Morning Skate 210: Fight night aftermath for B's

Morning Skate 210: Fight night aftermath for B's

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.comWILMINGTON, Mass. There were plenty of strong opinions across the hockey spectrumabout the 13 fighting majors and 187 penalty minutes racked up by the Bruins and Canadiens in an old-fashioned ball of hockey hate at TD Garden on Wednesday night.There were clearlyplayers lurching over the edge and blurring the line between clean and dirty on both benches, but it appears in the aftermath that several players on the Bruins' side of things were being called out. "When you're in a fight, you're in a fight," said Gregory Campbell, channeling a little Yogi Berra after Thursday's practice. "You've got to protect yourself, and more often than not you're going to go on the offensive."It's a five-on-five brawl, and I've been on the flip side of that. You've got to protect yourself."ESPN.com's Pierre Lebrun was highly critical of Shawn Thornton and Johnny Boychuk squaring off with Roman Hamrlik and Jaroslav Spacek respectively with 41 seconds to go in the third period a pair of bouts during a line brawl that featured every player throwing down in a wild fracas.Boychuk has one fighting major this year, and is not a fighter even though its something the Colorado Avalanche foolishly tried to turn him into during his time prior to arriving in Boston.
I completely respect Lebrun and his opinion, and it would seem a bit of overkill at that point to continue beating down a Canadiens team that was already seemingly down and out with less than a minue to go in the third. But every hockey writer knows there are threesides to any stories coming out after a brawl-filled game like Wednesday night: The Habs' side, the B's side and the truth somewhere in the middle.Lets not forget a couple of things: in their last game against each otherthe Habs scored two goals in less than three minutes to shock the Bruins and make them pay for not finishing out a game as strongly as they started out. The Bs were determined to not let that happen after losing eight of their last 9 games against Montreal and when playing against their nearest competition in the Northeast Division. Boston has gone 10-4 since their collapse in Montreal, and part of that is finishing strong right up until the final buzzer.Secondly, anything really goes in a rare NHLline brawl where players can sometimes get matched up against bigger, meanerand stronger opponents. How about Max Pacioretty attempting to find something on the ice to hide under when Zdeno Chara came looking for a little hockey justice after the Montreal rookie foolishly shoved Chara in the back after scoring the overtime game-winner at the Bell Centre?Or how about P.K. Subban refusing to drop the gloves with Nathan Horton a player that is absolutely in his fighter class when the Bs scorer was willing to drop them with a young player thats madeplenty of enemies in the Boston locker room?Players like Spacek and Hamrlik were paying a price for some of their impetuous young teammates that refuse to answer for their actions the honorable way: on the ice like men.
Then theres also the simple fact that Hamrlik popped Thornton in the face the action that effectively set off the final line brawl and brought the world of pain on both Hamrlik and Spacek. As they always say, don't poke the bear in the cage.With all that being said, on to the links:Stu Hackel wonders if there shouldnt be a review of the game tapes from last nights BruinsCanadiens game because Gregory Campbell used his elbow guard like a blackjack to cut up Tom Pyatts face.A good recap over at Kuklas Korner of where the Detroit Red Wings are as they arrive in Boston and it appears the Bruins could be walking into a hornets nest if theyre not too careful.A good breakdown of Mr. Underwoods trade to the Nashville Predatorsby Friend of Haggs (FOH) John Manasso and what it means to a Preds team that looks like theyll again make the playoffs. The Hockey News Adam Proteau weighs in on the BruinsHabs game and Matt Cookes four-game suspension. I can guarantee one thing: Boston people will feel strongly about Proteaus take.James Wisniewski returns to Long Island with a bruised and battered Canadiens team, but is grateful the Isles shipped him off to Montreal.Pierre Lebrun and Scott Burnsides weigh in on the BruinsHabs game as well at ESPN.com, and Lebrun says hes disappointed in Shawn Thornton and Johnny Boychuk.Quebec City is getting a new NHL-style rink, and opening the door for another NHL team to renew the Nordiques tradition at any time. How awesome would that be?

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

Acciari notches first NHL goal in Bruins win over Predators

BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.

Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.

So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.

“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”

Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.

“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”

He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.

Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way.