BOSTON — There may be fireworks in Tuesday's game between the Bruins and Senators.
After all, the Bruins are second in the NHL with 46 fighting majors and Ottawa is fifth with 42. They've climbed that high in no small part due to their own on-going rivalry, with the first four meetings of the season producing six fights.
Each game between the top two clubs in the Northeast Division had had at least one fight, and when the Senators come to the Garden on Tuesday, Ottawa plans to reinsert Zenon Konopka (league-leading 17 fighting majors) into the lineup after being a healthy scratch for eight straight games. The Bruins will counter with Shawn Thornton (second in NHL with 16 fights), who is expected to return after missing Saturday's game in Ottawa with flu-like symptoms.
It won't be a shock to see those two drop the gloves. But the surprising undercard that seemed like a guaranteed bout just a day ago may not so certain to occur after all.
Early in the third period on Saturday, Ottawa forward Kyle Turris took a run at Boston defenseman Joe Corvo. Turris left his feet and hit Corvo in the head, but shockingly received no discipline from the league. Corvo was outraged at both the hit and the lack of supplemental discipline, and vowed on Monday to exact his own revenge.
"Let's just say I'll be looking for him right off the bat," Corvo told reporters after Monday’s practice, adding, "Hopefully he's a man and he's going to step up [Tuesday] when I come after him. I’m not going to try and hurt him, I'm going to try to fight him."
Perhaps knowing he could get himself in hot water with the league for such comments, Corvo backed off his brash pronouncement after Tuesday's morning skate, apologizing for the outburst which he called "foot-in-mouth syndrome" and felt had put his own "individual priorities over team priorities."
Even without hearing about Corvo's apparent change of heart, Turris did not appear concerned about any possible revenge from the Bruins defenseman.
"It's just another game for me," Turris said. "It's an important game for us in the standings. I don't know, I heard he said some things in the media yesterday or the day before, but I'm not too worried about it. We dealt with it with the league and we’re just moving forward from here."
This wouldn't exactly be a clash of the titans. The 6-foot, 204-pound Corvo has had just one fight in his nine seasons in the NHL, which came earlier this year against Toronto's Joey Crabb. Turris, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, has two career fights, taking on Kris Versteeg back in 2008 and Daniel Briere earlier this season.
"You've always got to defend yourself on the ice and in certain situations," Turris said. "If I have to defend myself, I have to defend myself."
Turris also defended his hit on Corvo on Saturday, which drew a two-minute minor for boarding.
"I just went in to kind of rub him out and finish my check," Turris. "It was unfortunate how the incident ended up. I'm not a big hitter. I don't hit very often. I just tried to finish my check and it was an unfortunate situation."