BRIGHTON, Mass – Boston Bruins tough guy Trent Frederic made a bit of a name for himself last season by dropping the gloves with a few tough customers like Tom Wilson and getting into a nasty confrontation with Alex Ovechkin that led to a spear to the family jewels during several spirited games against the Washington Capitals. Frederic hasn’t been nearly as noticeable from an agitating standpoint this season, but at least finished with a pair of assists in a big game for the fourth line in last weekend’s win over the Calgary Flames.
Still, though, there’s a bit of a missing component to his game with little fighting or pot-stirring to date this season. One spot where Frederic, or anybody from the Boston Bruins really, could have stepped up physically was in the moments following B’s captain Patrice Bergeron getting his nose broken after a nasty high hit from Filip Forsberg.
Bergeron was as angry as he ever gets on the ice in the moments following getting clobbered in the face, but nobody on the Boston Bruins really made the Predators pay for taking liberties with their captain.
Taylor Hall refuses to shoot and then Forsberg unloads on Bergeron and he is NOT pleased pic.twitter.com/nGfUnaUZN6
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) December 3, 2021
Part of it was that longtime running partner Brad Marchand was missing while serving out a suspension for three games for a slewfoot, but another part is regret from players like Frederic that not enough was done afterward to respond in kind.
“That Forsberg hit was pretty dirty. Unfortunately, it’s hard sometimes because I’m not out there with Forsberg. So, I’ve got to try and go after one of their star players, maybe like a Roman Josi. That’s what I can do. Sometimes you have to take a number,” said Frederic, who in essence said there are times a team needs to make a statement rather than worry about the time and score of the game. “It’s Bergy. You gotta stick up for him. We probably should have done more there, if I’m being honest. Anytime somebody like that gets hit we need to make sure that it’s our identity to stand up for them.”
There was a day not too long ago when even a smaller defenseman like Andrew Ference or Torey Krug would make sure there was a swift, unmistakable response.
Clearly the Boston Bruins don’t have the kind of personnel anymore to police these kinds of hits with guys like Kevan Miller and Zdeno Chara gone. But they still have big, physical players like Frederic and Derek Forbort, and even Charlie McAvoy from time-to-time, that can answer the bell when it comes to protecting their 36-year-old captain.
The Boston Bruins addressed things in the locker room in the aftermath of Bergeron getting knocked around for a few straight games following the Nashville game, so hopefully the next time, if there is a next time, the B’s will send a clear message not to mess with one of their surefire Hall of Fame captain and heart-and-soul leader.