BOSTON – One might have expected that a Tuesday night game between the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres would have been a sleepy affair with less than a month left in the regular season. That would have been a wrong assumption, of course, as a couple of fights broke out between the B’s and Sabres in a testy divisional tilt.
Nick Ritchie threw down with Matt Irwin in the second period after Ritchie threw a couple of borderline hits earlier in the game, and 6-foot-7 rookie Tage Thompson dropped the gloves with Kevan Miller later in the second period after Miller threw a punishing hit on Rasmus Asplund.
Credit the 23-year-old Thompson for standing up for his teammate and standing in against Miller, but it quickly turned into a savage beatdown with Miller dropping the Sabres winger with an overhanded right punch. It all brought to mind when Brad Marchand said Miller “looks like an absolute animal” back in Bruins training camp when he returned from missing two seasons with knee issues.
Kevan Miller is a beast dot com pic.twitter.com/KByMErKwgj
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 14, 2021
It was the first official fight for Thompson at the NHL level after he scrapped during the 2018-19 NHL preseason while getting into some exhibition games as a youngster.
Both players were whistled for five-minute fighting majors and things seemed to settle down after that as the Sabres didn’t have much fight left in them after tangling with the two toughest guys on the Black and Gold roster. It was Miller’s second fight of the season, with the first coming all the way back in the second game of the season when dropped the gloves with New Jersey Devils forward Miles Wood after multiple times crashing Tuukka Rask in the crease.
After a couple of years where the Boston Bruins didn’t have too many fighting majors, they are back in the NHL’s top-5 this season with 13 fighting majors on the year. They may not get too many more, however, if the video of Miller dropping Thompson like a bad habit gets passed around the league.