Article by Clutch    (02-04-11 06:29 AM)

Brawl from the bell: Stars, Bruins fight three times in 1st four seconds of Boston's 6-3 win

Photo: AP
Boston's Shawn Thornton (left) and Dallas' brawl during the first period.

By MIKE HEIKA / The Dallas Morning News

BOSTON — There must be something in the chowder.
For the second time in three seasons, a Stars-Bruins game turned into a donnybrook. And this one didn’t take long. The two sides produced three fights in the first four seconds of the game, a new era sort of record in which all three brawls took place at different stoppages of play.
The NHL’s old stat istics include fights that were involved during the same stoppage of play.
Yet all the truculence didn’t pay off for the Stars, who lost a 6-3 game and suffered a couple of more injuries.
Krys Barch scratched a cornea in his fight and is listed as day-to-day. Adam Burish suffered an oribital bone injury in his fight and might not be available Saturday against Philadelphia . Ray Sawada received a blind-side hit to the head from Boston’s Daniel Paille and injured his shoulder.
Paille received a match penalty, but the Stars couldn’t score on the ensuing five-minute power play.
It was the same overall frustration the team battled when Steve Ott and Sean Avery went wild in a 5-1 loss to the Bruins in 2008. In addition, Dallas’ all-time penalty high of 211 minutes (406 for both teams) also came in Boston in 1981.
“I don’t think anything was discussed, it just happened,” said Ott, who fought Gregory Campbell in the first second of the game. “Both sides were ready. It was a big game.”
It was the latest in a string of big games that haven’t gone the Stars’ way. The loss is the fourth in the last five game for the Stars, who fall to 30-17-5 (65 points). Boston moves to 30-15-7 (67). It follows a 4-1 loss at the hands of Vancouver.
“Of the last six periods we played, four of them were really sloppy, reckless periods,” Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. “We know we can compete with [the top teams], but we have to be a little smarter.”
Morrow brushed off the three fights in four seconds (Barch went with Shawn Thornton, and Brian Sutherby went with Adam McQuaid) as “chest thumping” and said the real problem came in breakdowns in coverage. Boston took the momentum from the hairy start and scored twice in the first 1:20. Starting goalie Andrew Raycroft was beaten by Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron and was pulled after facing just two shots.
Kari Lehtonen came on in relief and allowed three goals on 32 shots.
“Things happen and sometimes things don’t go your way,” Lehtonen said when asked about the Stars allowing 25 goals in the last five games. “I know there were a couple I would have liked back. We just have to move on and play better.”
The Stars will practice in Philadelphia on Friday and might have to call up a couple of extra players. Defenseman Mark Fistric (flu) will probably have to play, and the Stars are likely to bring Travis Morin in from Texas. Morin passed out Wednesday waiting for the Stars’ plane, but he checked out fine Thursday and skated in Frisco.
“We have a group of players in here who will respond,” Ott said. “We need to go out and find that game that pushed us to where we were last month.”

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02-04-11 08:03 AM - Post#1281744    

    In response to Clutch ory?columnist=murphy_jame s&a...

BOSTON -- The last time the Dallas Stars were in TD Garden, on Nov.1, 2008, the Boston Bruins won 5-1 in a turbulent affair in which the two teams combined for 146 penalty minutes and an all-out brawl involving all five positional players aside in the third period.

The teams renewed their gripes Thursday night and wasted no time doing so in a 6-3 Bruins win before a very entertained sellout crowd.

Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves with Steve Ott one second in, Shawn Thornton and Krys Barch did the tango a second later, Adam McQuaid dropped Brian Sutherby two seconds later and just for good measure, Andrew Ference fought Adam Burish after Burish let a shot go on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (30 saves) after a whistle at 3:51.

Bruins coach Claude Julien had an inkling this one could get physical, and when he saw that the Stars' starting lineup included Adam Burish and agitator Steve Ott, he knew he was right. So Julien sent out the Bruins' energy line of Daniel Paille, Campbell and Thornton, and the donnybrook was on.

"Well, usually against Dallas, it's always interesting here in this building and we always have interesting games," Julien said. "When we got their starting lineup and their top two lines weren't on, we knew they wanted to obviously start with a physical edge to their game and we were ready for that."

