BostonBruins.com - Tough, checking forward Lane MacDermid has suited up for Boston in seven NHL games of his pro career - and now has three NHL fights in that span, including a fighting major in his very first NHL shift back on March 4, 2012, in which he dropped the gloves with the Rangers' Mike Rupp, who had 82 career fights heading into the bout.
From day one, MacDermid has never shied away from a fight.
And against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night - with Shawn Thornton out of the lineup due to a concussion - the 6'3", 205-pound winger certainly did not shy away from Toronto's Mark Fraser.
"Words were spoken and we said, let's get the crowd going, I guess," said MacDermid following Saturday's 1-0 win over the Leafs at Air Canada Centre, on what sparked the fight with the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Fraser just 2:42 into the first period.
"He's a pretty big guy, pretty tough, so he's definitely up there," MacDermid added on if Fraser is one of the tougher opponents he's ever faced.
The pair squared off near the right faceoff circle in Toronto's end while the puck was in play. Both immediately dropped the gloves and gave effective, short jabs, with Fraser earning the takedown in "Round 1."
"That’s a job that’s really hard to do. I’ve sat there and watched Thorty do it over and over countless times," Gregory Campbell said following the game. "It takes a lot of courage to do what he does and for Dermy to step in there like he did, I have the upmost respect for those guys and the job that they do."
"It’s more than just the fight, it really ignites a lot of energy in the team and it takes a lot out of you to have to be thinking about that before the game, so I appreciate what those guys do. It was a big contribution from him."
But that wasn't it for Fraser, who challenged MacDermid again towards the end of the second period following a hit on Phil Kessel, giving the B's winger two fighting majors in his second game on the season.
"It was right after that happened," MacDermid recalled on how the second bout began. "I saw him coming right at me, so I assumed that he was going to stick up for his teammate, so we went at it again."
This time in Round 2, MacDermid landed a few quick right jabs that sent Fraser down to the ice. With under 5:00 to go in the period, both immediately skated off the ice and down their respective tunnels, effectively becoming the only players this season to have a same-game rematch.
"He handled himself well and he’s got to do that for us sometimes," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told media on MacDermid's role bringing toughness to the lineup. "And he didn’t seem like he minded doing that tonight and I’m happy with his play as well."
“I’m always ready if the situations arises, if I have to stick up for a teammate or if something happens. I always have that in the back of my mind,” MacDermid had told media following practice on Friday before making the trip to Toronto. "I'm always ready."
“Fighter, non-fighter, there’s injuries. You don’t really think about it, you just go out there and do your best.”
The Sauble Beach, Ontario native now has three total NHL fights to add to his 62 career fights in the American Hockey League through three and a half seasons with the Providence Bruins (including seven this season, before getting the call-up for training camp).
MacDermid certainly knows the toughness and physicality he can bring to the lineup. On the ice, he know what he needs to bring. And his demeanor off the ice illustrates just how confident and comfortable he is in his ability to step in and drop the gloves whenever needed.
"It’s a tough job. I know it’s part of my role," he said after the Toronto win on Saturday - with two more rounds of fights to his repertoire. "So I get ready for every game knowing that can be a possibility…."
"And it happened tonight," he added with a smile.
On to the next round.