By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Chuck D and Flavor Flav. Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge.
Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk — fresh off taking a Nazem Kadri cross-check to the head in Game 2 — now shares a name with these guys, as he’s walking into tonight’s Game 3 between the B’s and Maple Leafs as Public Enemy No. 1 in Toronto.
“I’ve never really been that before — Public Enemy No. 1,” DeBrusk admitted after the B’s morning skate at Scotiabank Arena. “In saying that, I think we are focused on the game tonight as a team. No matter what the distractions were off the ice, we agreed as a group we’d keep it internally and I think that helps, especially when things get out of hand.”
“It’s a long series so no matter the situation you still have to play the right way, try to grab momentum, and you play right to the end,” Maple Leafs center John Tavares said following Game 2. “Obviously we don’t want to get away from what we want to do well, we know they’re going to push back and play hard so we just have to continue to play our game.”
So, regarding any potential revenge for DeBrusk — whether it be for his knee-on-knee collision with Kadri, his hit on veteran Patrick Marleau, or elbow on Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott — on the part of a Leafs team not exactly built on revenge, No. 74 is just focused on keeping his head on a swivel.
“You have to understand that it’s a physical game out there,” DeBrusk said. “I licked my wounds a little bit after Game 1 so I understand that’s how this series is going to be played. It doesn’t change my game, in a sense it just makes me more aware on the ice.”
The Bruins, meanwhile, are probably just happy to see that they’ll indeed have the 22-year-old winger in their lineup after feeling iffy about his postgame concussion tests following that aforementioned cross-check to the head.