This is the best thing I’ve read about the Boston Bruins in some time – it made me cognisant of something I thought, but wasn’t aware I thought, if that makes any sense.

Maybe what I’m trying to say is: this makes perfect sense, and Steve Dangle is right.

The Bruins have issued The Punk Test to the rest of the NHL, and they’ve all failed.

Before I read that piece (and you should too), I was planning on a post wondering why it’s always the Bruins in the middle of the bullshit. From the hit on Pacioretty to the hit on Miller and beyond, but this is the answer….

They’ve tested plenty of teams, but who’s answered?

The Bruins have an interesting roster. One of the scariest players in the league happens to be their Norris Trophy winning defenseman.

Another “scariest guy in the league” is a 30 goal scorer who cracked my “scariest hitters in the league” list. Oh, and Dangle highlights the fact that he’s also a trained boxer. Here’s Lucic as a teen:

Solid d-men like Ference, Boychuk and McQuaid will answer the bell. Former 30 goal scorer Nathan Horton will go you in a heartbeat. Greg Campbell, Brad Marchand, Shawn Thornton? I mean, Christmas, who’s afraid on that team? Their ultimate enforcer is their goalie.

So yes, the punk test. They’ll do whatever they want until you stop them.

And nobody can answer for the simple reason that their toughness is found in capable players. The Canucks might as well have won the Stanley Cup last year – Boston would’ve swiped it off their lunch tray, kept it, and dared the Canucks to do something about it.

So, they’ve rung another bell, in two different ways when it comes to the Lucic-on-Miller hit. One to see if anyone will answer, and one between Miller’s ears.

I’m not sure what Buffalo should do the next time they play – they’re not gonna win in a brawl, that’s for sure.

But eventually, some team somewhere has to answer the punk test with the Bruins, win or lose. Otherwise, they’re just gonna keep bullying opponents.


Comments (12)

  1. You’re right it was a great piece, and I agree but I’m not sure it’s possible to ‘fight back’ in the NHL today , even if the Sabres did have someone tough enough to take on Lucic.

    This is a *big* exaggeration but what happens if some responds by grabbing Lucic immediately after the hit, knocks his helmet off with the first punch, breaks his nose with the second and he goes to the ice head first and unconscious ??

    The guy fighting back would be watching most of the regular season. I know the odds of something like this scenario are slim to none, but I think it’s part of the reason players are thinking twice before reacting too quickly, because if something terrible happens in retaliation, it’s all on them.

  2. Also, “answering the punk test” will require more than one, isolated response. Maybe Campbell bullies a guy and that guy turns around and gets the better of him in a scrap. All that means is that guy is going to have to fight one (or more) of 5 or 6 other Bruins, not to mention the whole team running him the rest of the game.

    • I’ve Campbell play in almost every game since he joined the Bruins last year and I have to tell you I’ve never seen him “bully” anyone. He’s actually a pretty lousy fighter, more Steve Montador than Shawn Thornton. But he’ll fight if he feels he has to.

      I’ve also never seen the Bruins “running” anyone for fighting. I have witnessed them taking vengeance on someone who has run one of their teammates (or bitten, or slashed, or otherwise cheap-shotted; see Burrows, Alex). I would hope any NHL team would do the same.

      • alright, thanks for kinda missing the point there. It was just an example, not a literal condemnation of the B’s or Campbell.

        I’m not pro or anti B’s, I just find them really compelling right now and love watching their games. They’ve got a “bully” attitude, and they’re making it work. I was just trying to highlight that one player standing up to them once isn’t going to get them to stop. In fact, I would guess that in the short term, it will just make them more aggressive.

  3. Another factor… the league doesn’t really police these things very effectively. Worse, they are far more efficient at making sure opponents don’t police them.

    Think about what Lucic did to Domenick Moore last year. As I recall, he got all of two whopping minutes for that, and no supplemental discipline. I’m not sure how a 6′ 3″ man can skate up to an opponent after the whistle, crosscheck him up high, and then skate away with a minor penalty… but Looch found a way. And worse, Horton was the initiator of all of that, so it’s not like Lucic was coming to anyone’s protection. He was just being a thug.

    Watching Lucic plow Miller with no attempt to avoid him, and with his hands up and clearly delivering a shot, is more of the same. And since the league doesn’t seem to care, someone is going to jump this guy, or run a Bruin, and possibly injure them, and THEN the league will decry “frontier justice” and suspend the fighter…

  4. And yes, even Patrice Bergeron. One NHL fight in his career, one win:

    Seriously, I understand what Dangle is saying by the “punk test,” but as an animal lover (and an older person ::cough::) I think of it more as wolf behavior. When wolves meet, they either fight, or else the alpha wolf is recognized by the other wolves going belly-up. That appears to be what many other NHL teams are doing right now: presenting their bellies.

    But the notion that it’s going to be “open season” on goalies or other such baloney is nonsense. As both Hedberg and Brodeur pointed out yesterday – – a goalie has to be aware of his surrounding and circumstances and know he could get hit; it’s part of the game.

    The solution is simple: Fight back. I don’t mean other teams have to have goons on their squads. Literally fighting isn’t necessary. Just show some gumption. If Brad Marchand is acting like a punk, PUSH HIM AWAY. You want some respect? Earn it. Don’t present your belly.

    • Even Bourne knows that if someone punks your team out, it’s not necessarily how you do or how tough you are, but that at least you do something, as evidenced by this vid of him dropping the mitts with a player that had just knee’d his teammate in an ECHL game a few years back:

      Every player in hockey knows this is the norm, and it’s astonishing that Buffalo didn’t do a SINGLE thing immediately, or for the duration of the game (Miller hit was late in the first period). Boston will likely continue punking teams out because they have guys who can, will, and that get away with it; and teams like Buffalo that continue to not at least take the punk test will continue to fail it and get walked all over.

  5. The strength of the wolf is in the pack.
    The strength of the pack is in the wolf.

    I read this long ago(70-72?) about the origional Big Bad Bruins. I think it applies now too.

  6. Hello buddy, what a quality is! For this YouTube video, I am in fact pleassant, because I have never seen nice quality YouTube video earlier than,

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