The Bruins got the physical edge and momentum from the early fights, as they scored twice in the first 1:20 with goals from Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic and then added two more in the first period on another Bergeron goal and one from Thornton.

That, according to Andrew Ference and his teammates, is what made the opening fights and physicality worth it.

"The fights are one thing, but after the fights, to respond with some really good goals and I think a really good first period, that's the impressive thing," Ference said. "You know, anybody can go out there and drop the gloves and fight and do all that stuff, but to follow it up with really good hockey is what makes you successful.

"It's totally meaningless and you can't just do it with no emotion," Ference went on. "You can tell, you know that people that watch enough hockey, they can tell when it's just a fight for a fight. But those … for whatever reason it was amped up tonight. I mean, guys were full of piss and vinegar and I don't know why, but it was just the way it was. Just to be emotionally invested and to know that's such a vital part of our game, it's good to see and it's another lesson learned. We don't need just fights, we need that willingness to win and play for each other."

And Ference knows the crowd enjoyed every minute of the fights.

"It's great and it's a good part of our sport," Ference said of fighting. "I don't think people left the game disgusted, and that's the way it is. It was crazy. To have that many goals and that much excitement -- and some good goals, too -- it had it all."

There may have been one fight however -- even though the combatants wouldn't admit it -- that had a little extra incentive involved. On March 28, 2009, while playing for the Florida Panthers, Campbell was the recipient of an Ott cheap shot, as the Stars forward took a running start and blindsided Campbell. The two dropped gloves immediately Thursday.

Campbell denied that the fight was revenge.

"No, not really," Campbell said when asked if the fight was revenge for the hit he took from Ott. "I mean it was two years ago. I mean, a lot of things happen in hockey and if you hold on to something that happens two years ago, I don't think it does you much good. So, unfortunately, as much as you love to hate Steve Ott, he's a pretty valuable player for them and he plays hard but it wasn't something that I held a grudge over, though.

"I mean, I didn't think about it beforehand, but once the game started, like I said, there were a few words exchanged and that's what happened. But it wasn't something I had planned or I don't think the other guys had planned, either. It just happens."

But when all was said and done, this 2010-11 Bruins squad has proved on numerous occasions that they are a team and they will stick together. Campbell alluded to that momentum and unity-building game Dec. 23 when Thornton dropped the gloves with Atlanta Thrashers enforcer Eric Boulton two seconds in and then later in the third period of the Bruins' 4-1 win.

"Well, for us, [Thursday's game] was kind of like the Atlanta game -- it was an emotional game for us, before Christmas, I should say," Campbell said. "We came out hard and we set the tone early, and I think that's what this hockey team is capable of, is playing physical but also we have the ability to score.

"And that's a good team over there. They have a great record and they have a lot of depth and they're playing well this year. So, for us to send a message -- I mean, if you look at our record against Western Conference teams, it hasn't been as good as we'd like. So we have a few games coming up against those teams and we wanted to start off on the right foot."

Now the Bruins must build on that team unity once again and become a tighter bunch.

"We're a tight group; we've always said that and we all know that," Bergeron said. "We get along real well off the ice and we try to bring that on the ice. I think that [Andrew] Ference fight is the best example just by showing that [Burish]took a shot after the whistle on Tuukka and Andy responded right away. So I think it's ... it showed our unity, and we got to keep going."

"He shaved his head and shed his gloom..."

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02-04-11 08:07 AM - Post#1281745    

    In response to DPR4444

Bruins, Stars stir up old memories /SPORTS/1...

"BOSTON — Marquess of Queensberry rules have changed since Feb. 26, 1981, when the Bruins and the Stars put up a record 392 penalty minutes on 84 calls.

Thursday night at TD Garden, the Bruins and Stars set what has to be an NHL record for the three fastest fights not occurring at the same time — four seconds.

Less than two minutes after the three-bout fight card, the Bruins chased their former future in net, as Andrew Raycroft was pulled after letting the first two shots slip through for goals in a 6-3 Boston victory that pleased a late-arriving sellout crowd of 17,565.

If rush-hour traffic wasn't maddening enough on its own, Thursday's logjam deprived many fans of witnessing a blast from the past.

