|Boston Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara (33) and Steve Kampfer (47) fight with Montreal Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik (44) and left wing Max Pacioretty, obscured, during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) |
But after practice, the buzz around the dressing room was still largely centered around Boston’s 8-6 defeat of the Habs in a game where 182 total penalty minutes were issued.
The contest between the long-time rivals was reminiscent of the Old Time Hockey so many enjoyed in the old Boston Garden.
“You don’t see this every day in this league and specifically now a days. I think it did resemble more of what it used to be than what it is today,” Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said yesterday. “I think it’s a lot tamer today and the rules are stricter.”
Bruins winger and resident tough-guy Shawn Thornton
, who took down the Habs’ Jaroslav Spacek during Wednesday’s third period brawl, said he enjoys the physical style of play.
“I’m a pretty old school individual. You obviously can’t do it every night but it’s a heated rivalry and things happen and we took care of it,” he said. “Nothing would have happened if (Spacek) didn’t throw a punch, and then I lost my temper.
“If you get in my face, you’re going to answer for it.”
Apparently, the "Big, Bad Bruins" are back.
“I think there was a lot of emotion running there," Julien said of Wednesday’s game. "But it’s pretty obvious that it takes someone to stir the pot as well.
“Our team is built on size and strength and theirs is built smaller, but built on speed.
"We each have our identity,” he said.
If the strong, physical mindset of the successful Boston’s teams of 1970's and '80's hasn’t been resurrected in the current Bruins core of young, talented players, it’s only because it has been there the entire time.
“I think we were always here, but that last couple games we’ve had a couple line brawls, which is a lot of fun for some guys,” said B’s 27-year-old defenseman Johnny Boychuk
For the fans, too.
“It was just funny because the noise level in the building was loud and then as soon as they got it going, it was actually another level that I didn’t think the Garden could pull off,” forward Gregory Campbell
said of the home crowd’s reaction to Tim Thomas
squaring off with fellow goaltender, Montreal’s Carey Price, in a second period fight.
For now though, the Bruins look to carry over the momentum they picked up from its penalty-box stuffing affair with the Habs into another “Original Six” match-up with Detroit tonight.
“We were fired up at the end of the game, everybody was," Boychuk said. "We can take that momentum -- under control -- and we can’t get out of control with the momentum we had from last game.”
“We just have to stay in control and take the play to (Detroit).”---Hannah Becker