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.

Quirky Super Bowl schedule this time around for Patriots

Quirky Super Bowl schedule this time around for Patriots

The Patriots schedule for the next few days in Massachusetts and Super Bowl Week in Houston is a little quirky.

Players are off on Tuesday (media has conference call access to Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia). There’s no media access on Wednesday at all as the team begins getting introduced to the Super Bowl game plan that will have been partially formulated (and subject to tweaking). The players are in Thursday, Friday and Saturday for afternoon practices and there’s media access to the players each day. There’s no media access on Sunday.

The team will fly to Houston on Monday and – in a major departure – will do its media duties at night. The NFL has repackaged media day as Super Bowl Opening Night. It will be held at Minute Maid Field (home of the Astros) with access to the Patriots from 10 to 11 p.m. EST.

Tuesday, there will be access from 1:30 to 2:30 EST to Belichick and a handful of players at the Patriots’ hotel. There will be full access to players and coaches on Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 6:15 EST.

There’s no NFL-sponsored access of any kind on Friday or Saturday. Previously, there was a final press conference with the head coaches and a press conference with the NFL Commissioner. His name is Roger. Roger Goodell.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame committee meets on Saturday and will announce the 2017 inductees by the end of the day.

For those of you who like television - or who stream on your tiny devices – we’ll be all over this mess.

This week, look for Patriots Wednesday Live on Thursday at noon (hard to have Wednesday Live if ain’t nobody gonna be live from the team).

Mike Giardi and I will be down there Sunday so start looking for live reports and my giant nose in the great state of Texas at that point.

If we’re not live during media day in the evening, I don’t know what we’re doing with our lives. Quick Slants will be Tuesday night and Jerod Mayo will be down there.

Lotta podding planned. Lotta podding.

We’ll keep you updated.

Celtics-Wizards preview: Making of a matchup

Celtics-Wizards preview: Making of a matchup

BOSTON -- While it’s debatable whether the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards are rivals, there’s no question there has been a heightened level of animosity towards one another when they play.

When these two met on Jan. 11, the Celtics came away with a 117-108 win.

But the game itself featured plenty of back-and-forth trash talk, finger-pointing, cries of dirty play and NBA fines.

IN FACT . . . Washington plans to bury Boston

“It’ll be a physical game,” said Jae Crowder who was hit with a five-figure fine for his role in a post-game incident involving Washington’s John Wall. “We have to answer the bell; we’ll be ready.”

Crowder knows he and his teammates must balance being the more physical team, with not losing their cool because if tonight’s game is anything like previous ones, there will be trash talk … lots of trash talk.

“They talk a little bit more than other teams,” said Crowder who added that was a factor in the incident him and Wall which cost them $25,000 and $15,000, respectively.

Crowder said a flagrant-foul committed by Washington’s Bradley Beal against Marcus Smart was what really cranked the level of animosity that was already at a high level.

But Beal probably hasn’t fully put behind him an incident last season in which Smart broke his nose and put him in the league’s concussion protocol program on a Smart drive to the basket.

As far as the hard foul that Beal delivered to him earlier this month, Smart said, “you take exception to every hard foul.”

Smart added, “It’s the game of basketball. You play with your emotions and intensity and everything like that. It comes with the game.”

While Crowder understands the Celtics have to play a physical brand of basketball, he’s not looking to do anything that might result in him having to cut another $25,000 check which was the amount of his fine from the Jan. 11 game against the Wizards.

“I’m looking at it as another game we have to win,” Crowder said. “I’m not looking at it as a rivalry or anything like that. I’m not coming in talking; they might.”

For the Wizards, winners in four of their five games since losing to Boston, a major key to their success lies in the play of their backcourt.

John Wall and Bradley Beal are the latest high-scoring backcourt tandem that the Celtics have to be worried about.

And making matters worse for Boston, the Celtics will have to try and make due without Avery Bradley who is still dealing with a right Achilles injury.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said the 6-foot-2 Bradley was not going to be with the team in Washington and would most likely be out all this week.

That means Boston will lean heavily on Smart to not only help the offense run relatively smooth, but also provide some much-needed defense to help limit Wall and Beal who collectively rank among the higher-scoring starting backcourts in the NBA.

“We have to slow them down; by any means we have to slow them down,” Thomas said. “We know they go as far as those two take them. It’s going to be a tough game. They have a lot of momentum at home. It’ll be a tough game for us. But we’re ready for the opportunity.”

Wall and Beal are just the latest in a string of high-scoring backcourts that the Celtics have had to contend with recently.

In Saturday’s 127-123 overtime home loss to Portland, C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard combined to score 63 points on 20-for-42 shooting from the field.

“This stretch of backcourts is exceptionally difficult,” Stevens said. “They (Wall and Beal) both should be and certainly are in the discussion for the all-star team. It’s a real difficult challenge. Our guys are going to have to be really good on both ends of the floor.”