There may be some evidence that suggests fighting doesn’t actually do much to deter NHL players from engaging in dirty behavior on the ice, but that data hasn’t done much to deter plenty of guys from dropping the mitts to get some frontier justice.
That reality was very apparent thanks to what unfolded when the Bruins faced off against the Blue Jackets in Boston on Thursday night.
That showdown was a pretty chipper affair that saw plenty of players sent to the penalty box for various misdeeds.
That includes Columbus forward Lane Pederson, who initially received a five-minute major after hitting Patrice Bergeron with a cross-check to the face before the referees reviewed the call and opted to reduce it to a two-minute minor.
Lane Pederson cross-checks Patrice Bergeron in the face.
Initially got a five-minute major, but it was reduced to two minutes: pic.twitter.com/RlscemqJrg
— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) March 31, 2023
The Bruins captain was obviously less than thrilled with that decision, as the perennial Selke Award contender got uncharacteristically heated while airing his grievances with the officials.
You have to know you got it wrong when you get this reaction from Bergy like THE PATRICE BERGERON THIS MAD pic.twitter.com/BJrqpNhjWK
— alicia (@LeeshaMae31) March 31, 2023
Pederson probably knew he was going to be facing some retribution once he served his time in the sin bin, and it didn’t take long for him to accept a challenge from Trent Frederic, the fiery Bruins winger who’s engaged in his fair share of donnybrooks since getting into a fight in the first NHL game he ever played.
Plenty of hockey fights are largely harmless affairs, but Frederic vs. Pederson was a very notable exception, as the former only needed a single punch to send his opponent down to the ice before the refs stepped in to prevent any further harm (Pederson was also briefly sent to the locker room to be screened for a potential concussion).
Trent Frederic drops Lane Pederson to the ice with one punch. pic.twitter.com/KiSHyEd7eo
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) March 31, 2023
Fredic eventually saw his team walk away with the W after David Pastranak netted the overtime winner to help the Bruins set the record for the most single-season wins in franchise history and secure home-ice advantage in the playoffs by officially clinching the Presidents’ Trophy.