Boston Bruins

Nov 20, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers left wing Joel Farabee (86) fights with Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The present and the future of the team, Charlie McAvoy truly is a do-it-all defenseman for the Bruins.

That, as it turned out Saturday night in Philadelphia, included dropping the gloves to send a message to the Flyers’ Joel Farabee and engage in his first fight of the 2021-22 season.

As noted by NESN’s Jack Edwards, this was some Terrier-on-Terrier crime, as both combatants played their college hockey at Boston University. (The two were never teammates at the school, however, as McAvoy jumped to the pro game following the 2016-17 Terriers season, while Farabee did a one-and-done on Comm Ave. in 2018-19.)

But this fight wasn’t about best postgame spots in the area, as noted by McAvoy.

“The shift before, they kind of went after [Patrice Bergeron], which I don’t think anyone really appreciates. Then I got kind of slashed in the back of the leg for I don’t even know really for any reason after a play, and I was just a little bit heated,” McAvoy offered. “Things happen in hockey. It moves fast. I didn’t necessarily seek [Farabee] out and ask for that to happen.”

“They were physical, took advantage of it, and then Charlie McAvoy decided to sort of push back and ends up in a scrap,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the victory. “I’m sure that got us going. I know it does. You know, [McAvoy] doesn’t fight very often. I’m sure Farabee doesn’t either. They’re key guys on each team. But that’s what happened.

“It was a little bit of, ‘Hey, you got us, we got you’ and build off that.”

The fight certainly seemed to help the Bruins more than the Flyers, as the Bruins broke out of the tie and scored three unanswered goals following the McAvoy-Farabee bout.

“I think cooler heads prevail afterwards,” said McAvoy. “But in the thick of it, it was just something that happened like all of them. And hopefully it lifted our team and we ended up winning. So I guess it all worked out.”

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.