Yes, you read that headline correctly.
Patrice Bergeron is known for excelling in just about every aspect of the game of hockey, but the Boston Bruins center rarely settles matters with his fists. He made an exception Thursday night, however, squaring off with Winnipeg Jets winger — and former Bruins teammate — Blake Wheeler.
“I thought it was great,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand, who broke up a scrap between Bergeron and Wheeler earlier in the game, said in an intermission interview with NESN rinkside reporter Sarah Davis. “It just shows that he’s willing to stick up for himself. Wheels kind of gave him a bad hack there, and he did a great job. (Wheeler) is a really big guy, and he did a great job. It just shows his character.”
It was just the fourth fight (two in the regular season, two in the playoffs) of Bergeron’s NHL career and his first since Dec. 21, 2013, according to HockeyFights.com. Wheeler, who spent two-plus seasons with the Bruins from 2008 to 2011, now has dropped the gloves seven times.
Bergeron also opened the scoring in the first period with his 20th goal of the season.
Bad blood was plentiful Thursday night in Winnipeg, with Boston’s Zac Rinaldo and Matt Beleskey also engaging in bouts with Chris Thorburn and Tyler Myers, respectively.
Thumbnail photo via Bruce Fedyck/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron