Sunday, November 02, 2008


146 penalty minutes, 4 unsportsmanlike minors, 6 fighting majors, and 7 game misconducts (that's an ejection, for those of you just learning hockey). Oh yeah, and 6 goals, 5 of which belonged to the Bruins. The only unfortunate thing is that this is the last time these teams play each other.

Dallas has two very interesting individuals on their roster. Sean Avery and Steve Ott. Both of these gentlemen were among the 7 kicked out of last night's game. And both of them have less than desirable reputations.

Avery is a pest, an agitator. That's all well and good. But when he pushes a player over the edge, he doesn't stand up for himself. He hides behind a teammate or official. It gets his team a lot of power plays, but it's also led him to be the most hated player in the NHL. Watch him curl into the fetal position right after boarding Paul Kariya.

Steve Ott is your classic cheap shot artist. His specialties are late hits, and elbows to the head. He also goes for the knees sometimes, usually when a player has his back turned and/or play has just come to a stop.

But here's the important stuff. Despite dealing with these two clowns, the Bruins kept their cool, and played hockey. Early in the 2nd, Ott went after Stephane Yelle's knees. Shawn Thornton came off the bench, went after Ott, and Ott refused to fight. A minute later, Patrice Bergeron wrapped a goal past Marty Turco to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

Of the 146 penalty minutes in the game, 66 involved Avery or Ott in some way (either their penalty, or a penalty committed against them).

Tim Thomas made 21 saves in the 2nd period, which allowed the Bruins to pull away in the 3rd. Kessel and Stuart scored, and Sturm put the icing on the cake.

Of course, the real story was all the between-play shenanigans. The roughing, the fighting, the ejections. Avery boarded Marc Savard, and in the 4-1 contest (this all took place 40 seconds after it became 4-1), there was no holding back. By the end of the scrum, Savard was defending Milan Lucic by going after Avery.

It speaks volumes about this team that the leading scorer - Savard - goes after a guy in order to help the team's hardest hitter and best fighter. Savard had 66 penalty minutes last year. He's already got 24 this season.

The Bruins didn't let Avery and Ott get under their collective skin. They focused their anger into beating them on the scoreboard. Then, with that accomplished, they beat them up on the ice. Or at least they tried to. Can't help it if Avery and Ott are turtles.

The B's are off until Thursday when they host the Maple Leafs.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

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