NHL: Are the Boston Bruins a Dirty Team? Max Pacioretty Doesn't Think So

Patrick HoldenContributor IJanuary 12, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on December 28, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Bruins defeated the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If there is one single player in the National Hockey League right now who has the right to call the Boston Bruins a dirty team, it may be Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty. However, Pacioretty does not think so. 

“They play a certain way and I think that’s why they’re successful. To some extent, I wish we played a little more like them, maybe not as much as they do, but they’re definitely an intimidating team to play against and that’s why they’re successful. They have so many guys who can step up, and I’m not just talking about fighting, I’m talking about being physical.”

Pacioretty was the victim of a horrendous injury at the hands of Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara when he collided with the center stanchion between the two benches back on March 8, 2011 at the Bell Centre. 

Certainly Max Pacioretty has every right to dislike the Bruins and call them dirty, however he thinks otherwise. In the wake of the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks clash, Pacioretty offers a breath of fresh air and perspective on the entire situation. 

The question of whether Boston plays dirty has certainly been revisited after the comments by Vancouver players, staff, and columnists about how the Bruins approach the game of hockey. 

Boston and Vancouver approach the game very differently. Vancouver tries to play a more finesse game, draw penalties and capitalize on the man-advantage while Boston plays a more physically grinding game.

The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins have the best rivalry in the NHL, (in all of sports if you ask me) and are two teams that genuinely dislike each other. When a statement like this is made, I do not think it can be dismissed.

Perhaps Pacioretty's input on the situation could sway the general NHL fan's opinion that the Bruins play a dirty game. 

The debate between "physical" and "dirty" is certainly a hot button issue right now in regards to the Boston Bruins.  The Bruins certainly are a physical team, perhaps the most physical in the entire NHL. 

The Bruins certainly have players who play on the edge, most notably Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand, but to label the entire team as dirty may be a bit extreme. I wouldn't say a Boston Bruin plays to hurt people, however Alain Vigneault may disagree.

The Boston Bruins have had some controversial incidents involving discipline in recent memory, most notably Marchand's low-bridge on Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo.  The issue certainly has sparked some lively debates among NHL enthusiasts. 

Perhaps Max Pacioretty's statement about the matter will add a new element to the evolving debate. What do you think: Do the Boston Bruins play a dirty game? Share your opinion in the comments.