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Enough Was Enough

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Dallas Stars' Krys Barch and Boston Bruins' Shawn Thornton, right, exchange punches during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008 in Boston. Boston won 5-1. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Boston, MA -- After watching Dallas’ Sean Avery and Steve Ott create anarchy for two-plus periods, Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference had seen enough. He squared off with Avery the agitator and landed several heavy punches before the Star tripped him up.

Then, Ference got right back up and had his fist cocked when the fight was broken up.

After the game, Ference spoke about his “sparring” partner.

“You guys asked me (about him) before the game,” he said. “He is a good player.

“He is a guy that does his job very well. Obviously you guys (in the media) have fun with him, but on the ice he is fierce and an agitator. He was just sticking up for his teammate there.”

Avery was sticking up for was Ott, who had been floored by Ference with a big open ice check just seconds earlier.

“You have Ott and Avery who do their job as agitators well,” said Ference. “Obviously, we have some emotional guys who don’t mind getting physical at all (and) just because you see each other once it doesn’t matter.

“Guys get pretty amped up to face that challenge.”

Bruins head coach Claude Julien indicated that he agreed that the Dallas game plan might have backfired on them.

“This was the type of game that we needed at home with a 1-1-1 record,” said Julien. “We needed to have some life in our game and they created it.

“We’ve got great team chemistry in there and the guys are all, as you saw tonight, they all pull for each other and they’ll go to battle for each other. That’s the important part and that’s a big part of having a highly successful hockey club.

“We all stick up for each other,” continued Julien. “It’s not that we encourage those types of games but they certainly in a way make that happen. Guys are definitely trying to go to the defense of (Stephane) Yelle and other players going to the defense of others. You saw Savvy (Marc Savard) jump in that pile.

“It just solidifies your team and it shows everybody that we are a pretty close-knit hockey club,” he said.

Savard had his go around later in the third when Milan Lucic went down hard after a low, dangerous, check from behind by -- you guessed it -- Avery.

Savard, who had no doubt seen at least one other dirty check on Lucic, tackled Avery.

“It wasn’t the cleanest hit,” said Savard. “Obviously, I’m just trying to help out my team. It was getting like that in the third; I mean obviously they’re a frustrated team.

“They still have some great players over there, but it’s just too bad that a couple guys do the things that they do.”

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was proud of his team.

“They were coming off a loss against Chicago, so we knew that they would be coming out hard,” he said. “They have a few guys that like to play a chippy game, and it turned out to be what you guys saw.

“We never let them push us around, especially in our building…we have enough guys to do the job, and if it gets physical, we don’t mind (that).

“That’s the style of hockey that sometimes you’re going to see, especially with this team here, that has guys that like to play with emotion, and like to play hard.

“That’s what we did tonight,” said Chara.

Stars forward Mike Modano, a lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame, could not say the same things about his team.

“Yeah, I mean it got out of hand, it was still a 2-1 game and then we find ourselves blowing it again, putting ourselves in trouble with dumb penalties and dumb situations,” he said. “That’s kind of the trend it’s been all season.

“Tonight it seemed to be idiotic. It’s stupid. It’s one of the more embarrassing things I have seen.

“In twenty years that I haven’t seen anything like it (and) if that’s what we’re going for maybe I need to find myself an office job,” he said.

Stars goalie Marty Turco, no slouch himself in the respect department, concurred with Modanno’s assessment.

“You come in to a tough game in a tough building…where you think it’s all going to come out of us, get some guys out of their shell, and it’s the total freaking opposite,” he said. “It’s sad. It’s embarrassing. Those are the type of games that show a lot."

Lucic, who saw himself being protected in a way that usually he practices, couldn’t have been happier with his club.

“It was a little bit (of a hit) from behind, but I’m just happy that I didn’t get hurt,” said Lucic. “And I’m happy the guys came in and stuck up for me.

“It was good to see everyone pile in there and come to my aid. But yes, the most important part was that we got the win.

“I think we went about it the right way. Obviously, Andy (Ference) had a big hit on Ott and had to fight Avery about it, but I think in the end we all stuck up for each other and I think that it is only going to make us stronger going down the road,” he said.

In the end, Julien thought his team stood tall.

“It was just a matter of us staying focused,” he said. “It could have gone the other way had we lost our cool, and really not retaliated or reacted in the right way.

“I think our guys handled it the right way by standing up to them.

“Those are the kinds of things that you saw tonight that make the league discuss the players’ policing themselves. That’s what brings up discussions about it…(but) you won’t hear me complain. I think the fans enjoyed the show and we got ourselves a win. That’s all that counts,”  he said.

Boston will return to practice on Monday. The Bruins face Toronto on Thursday night in the TD Banknorth Garden.
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