Bruins’ A.J. Greer Explains Heated Exchange With Wayne Simmonds

Greer had plenty of words for Simmonds


January 14

BOSTON — Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Wayne Simmonds got on the nerves of the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

After dropping the gloves with Nick Foligno for a fight less than three minutes into the first period, Simmonds, and, this time, A.J. Greer were at the center of a prolonged skirmish at the end of the second frame.

After the horn sounded to conclude the stanza, Greer skated over to Simmonds at center ice and had plenty of words for the Maple Leafs veteran. Greer had to be held back and skated to the bench by one of the on-ice officials while players from both sides stood on the ice for several moments and exchanged verbal jabs.

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Greer and Simmonds both received a 10-minute misconduct for their antics and Boston’s fourth-line winger explained following a thrilling 4-3 victory at TD Garden that he was trying to confront Simmonds over a hit he made on Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.

“If you’re going to come after (Bergeron) like that, you got to respond,” Greer said. “I didn’t do much. I was just going to go and tell him, ‘Hey, if you’re going to do that you got to pick your head up.’ We got in the penalty box and I told Simmonds, ‘You would have done the same thing.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, I would.’ It’s how it goes.”

That animosity was a part of a playoff-like atmosphere that featured plenty of physicalities right from the outset, including Greer trying to throw around his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame.

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery didn’t mind the emotion boiling over for Greer, who tallied his first goal since Oct. 18 in the win.

“There was some emotion going on,” Montgomery said. “And then just liked how we all stuck together out there. They did, too. There’s players on their team that certain guys on our team don’t like, and I’m sure it’s the same way. That’s what makes a rivalry and that’s why it was such a heated, good hockey game.”

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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