One of those tough guys, Buffalo's Patrick Kuleta, said anecdotal evidence convinced him of that long ago.
"Most definitely. I think the biggest thing you'll notice is the energy change. It could be going one way, and you go out there and fight—whether it's a guy bigger than you, same size, whatever it is—you see a guy giving up their body and doing it for the team, just to create that energy is huge," he said. "I'm sure you can feel it up in the stands watching, too."
But I thought he doesn't fight and just turtles? What is he doing in a fighting article? Oh...they're talking about Kuleta, not Kaleta...got it.
I still don't believe that every fight changes momentum--I feel fights that occur naturally are more important than the "hey, you wanna go after the faceoff? nudge nudge" staged fights. But that's anecdotal on my part.
I also wonder what the road/away split for teams increasing offensive output is--I imagine the home team might get a boost from the crowd.