"Watching tonight, it looked like some bad blood from a prior incident," said former Bruin Steve Kasper, a stalwart center in his day whose unlikely fight with Minnesota North Stars center Bobby Smith touched off a bench-clearing brawl that younger hockey fans wouldn't believe if they couldn't watch it on You Tube.

"My recollection is there was just some contact off the (opening) faceoff, sort of a push and shove at each other," said Kasper. "Minnesota certainly proved to everyone that season that they weren't going to back down from anyone. Later that year, they beat us three straight in the playoffs."

In any competition, talent without an appropriate application of the right version of toughness is a recipe for unrealized potential, and in hockey that toughness is the most traditional of all.

Kasper didn't know that Gregory Campbell and Steve Ott, Thursday's first combatants, had history stemming all the way back to their junior careers. But as a rookie Kasper learned quickly what it meant to play for the Boston Bruins.

"It's 30 years ago, right? Thirty years ago it wasn't going in there saying, 'Boy, this is going to be a (big fight) — it was spontaneous," he said. "The game was a little difference back then, too. Right or wrong, there were still some bench-clearing brawls. I know I had a fight seven seconds into the game, and I think Keith Crowder fought at the same time. It might have been against Steve Payne ... but no one got kicked out."

Crowder set a club record with 43 penalty minutes in that game, something impossible to achieve by modern officiating standards. The "three-fight equals game misconduct" rule alone makes Crowder's record unattainable.

In the modern NHL, fighting happens rather regularly but is heavily policed. Ironically, it's one of the reasons the Bruins and Dallas were able to stage three fights over the opening four seconds of play.

Ott had bloodied Campbell badly with a short left, so when the puck dropped a second time (the clock showed 19:59)

Shawn Thornton pummeled Krystofer Barch. That one evened the score, and two more seconds later (19:57 showing on the clock) Adam McQuaid and Brian Sutherby fought with McQuaid scoring a knockdown to the delight of the roaring crowd.

"I definitely didn't think something like that was going to happen," said Brad Marchand. "They've got some guys who like to run around a bit and shoot their mouth off, but it's very rare. Sometimes teams come in and think that they can intimidate you, but when guys step up like they did today it's great to see."

The Bruins were just about as explosive with the puck. Still in the first minute, Milan Lucic scored his team-leading 21st goal (35 seconds in), and at 1:20 Patrice Bergeron scored his first of two on set-ups from Marchand. The first of those chased

Raycroft from the nets in favor of Kari Lehtonen, whom Thornton made look bad with a short-side goal at 16:01.

Boston defenseman Andrew Ference beat down Adam Burish in the fourth and final fight at 3:51, and it was 4-0 after one period.

The Stars also had scoring chances, but Tuukka Rask (30 saves) was excellent when he had to be.

Predictably ragged play in the second and third periods allowed Dallas to make a game of it. Brendan Morrow made it 4-2 just 45 seconds into the third period and Brad Richards made it a one-goal game shortly thereafter.

The potential stinger was McQuaid was denied a beauty of a goal that would have made it 5-0 — it was called back on an iffy Blake Wheeler goaltender-interference penalty.

But Tyler Seguin scored a one-timer in the third period to restore the two-goal cushion, and after Bergeron missed a wide-open net he recovered the puck and fed a deserving Marchand for the capper.

Total penalty minutes: 40 for Dallas and 51 for Boston.

The NHL has changed since 1981, so the 30th anniversary couldn't possibly live up to the night in Boston Garden that produced almost 400 combined minutes.

"All I can remember was, obviously being in the fight, but when we were down on the ice, looking around I could see a lot of other legs and I realized there's probably more going on than just my fight," said Kasper. "One thing led to the next and, boom, it was just a long night."

Thursday's long night ended with the knowledge that winger Daniel Paille is facing a likely suspension from the league for his cutback hit on Dallas forward Raymond Sawada. Zach Hamill, the former first-round draft pick recalled from Providence, is expected to take his place when Boston hosts San Jose on Saturday."

"He shaved his head and shed his gloom..."

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02-07-11 07:45 PM - Post#1283041    

    In response to DPR4444

Wonder if this was some carryover from the Avery-led brawl when he was with the Stars. The two don't seem to like each other.
"It is not our fault that the world is bad, and we do not want to die changing it. We want to live- that is all."

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