Everyone remembers early last November when Milan Lucic barreled into Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller and the Sabres offered little resistance. This offseason, Buffalo decided to make some moves to bring in guys who have a reputation of being physical. Of these transactions, one stands out more than any other to Bruins fans: Steve Ott.
Ott has a history with the Bruins from his tenure with the Dallas Stars. On Nov. 1, 2008, Ott was the catalyst in “poking the bear,” as his antics sparked a brawl-filled game that finished with 146 penalty minutes and a 5-1 Boston win. Then in February of 2011, Ott waited just one second before he dropped the gloves with Bruins forward Gregory Campbell in a game that featured three fights in the first four seconds of play.
Ott is not alone among players who have had “disagreements” over the past few years with the Bruins. Look no further than Boston’s longtime rivals from Montreal. Canadiens defenseman P.K Subban is showered with boos nearly every time he touches the ice at the TD Garden. Subban has only been in one fight against Boston, a wash with Brad Marchand in October 2011. However, most of the hatred from Bruins fans is due to Subban’s infamous flop in the corner during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2011.
Speaking of the 2011 playoffs, who could forget Patrice Bergeron’s best friend, Alex Burrows. The Vancouver forward made national news in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals when he bit Bergeron’s finger during a post-whistle scrum. Burrows was involved with many other Bruins players throughout the series and endured taunting from Marchand, Lucic and even seasoned veteran Mark Recchi.
Finally, who could forget one of the most famous goons in the NHL, Matt Cooke? Cooke is infamously known around Boston as the player who ended Marc Savard’s career. On March 7, 2010 in a game in Pittsburgh, Cooke skated through the top of the faceoff circle and blindsided Savard. The Bruins’ center was diagnosed with a concussion and despite a brief return in the 2010-11 season, Savard has not played since. In retaliation for the fight, Boston tough-guy Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves just eleven days later with Cooke to even the score at the TD Garden.
With Ott’s return and an anticipation of a physical game Thursday night, it begs the question — which one of these players is the biggest nemesis to the Bruins?