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Boston Bruins Show ‘Orneriness’ In Fight Night At MSG



It was an old school fight night at Madison Square Garden on Friday night with the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers now divisional rivals for the upcoming season.

It led to a 1-0 win for the Boston Bruins over the Rangers at MSG, and Boston’s fifth straight road win that had fisticuffs and a whole lot of fun from a B’s perspective. They seem to really like these games, and that should be a bit of a warning sign for the rest of the East Division. Per hockey fights, the Bruins are second in the NHL with six fighting majors this season, and that is much closer to their preferred organizational identity over the years.

“I think we have a lot of fun and it shows on the ice,” said Boston Bruins rookie D-man Jeremy Lauzon. “It’s important to play physical.”

There were big hits and after-the-whistle skirmishes, of course, but there was also a couple of big-time fights in the second period after Charlie McAvoy jumped Jacob Trouba for his headshot on Jakub Zboril. Both players were whistled for roughing calls as McAvoy never dropped his gloves, but that opened up the hostilities that really got going once Nick Ritchie scored for the Black and Gold in the second period.

“We hung around the front of the net, went to the net and that’s when the orneriness begins,” said Bruce Cassidy of a change in attitude in the second period. “I think that’s when we’re at our best. We’re perfectly comfortable in those games. It got a little bit physical and then all of a sudden, our guys are engaged in the game offensively and physically. We typically are defensively, so that’s when we had all phases of our game humming.”

Trent Frederic and Brendan Lemieux dropped the gloves on the ensuing face-off at center ice, and Frederic was running hot afterward feeling like Lemieux pulled a sneaky quick start to the bout between the two hardnosed players.

It got to the point that both players were chirping each other in the penalty box afterward, though they didn’t fight again later in the game. It’s really to Frederic’s credit that they didn’t scrap again in a one-goal game, as the young forward seems to have a good feel for walking the line between playing with an edge, and not going over the edge.

Following that, Jeremy Lauzon and Pavel Buchnevich dropped them in a nasty bout behind the Boston net five minutes later after getting tied up following a hit.

Lauzon hammered the 6-foot-3 Buchnevich and was whistled for a 10-minute misconduct for reportedly attempting to continue the fight when the two combatants had gone to the ice.

“[The ref] said that he continued the altercation on the ice,” said Cassidy postgame. “I thought that was a very marginal call, to be honest with you. It looked like both guys were squirming away down there, but that’s what I was told.”

Bruce Cassidy disputed that one after the game, but the bottom line was that Lauzon put an old-fashioned whupping on Buchnevich and then served 15 minutes of penalties following the hockey fight.

When it was all said and done there were 10 total power plays, but no PP goals, in the game and 58 total penalty minutes. So, it wasn’t exactly vintage Bruins/Flyers in the 1970’s by any means, but perhaps a sign of bad blood to come between the Bruins and the Blueshirts as the two teams ready for six more meetings together later in the season.

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