Lucic, Komisarek rekindle hated rivalry with another brawl

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Lucic, Komisarek rekindle hated rivalry with another brawl

When the most-recent incarnation of the BruinsCanadiens rivalry was at its height, a mutual hatred was born between players brought straight out of Central Casting. One is the brawling, brawny power forward voted amongst his peers as the most fearsome force in the NHL, and the other is the antagonistic force that keeps coming back for beating after beating.

Milan Lucic and Mike Komisarek dropped the gloves in another major brawl during Monday night's win, and it was equal parts frustration and anger for Bostons top left winger. Komisarek had pursued Lucic toward the benches and threw a shot at the Boston forward when it was clear the score was out of hand, and the Leafs were looking some way -- any way -- to change the game's momentum.

So how did Lucic react to the cross-checking infraction courtesy of his sworn enemy through the battles against Montreal and Toronto?

About as violently as one would expect with Lucic throwing punches at the head of Komisarek, and all of nasty business contained therein. It wasn't as violent as the beating Lucic handed Komisarek when the then-Montreal defenseman ended up with a shoulder injury, but it was just as one-sided.In the end Lucic will always have mastery over Komisarek when it comes to the physical batles, and that wasn't going to change in the Toronto D-man's first hockey fight this season.

The Montreal fights seem like so long ago. But hes a guy whose definitely gonna compete and hes just trying to show some emotion in a time like that, said Lucic. Obviously, you dont ever like to be on the other end of things. Whatever happened, happened there. Fortunately for me I came out on top in the fight.

Hes a competitor. Hes the type of guy thats going to show that hes not gonna back down. Hes going to stick up for himself and, like I said, try to show some emotion. Youve definitely got to respect that.

It looked like the linesmen was going to step in between Lucic and Komisarek to cool things down, but both players wanted nothing to do with it at first. Despite a separated shoulder the last time Komisarek then a Habs player was dropped by Lucic, he kept right on coming Monday night despite the circumstances.

It appears that decision was a little hasty considering the rain of punches that came down on Komisarek.

Komisarek and Lucic are both big bodies and there was plenty of pushing and shoving, and Komisarek even slipped a couple of punches toward Lucics face. But the Bs left wing returned Komisareks volley, and waited until the Maple Leafs opened up his chinwithin his hockey-fighting stance.Then Lucicunloaded four uppercut punches on Komisarek that snapped the Leafs defensemans head back, and left him red-faced gasping for air when the combatants were done. It was a heavy price paid to attempt jump-starting his hockey club when they were already trailing in the first period, and in the end it really didnt work for Komisarek.

Youre down a couple goals and we dont have any shots on net. Schenny Luke Schenn steps up and tries to show up by fighting Campbell, said Komisarek. Im not going to wait for Grabo Mikhail Grabovski to go out there and fight their tough guy.

"You go out there and just try to show up, and give a couple licks, take a couple licks, and step up I guess. So, its pretty tough.

In Komisareks case he certainly took a few heavy licks from No. 17, but it doesnt appear there was any lasting damage. So thats an improvement for a physical player that damaged his shoulder fighting with Lucic just a couple of years ago.

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Bruins will add assistant coach, tap Bradley to run draft board

Bruins will add assistant coach, tap Bradley to run draft board

While the Bruins technically operated, and operated well, short one coach once assistant coach Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien behind the Boston bench, that’s not expected to continue for the upcoming season.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed this week that the B’s will be retaining the current assistant coach group of Joe Sacco, Jay Pandolfo and Bob Essensa to work under Cassidy as full-time head coach, and that they’ll be looking to add one more person to his staff.

“I think our staff did a very good job jumping in and picking up, because we didn’t add to it at the time [of Cassidy’s promotion] when we subtracted from the group. It will stay as is,” said Sweeney. “We will also be looking to add to it to complement that group. Bruce and I have already spoken briefly about it, but we haven’t identified yet and we’ve already received some people that would have some interest. We’ll pursue that accordingly.”

Sacco handled the defensemen and the penalty kill in the final few months of the season, and Pandolfo worked with the forwards in his very first season as an NHL assistant coach following a stint in player development. Essensa, of course, worked with the goaltenders and as the “eye in the sky” from the press box once Pandolfo moved to the bench following the coaching change. So the natural assumption would be that the Bruins would hire another former defenseman to work with the D-men given the backgrounds of Sacco and Pandolfo as forwards.

“We haven’t gotten too far out in front of it. But, Joe Sacco moved from the front of the bench to the D, and did a terrific job [while playing a] big part of the penalty kill all year. Jay [Pandolfo] came down from the press box, worked with the forwards, which he had worked with all year. But now he’s in the heat of the battle. They were terrific. We were a true staff,” said Cassidy. “Goalie Bob [Essensa] became a little bit more of an eye in the sky for us up there. We had Kim [Brandvold], who was our skating coach, helped a lot with the practices, with the pace we were trying to establish. I can’t thank them enough.

“Going forward, we’re going to meet and decide what’s the best fit for us [as an assistant hire]. Obviously those two have a forward background, I have a defense background, so maybe that’s an area we have to look at, what’s the best complement. But we’d be getting ahead of ourselves if I said today that we’re pinpointing an exact thing. We’ve got to look at it and say, ‘OK, who’s the best fit. What makes us the most successful?’ We’ll go from there with the candidates we get.”

The situation automatically leads one to wonder if P-Bruins head coach Kevin Dean would be a possible candidate as a longtime Cassidy assistant at the AHL level, or if Dean wants to continue on his track as a head coach. If not Dean then perhaps Providence Bruins assistant coach and former Bruins D-man Jay Leach might also be a strong candidate after his first season working with the young P-Bruins at the AHL level.

While it’s clear the Bruins still have some discussions before potentially making a move on hiring an NHL assistant for Cassidy’s staff, they have made a determination about their scouting staff. The B’s never replaced the head of amateur scouting position when Keith Gretzky was hired as an assistant general manager with the Edmonton Oilers, and it will instead be Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley that will run Boston’s draft board in June.

“Scotty Bradley has stepped back into that role, which he’s very comfortable doing. He holds the title of Assistant General Manager and he’ll oversee the draft. We’re very comfortable with the people he’s worked with in recent years that have been a big, big part of our recent drafts. Our meetings went well,” said Sweeney. “They were just at the U-18s and had other subsequent meetings, so there will be some banter in the upcoming [scouting] meetings, in terms of where we end up finalizing our list. Scotty will oversee that.”

It’s not exactly foreign territory for Bradley, who previously held the head scouting position with the Black and Gold and played an instrumental role in drafting players like Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. But there’s also some question as to how big a role Gretzky played in drafting the massive wave of talented prospects now pushing their way through Boston’s system, and how much his presence will be missed at NHL Draft weekend moving forward.