Nobody actually scored in the second period of Bruins-Jets on Friday night, but that portion of Boston’s eventual 2-1 win was by no means a dull prelude for the Jake DeBrusk winner in the third. Neither team could put the puck in the back of the net, but they sure managed to put their fists in each other’s faces, treating the Manitoban crowd to a marquee fight card while the score stayed deadlocked at 1-1.
The tone was set in the first period, when Charlie McAvoy laid out Mark Scheifele with a bone-rattling check that started a brief scuffle between him and Neal Pionk.
Another look at McAvoy’s hit on Scheifele.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 1, 2020
Pionk starts a fight after a clean, heavy hit — and McAvoy heads down the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/lzumYYmg4R
That preliminary fracas only led to roughing penalties. The violence escalated, as it often does, because of Brad Marchand. The annoyingly fiendish Bruins veteran got blindsided by a clean neutral-zone hit from Nikolaj Ehlers early in the second. With his pride wounded, a furious Marchand went on to, as the announcer says in the below clip “make Danish pastry out of Ehlers,” challenging the limits of the unwritten fighting rules by burying the Jet in a flurry of punches before Ehlers could even drop his stick
The teams remained primed to explode at the slightest spark all through the rest of the period. Six minutes after Marchand became a Scandinavian baker, Gabriel Bourque stood Charlie Coyle up with a great hit in the Jets’ attacking zone. Brandon Carlo came to his teammate’s aid, and though the ensuing battle was more wrestling match than Rock’em Sock’em Robots, it still got a show of appreciation from both benches.
With the Jets on an ugly four-game losing skid and the Bruins being the Bruins, neither side was going to relax. A damaging hit on Mathieu Perreault had Luca Sbisa standing up against Karson Kuhlman. This is the only fight that Winnipeg definitively won, and it was the final one, which thank goodness, because that heavy masculine energy was started to get exhausting.
All told, both teams combined for 74 penalty minutes, including 64 in the second period. Just another chapter in the classic, storied rivalry between Winnipeg and Boston.