TORONTO With Shawn Thornton out of the Bruins lineup, it falls upon young Lane MacDermid to fill in on those enforcer duties for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins winger was up to the task on Saturday night as he twice dropped the gloves with Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy Mark Fraser in Bostons 1-0 victory at the Air Canada Centre, including a second bout that saw him notch a decisive knockdown victory.
As a young guy, guys might not know you as well, so maybe they think Im an easier fighter, said the 6-foot-3, 205-pound MacDermid. When I was younger I guess I was trying to prove myself a bit. I asked guys a lot more, but those fights just happened tonight in an intense game. Its just a part of the game.
MacDermid only skated seven shifts and 3:02 of ice time, but he upped the games intensity on his first shift of the game when he squared up with Fraser at center ice. Both players landed solid rights and stiff left-handed jabs, but it was Fraser that eventually got MacDermids helmet off and then tossed him to the ice.
The two combatants were at it again with less than five minutes to go in the second period spurred on by the events around him. Fellow fourth line winger Jamie Tardif had finished off a hit on Phil Kessel in the neutral zone that sent him spinning like a top, and Fraser made a B-line straight toward the 28-year-old rookie.
I think he got out of the way of somebody coming to hit him and I happened to catch him, said Tardif. Its my second season playing with him and every fight Ive seen him have he either did what he did tonight and had a very good fight, or did something close to that. Hes a very big boy.
The hockey fight actually wiped out a Boston possession in the offensive zone, but MacDermid was needed to step up on behalf of a linemate that hes played with in AHL Providence for the last two seasons. This time MacDermid jumped into the fray and slammed Fraser with right-handed punches to the face until the Leafs forward finally dropped the ice.
He handled himself well and hes got to do that for us sometimes, Claude Julien said of MacDermid, who had seven AHL fights with the Providence Bruins this season. He didnt have a problem doing that tonight and he played well for us.
After announcing his presence with a pair of fights in Toronto on Hockey Night in Canada, MacDermid will stand ready once again if hes needed this week in Montreal for another hate-fueled rivalry game against the Canadiens.