As someone who is typically against entirely purposeless fights, you might think I'd frown upon fisticuffs that occurred off the rink prior to puck drop. Usually you'd be right, as you can't argue these two were providing some sort of momentum swing when there was not yet any momentum to be swung.
That being said, limiting yourself to a two foot wide island of rubber amongst an ocean of concrete while attempting to punch each other in the face with skates on is too stupid to not lead me to believe that these two have some deep-seated animosity. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's such a wildly inefficient place to pound on one another that I have no choice but to believe that rage blinded them to their spatial circumstances. If it was merely an attempt at intimidation then surely they could have walked three more feet down the runway into the room or waited until after the opening face-off when the whole rink would provide them a proverbial oyster on which to crack each other skulls. Therefore, I'm thinking this was just one of those conflicts that needed to be resolved immediately, be it at a bar, a church, or literally anywhere in between.
Well, either that, or it was just a result of one or both parties spending too much damn time in the ECHL to care where, how, who, what, or why they fought.