Former Maple Leafs' GM Brian Burke promised truculence and testosterone and all those other big words when he joined the club in 2008, and now coach Randy Carlyle is delivering it.
One of the reasons why Burke hired Carlyle near the end of last season was he felt that former coach Ron Wilson wasn't getting his troops to play tough enough. In 82 games last season, the Leafs were involved in all of 35 fights.
With defenceman Mark Fraser dancing with Bruins winger Lane MacDermid twice on Saturday night, the Leafs already have nine fights in eight games, three each by Fraser, Colton Orr and Mike Brown. Did somebody say 'Old Time Hockey'?
The Leafs took a step this week to get even tougher, claiming rugged forward Frazer McLaren off waivers from the San Jose Sharks. McLaren spent part of five seasons in the WHL and was known for his toughness.
In fact, the Bruins' Milan Lucic, one of the NHL's best fighters, who faced McLaren during his junior career with the Vancouver Giants, had high praise for McLaren as a pugilist.
"I had a few tussles in junior with him. Three," said Lucic, following Saturday's morning skate. "He's the only guy who ever put me on my back (in a fight)."
Leafs in fighting form
Toronto Sun | Feb 3