The last time the Bruins met up with Dallas, the teams staged three fights in the first four seconds of the game last February at the TD Garden.
Many are hoping to see the same type of fireworks tonight when the two teams meet in a New Year’s Eve showdown in Big D. Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan, however, wants one of his more rambunctious players to rein himself in a bit tonight.
Forward Steve Ott, one of the league’s premier mayhem makers, dropped the gloves with Gregory Campbell in that game last winter. Those two players have a history dating back to a dangerous Ott hit when Campbell was still with Florida. Ott also had run-ins with the Bruins during the teams’ meeting back in 2008, which was a game many point to as when the Claude Julien Bruins really started to bond and become a perennially tough team to play against.
Yesterday Gulutzan was asked on WTCK-AM about what he expects in terms of physical play from Ott and fellow rugged forward Adam Burish, who was also turned pugilist in the first minute of last season’s game. Here was his response, via DallasNews.com:
I think Burish is a guy that is a real smart player and there wasn’t an on-going feud with Bur. It was just in the heat of the battle, and he was battling like any other. With Ott, there’s a running feud there between him and Campbell and he’d probably be the guy I’d speak to. Otter’s playing top-6 minutes for us and playing 18 to 20 minutes a night and taking key faceoffs. Mr. Campbell there is a real hard-working gritty player who plays PK, but he’s certainly not on the ice as much as Otter. We don’t want that exchange just for us. In our thought process, to try to win the game, we don’t need a guy playing 20 minutes out five here.
So either Gulutzan is trying to make sure that anything that happens tonight doesn’t look premeditated are he really wants Ott to stay out of trouble. We’ll see if the irritating Ott can adhere to his coach’s directions tonight after the puck drops at 8 p.m. EST.