Last week, Dave Caldwell of the New York Times detailed how fighting majors in the NHL are up 15 percent from last season and 75 percent over three years ago.
Oddly enough, the Boston Bruins — widely accepted as one of the toughest teams in the NHL — aren’t following that trend. Last season through Dec. 29, the Bruins had compiled 29 fighting majors, according to hockeyfights.com. The Bruins finished the regular season with 52 fighting majors.
Through today, the Bruins of this season have compiled just 22 fighting majors, led by 10 from Shawn Thornton (no surprise there).
MK: Perhaps opposing teams are just too demoralized by the Bruins’ fine overall play to be bothered fighting.
More likely, the Bruins were just ahead of the curve last year as far as getting tougher is concerned. The Bruins of 2006-07 only registered 29 fighting majors all season. So last year’s increase was a huge leap. Now while the Bruins are on only a little slower pace in the pugilistic department, the rest of the league is starting to catch up. Let’s face it, toughness will never go out of style — especially as long rugged squads like the current Bruins are enjoying success.
And here’s a look at Thornton’s last bout, a battle with New Jersey’s Mike Rupp: