Jake DeBrusk played the role of protective teammate when he came to the defense of Boston Bruins teammate Charlie McAvoy earlier this month.
But as McAvoy showed Monday night, he can handle his own, too.
The Bruins rookie registered his first career fighting major when he went toe to toe with Columbus Blue Jackets forward Pierre Luc-Dubois in the B’s eventual 7-2 win at TD Garden.
Dubois took justified exception to a high hit from McAvoy along the boards, and the youngster answered the bell. He dropped the gloves and ate a punch or two early before fighting back and eventually scoring the takedown.
It was part of a big night for McAvoy, who also added a goal and an assist for the Gordie Howe hat trick.
“(The Gordie Howe hat trick) definitely wasn?t even on the list,” McAvoy said after the game. “I know that I try to play the game with a lot of passion, and that?s something he was doing too. Stuff like that is going to happen. There?s been times along the line this year where something that might have happened, but tonight it just did. It happened really quick, and I felt like I was able to protect myself pretty well.”