Boston Bruins: The Top 10 Fights of the 2010-2011 Season
With the Boston Bruins now in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 21 years, the youngest generation of fans should be celebrating the best season they have ever seen.
Nothing will ever erase the embarrassment of the 2010 playoffs. The Bruins became just the fourth NHL team to lose a seven-game series after winning the first three games, and the only team to do so while blowing a three-goal lead in game seven.
When the Bruins had their rematch with the Philadelphia Flyers during this season's playoffs, Boston dominated them. The Flyers lacked effort and fell far short of expectations after leading the Eastern Conference for most of the regular season.
Boston's sweep of Philadelphia showed that the Bruins were a much better team than they were last season.
In addition to this trade, Adam McQuaid became a regular in the lineup that was already fit with Shawn Thornton, physical forward Milan Lucic, and hard-hitting giant Zdeno Chara.
This squad of improved toughness tied for second in the league with 71 fighting majors.
Here are the best of those fights.
No. 10: Tim Thomas vs. Carey Price (Feb. 9, 2011)
Once Carey Price joined the scrum, Tim Thomas knew it was his job to skate down the ice. After the referee allowed the two to go, Price threw a right and fell down.
Price and Thomas had a nice chat after the pretend fight. While this exchange was terrible, seeing the two goalies drop their gloves was interesting enough.
No. 9: Line Brawl vs. Atlanta (Dec. 23, 2010)
Following a clean, hard hit on Milan Lucic, Andrew Ference went after the checker, Freddy Meyer, causing all skaters on the ice to approach the area. By the end of the events, two fights occurred.
Though it was good to see Ference attempt to stick up for the Bruins' leading scorer, this was a clean hit and Lucic's actions during the scrum were cowardly. He punched Meyer as Meyer was being held back by a linesman.
The purpose of a player defending himself or a teammate after hard hits is to ensure that the other team learns respect.
The message sent is "Even though that hit was clean, you better not try to hit any of our players that hard again. You don't do that to us."
However, nobody gains respect by sucker-punching an opponent.
Regardless, Bruins fans can enjoy watching this line brawl, a rarity in today's NHL.
No. 8: Milan Lucic vs. Jay Rosehill (March 31, 2011)
Here is Lucic settling a dispute the correct way; by squaring off and having a fair fight with his opponent.
Each threw hard punches and towards the end of the fight, both had lost their grips. The fight ended with a rare instance of boxing-style fighting on the ice.
By the end of the bout, Lucic had landed two punches on Rosehill's face, another two on his helmet, whereas Rosehill landed one punch to the face along with four jersey jabs.
No. 7: Andrew Ference vs. Adam Burish (Feb. 3, 2011)
Each threw two rights that missed. Then, both starting punching simultaneously.
During the first exchange, both missed.
During the second, Ference landed a solid shot that not only dropped Burish, but broke an orbital bone and caused him to miss three weeks of playing time.
No. 6: Shawn Thornton vs. Eric Boulton (Dec. 23, 2010)
The fight starts off a little boring, with each man being slightly technical.
Once Boulton decided to start throwing nonstop haymakers, Thornton had no choice but to toss strategy out the window and throw back.
Though this is nowhere close to the excitement caused by Boulton's fight against John Erskine this season, both fighters clearly got in some hard shots, making this a great start to a night of hockey.
No. 5: Shawn Thornton vs. Darcy Hordichuk (Nov. 18, 2010)
No. 4: Nathan Horton vs. Theo Peckham (Feb. 27, 2011)
Initially, Horton was up against the glass and couldn't use his right arm because of this.
Peckham was throwing without guard due to Horton's position. So, when Horton pushed off the glass, he was able to throw a completely unhindered punch, landing on Peckham's head and sending the Oiler down.
No. 3: Shawn Thornton vs. Krys Barch (Feb. 3, 2011)
After Steve Ott and Greg Campbell started this game off with a fight off the opening faceoff, Barch and Thornton followed suit.
Barch attempted to go toe-to-toe with Thornton here, but never fully committed. He stopped throwing as Thornton continued, landing several hard shots which ended up breaking Barch's orbital bone.
The flurry of punches from 0:16 to 0:23 was the most destructive segment of Shawn Thornton's season.
No. 2: Adam McQuaid vs. Brian Sutherby (Feb. 3, 2011)
Immediately after the previous fight, the game's third faceoff would result in its third fight.
At first, McQuaid's arm was tied up and he couldn't do much.
Once he got it loose, he missed a few punches before Sutherby missed two.
As Sutherby missed his second punch, McQuaid landed one that rocked Sutherby's head back.
McQuaid's next aggressive flurry of rights, though all of them missed, won him the fight.
As he threw three rights, he caused Sutherby to lean away and look away from his opponent.
Sutherby then made a terrible mistake by attempting to throw a blind punch, and ended up getting absolutely rocked by McQuaid.
No. 1: Line Brawl vs. Montreal (Feb. 9, 2011)
When it comes to hockey rivalries, Boston vs. Montreal is as old as it is new. One of the most storied in all of sports, these two teams have continued their hatred for each other for decades.
Amid many events which culminated in a seven-game playoff series was this line brawl.
Andrew Ference and Travis Moen began the action with a close fight. As that one ended, the sequence turned chaotic as Johnny Boychuk, Greg Campbell and Shawn Thornton started to pound on three separate Canadiens.
Roman Hamrlik was saved from Shawn Thornton by the refs, but Jaroslav Spacek and Tom Pyatt were not as lucky.
Boychuk pounded Spacek until Spacek dropped to the ice.
Campbell did the same to Pyatt, bloodying him and relenting only when a linesman approached the area.