fist with your thumb inside your other fingers. When you punch this way you will end up breaking your thumb."
Desbiens tucked his thumb under his other fingers in his fist. He broke his hand. There is a cause and effect relation. The only possible reason that I can think of for why he hadn't broken his hand previous to this fight is that he hasn't hit anyone hard enough.
Edit: I just noticed that there's an intriguing theory being bandied about on the Canucks.com forums that Guillaume Desbiens formed a fist in this way and punched Cody McLeod in the helmet in order to guarantee himself an NHL salary while he is on the IR. With Rick Rypien returning from suspension, the theory goes, Desbiens would be worried about being sent down to the Manitoba Moose, where his salary would drop from $550,000 for the year to $55,000.
While I find this theory a bit absurd, it's mainly because I cannot possibly conceive actually injuring myself in order to make more money, especially because it's not guaranteed that Desbiens would be sent down. At the same time, Desbiens is undoubtedly a tougher person than I am. So I offer the following picture of a previous fight Desbiens was in without comment: