After their 3-2 win over the Flyers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday night, the Bruins took a commanding 2-0 lead in the series and are now two wins away from their first conference finals appearance since 1992.
But based on the way the physical play and trash-talking is escalating in this series, the B’s will need to be careful they make it out unscathed — and with their teeth.
Just under six minutes into the second period, Marc Savard took an extra swing at the puck in front and caught Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher. Daniel Carcillo then punched Savard in the side of the face, and a scrum ensued. When order was restored, Savard was called for a slashing minor, but he was also accused of biting. Carcillo could be seen showing his hand to the referees and claiming the Boston pivot took a chomp on his hand.
Shortly thereafter, Darren Dreger of TSN reported that the NHL had commenced a search for video to confirm Carcillo’s accusations. All available video in the TD Garden headquarters did not reveal any biting, but after the game, Carcillo stuck to his story, while Savard claimed he was lucky to have his teeth because Carcillo tried to pull them out.
"I did," Carcillo said when asked if he had teethmarks on his hand. "Last time I’ve been bit was in grade school. It’s not a good feeling. It’s pretty cowardly. Guys don’t bite. Men don’t bite."
When notified of Savard’s claims that he was trying to take his teeth out, Carcillo laughed.
"Yeah, that’s what I do when I get in a scrum," Carcillo said. "I try to pull people’s teeth out. Whatever, man. He bit me."
Carcillo said the referees didn’t see it and he wasn’t aware that the league would review the incident.
Savard gave his version of what may as well be known as BiteGate for the remainder of this series.
"He pummeled my face, pulled on my teeth, so I guess that’s biting when a guy tries to pull your teeth out like [he did]," Savard claimed. "I don’t know. I don’t see how that is biting. Yeah, I mean, he embellishes stuff. Obviously, under the pile, you try to pull out my front teeth, so if that’s a bite then I don’t know what to say."
But Savard said more and took a shot at Carcillo’s rather scattered dental situation.
"I don’t know if you want to look like him, but he pulled on them," Savard said with a laugh.
We may never know what happened in that scrum, and Carcillo’s teammate, Mike Richards, even facetiously questioned whether or not Carcillo "bit himself." Carcillo is a well-known pest throughout the NHL, and in Game 2, he got under the Bruins' skin, drawing two power plays for his team. Earlier in the game, he laid a hit on Begin and Begin reacted with a cross-check, which bought him a ticket to the sin bin.
Thankfully, the Bruins' penalty kill took care of business, killing off both of those power plays and three others. But it’s clear we have some old-time hockey and trash-talking going on, and it should make for some entertaining fodder for the remainder of this series.
"It’s the playoffs, that’s the best part, getting in those battles and being in the middle of it," Savard said. "I’m not saying we’re friends with those guys, but in the playoffs, there’s no friends. You just battle and battle and when you see the guy in the elevator after the series is done, you probably say hi … most of the time. But this is part of hockey, and it’s like when your sister steals your ball, you wanna get her."
It’s playoff hockey … even if someone tries to steal your teeth?