Squaring off

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February 11, 2011

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Kevin Paul Dupont’s breakdown of the Bruins-Canadiens fight card at TD Garden Wednesday night, in a game that featured 182 penalty minutes and was won by Boston, 8-6:

Tim Thomas (5-11/201, age 36) vs. Carey Price (6-3/219, age 23)

Winner: Price via slip ’n’ fall.
Ringside view: Thomas hopes to use his right hand to grab Price around the collar, then pummel the Habs goaltender with a flurry of lefts. Bad initial grip causes Thomas to stumble, much to his good fortune, because the slip also causes Price to miss with a right. Bout ends with the combatants upright, virtually hugging each other, smiling, and Thomas thanking Price for not hammering him while vulnerable. “He followed fighters’ manners,’’ says Thomas.

David Krejci
(6-0/177, age 24) vs. Benoit Pouliot (6-3/199, age 24)
Winner: Pouliot via quick TKO.
Ringside view: Over virtually before it begins, with the mild-mannered Krejci fortunate that the much bigger Pouliot also rarely drops the mitts. Krejci, the skilled Czech pivot, is able to withstand stiff hits but is not trained in the sweet science. Pouliot drops him with a right hand to the kisser, the only punch to land in the matchup, and Krejci heads straight to the dressing room, thanking his lucky stars that he’s not seeing stars.

Andrew Ference (5-11/189, age 31) vs. Travis Moen (6-2/215, age 28)
Moen on points, scoring with more rights.
Ringside view: Dustup is triggered by Moen’s objection to Ference using his stick to chop Tomas Plekanec’s legs in the corner. By virtue of his size and longer reach, Moen is able to tag Ference around the head and shoulders with a number of rights. Ference hangs tough and delivers a couple of good return shots just before the linesmen tie up the combatants.

Shawn Thornton (6-2/217, age 33) vs. Roman Hamrlik (6-2/207, age 36)
Winner: Draw.
Ringside view: The night’s “Odd Couple’’ matchup, with Thornton, a career pugilist selected 190th in the 1997 draft, taking on the slick and skilled Hamrlik, No. 1 pick in the ’92 draft. Frog vs. Prince. Hamrlik wants no part of it from the start and tries to escape as linesmen attempt to stop it. “Let ’em go! Let ’em go!’’ hollers Thornton’s teammate, Mark Recchi. Why? “Because,’’ says Recchi, “Hamrlik hit him with a cheap shot. Let them settle it.’’ Not surprisingly, the whole thing ends up more tug than slug.

Johnny Boychuk (6-2/225, age 27) vs. Jaroslav Spacek (6-0/210, age 37)
Winner: Boychuk via beatdown.
Ringside view: One decade and a world of difference between these blue liners. Johnny Rocket first tattoos the skilled Czech with a couple of rights, then rocks him with a left, with Spacek landing on his back and Boychuk resisting any urge to beat him through the floor all the way to Beijing. Looked like the Albertan-born Boychuk was prepping for the calf-tying competition at this year’s Calgary Stampede.

Greg Campbell (6-0/197, age 27) vs. Tom Pyatt (5-11, 187, age 23)
Winner: Campbell via a pound of flesh.
Ringside view: Oh, the humanity. After an initial tussle along the rear wall that was fairly tame, the compact Campbell repeatedly drives piston-like lefts into the kisser of his hunkered-over opponent. A scary, almost cartoon-like display by Campbell, the son of league disciplinarian Colin Campbell, who must have taught his kid a thing or two about taking people to the woodshed. Pyatt’s face is a bloody mess when the bout comes to a merciful end.

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