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Greer ‘Couldn’t Say No’ To Fight During Big Bruins Night



Boston Bruins

It was close to a perfect end to the first half of the regular season for Boston Bruins fourth line forward AJ Greer.

The winger scored the game-winning goal in the Boston Bruins 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Centre on Wednesday night for his fifth goal of the season. The five goals and nine points thus far this season are massive career highs for the 26-year-old Quebec native as it feels like he’s found his groove on a fourth line with Nick Foligno, and on Wednesday night it was Jakub Lauko bringing speed and energy to the table as well.

It was Lauko that created the scoring play by hitting the boards hard in a puck battle with Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren before feeding it to a speeding Greer powering through a stick check before burying one past Ilya Samsonov under the bar.

“It felt amazing. It was a great play from [Jakub Lauko] along the wall and I just kept moving my feet, got good body position in front of their player so he had to let me go and let go of his stick and I just was able to let it go far side,” said Greer. “I said to [Lauko] that we both need to get shots on net in the third period, and then in the first or second shift it was about sticking with it, and when we get on the ice that we’re ready to go and consistent with what we do when we do get out there.”

Greer had an emotional response after the goal and that energy carried right over into dropping the gloves with Wayne Simmonds on the ensuing faceoff when the B’s were holding a 3-1 lead in the game. Greer caught a big right-handed punch very early in the bout that stunned him and caught the attention of the concussion spotter, but Greer returned late in the game after serving his 10-minute stint in the Quiet Room.

In hindsight it might have been a misstep by Greer to take Simmonds up on his offer to fight with the Boston Bruins holding all the momentum in the game after scoring the insurance goal, but the energy forward admitted he got caught up in the moment in what probably “wasn’t the best decision.”

“I think it was he asked for it and I just had some adrenaline from the goal I had just scored so I don’t know,” said Greer to reporters postgame. “It wasn’t the best decision because we were up 3-1 but it’s hard for me to say no. I’m someone who competes hard, and I don’t know, I just want the upper edge all the time.

“I didn’t even think twice, I just said, ‘Yeah.’ When I tried to hit him at first, I didn’t get a grip on him, so it was hard for me to come back cause he has a long reach. But I protected myself and nothing came from it. He had that reach against me so it was just a matter of making sure that I was gonna be safe in that situation but I just thought that I couldn’t say no to [the fight] just cause of the emotions I was going through.”

Clearly, the fisticuffs between Greer and Simmonds were a carryover from the Bruins/Leafs game in Boston a couple of weeks ago, though, so perhaps there was a feeling of accountability that the Boston Bruins forward had to answer that bell. Either way, Greer was a big-time factor in a huge playoff-style win for the Boston Bruins and that bodes well for him and his ongoing role with the Black and Gold down the stretch this season.

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