The Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators open their Stanley Cup playoff series Wednesday night, so what better way to get ready than to look back at a line brawl from 15 years ago?
It’s probably unlikely to expect the sorts of fireworks Wednesday that we saw when these two teams met Jan. 17, 2002, at what then was known as the Fleet Center in Boston, but we can hope, right?
The Bruins won the game 5-2, and the clubs combined for more than 200 penalty minutes — the majority of which came during a wild line brawl after the Bruins scored to make it 5-1 midway through the third period.
A few things stick out here.
— The first, of course, is the throwdown between the goalies, Boston’s Byron Dafoe and Ottawa’s Patrik Lalime. It wasn’t the only time Lord Byron dropped the gloves in his Bruins career. Dafoe certainly got the best of this scrap, in which he went a little harder than he did on Olaf Kolzig.
— This lady loved it.
— The interaction between Dafoe and Bruins enforcer P.J. Stock was pretty awesome, too. Just a couple of ass-kickers sharing a laugh.
— Not surprisingly, Ottawa’s Chris Neil was right in the middle of things. The 2001-02 season was Neil’s first in his NHL career, and he collected 20 penalty minutes of his own here on the way to a career-high 231 penalty minutes. Neil actually has spent the last 15 years with the Senators (amassing more than 2,500 career PIM) and obviously is the only player from that game who’s still on one of these rosters entering the series — unless you count Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.