Lane Pederson probably wishes the refs had just upheld the five-minute major call against them. That would have come with a game misconduct, ending his night.
Bruins clinch Presidents' Trophy with fight-filled win over Columbus
Instead, his crosscheck to the head of Patrice Bergeron during the second period of Thursday's Bruins-Blue Jackets game -- which Boston ultimately won 2-1 in overtime -- was inexplicably reduced to a two-minute minor, and Pederson was allowed to see the ice again. When he did, it didn't go well for him.
On his first shift after the penalty, Trent Frederic challenged Pederson to a fight, and Pederson agreed to answer for his crimes. It wasn't much of a fight, with Frederic dropping Pederson to the ice with one punch.
Pederson went back to the locker room rather than the penalty box, presumably for a concussion evaluation. He had not returned as of the end of the second period.
While the Bruins will celebrate Frederic defending his captain, it's a mystery why the refs and the league even allowed it to come to that. Pederson's crosscheck was directly to the side of Bergeron's head, and it drew blood from his ear. It was seemingly a textbook major penalty, similar to the one A.J. Greer was called for and later suspended one game for last week when he crosschecked Montreal's Mike Hoffman in the chin and cut him.
Bergeron played the remainder of the second period. His return to the Bruins' bench for the start of the third was delayed, but he was back on the ice just a couple minutes into the period.
Frederic's one-punch KO of Pederson was the second fight of the period, with a matchup between the NHL's best team and one of its worst developing into a chippier affair than many would have predicted.
Earlier in the second, Jakub Lauko dropped the gloves with Columbus' Billy Sweezey, a Hanson native playing in front of friends and family. That was a much more even fight than Frederic-Pederson, with both landing several good punches. Nick Foligno was in the NESN booth at the time, cheering on Lauko and referring to him as "nephew" -- a play on the Uncle Nick persona Foligno has taken on for younger players like Lauko.
The reaction from Sweezey's parents in the stands was that of a true Bostonian:
In the third period, there would be a third fight of the night when Brandon Carlo and Boone Jenner dropped the gloves after a hit from behind by Jenner on Carlo went uncalled.