WILMINGTON, Mass. Those hoping for the Bruins to roll out the fisticuffs and fireworks for this weekends home-and-home series with the Red Wings will be sorely disappointed.
The Bruins lead the NHL with 55 fighting majors this season, but Detroit has the fewest brawls with five fighting majors. The Red Wings dont have much of a fighting component to their game, and are instead looking to play a smooth, transitional game based on special teams and systems play.
That will make it difficult for the Bruins to really let their emotions bubble over or explode as they did against the hated Habs on Wednesday night, and its doubly so with the struggling Red Wings simply looking to get back on the right track.
There was a lot of emotion running there," said coach Claude Julien. "The Big Bad Bruins are often pointed at as being the Big Bad Bruins, but its pretty obvious that it takes someone to stir the pot as well.
"Milan Lucics penalty was retaliation after taking two shots to the back by Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Im not sure its being viewed that way. Same thing with Gregory Campbell fighting Tom Pyatt, but Pyatt threw the first punch.
I couldnt care about any of that except that our guys stood up for each other and that we played to our strengths. We did both of those things Wednesday night.
The Bs will get an excellent test this weekend when they play the Wings at TD Garden in a rare Friday night game the first Friday night NHL game in Boston in more than 20 years (the Celtics normally play on Fridays, but their game against the Lakers was switched to Thursday for national television) and then travel to Detroit on Sunday for the home-and-home rematch.
The Wings are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are hitting their first real rough patch of the season despite the return of Pavel Datsyuk to the lineup last week. But the Bruins have struggled all season against the Western Conference teams and dont seem to have a strong answer for NHL teams they dont play against very often.
You dont see them that often, but we know what theyre all about and what theyre capable of doing, said Julien. I do know that theyve been very unhappy with the way theyre playing and theyll be coming at us with their best on Friday.
Its a team with a lot of experience and a lot of guys that have won Stanley Cups, and for us its one of those games where were going to have play with a lot of energy and play really smart if we want to be successful.
Irish Micky Ward, the decorated boxer from Lowell that recently had the Academy Award nominated film The Fighter made about his life story, will drop the ceremonial puck before the BruinsRed Wings game on Friday night at TD Garden.
Ward won three New England Golden Gloves titles as an amateur before turning pro in 1985. He started off 14-0 in his professional career and retired with a 38-13 pro record, having captured both the WBU Intercontinental Light Welterweight title and the WBU Light Welterweight title. He was involved in Ring Magazines Fight of the Year three consecutive years from 2001-03 for his bouts with Emanuel Burton (2001), Arturo Gatti (2002) and Arturo Gatti again in 2003. His first battle with Gatti has been hailed by many boxing fans and experts as the Fight of the Century and Round 9 of that fight has been labeled the Round of the Century.
Julien said none of the Bruins were in danger of suspensions or supplementary discipline as a result of the 187 penalty minute extravaganza Wednesday night against the Canadiens.