Rugged Bruins winger Milan Lucic wasn’t shy about joining in the debate over the staged fight between the Leafs’ Frazer McLaren and Ottawa’s Dave Dziurzynski on Wednesday night.

While Lucic felt bad for the Sens rookie, who suffered a concussion, he has the utmost respect for McLaren, who he tussled with as a junior in the Western Hockey League.

“I had three fights with him over the two years we played against each other,” Lucic said following the Bruins morning skate on Friday. “He was definitely a tough guy who knew how to take care of himself. He’s shown that with what he’s done so far this year.

“He’s got size, he’s got long arms. He can brawl. He can play any way you want.”

OTHER KESSEL ON FIRE

Leafs sniper Phil Kessel didn’t light it up as a goal scorer during the first half of the NHL season, but another family member hasn’t had such problems.

Kessel’s sister, Amanda Kessel — a junior at the University of Minnesota — has been named as one of three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award honouring the best player in NCAA women’s hockey.

Kessel has been on fire this season, a big reason her team is undefeated with a 36-0 record. In 32 games, she has 43 goals and 51 assists for 94 points. Included in that run are 28 multiple-point games and 11 with at least four points. Minnesota teammates Megan Bozek and Noora Raty, a Finnish-born goalie, are on the ballot, too.