Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

Jan 5, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Brendan Lemieux (48) and Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) fight in the third period at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

  • When it comes to fighting Brendan Lemieux, you don’t have to ask Bruins forward Trent Frederic twice.

    In fact, the 24-year-old Frederic seemed more than happy to drop the gloves with the LA agitator in the middle frame of Thursday’s victory over the Kings.

    Thrilled, one might even say.

  • The fight served as a warm-up to what was a two-goal third period for Frederic, who now has a career-high nine goals on the season, and just the latest chapter of a rivalry that Frederic simply can’t pass on furthering.

    “[Lemieux] was kind of running around in the first, so I definitely thought about it [then],” Frederic told Sophia Jurksztowicz during the NESN postgame show. “And when he came up to me, I can’t ever say no to him.

    “I’m not a big fan of him, so every chance I get, I try to [fight him].”

    The ‘running around’ comment is likely a reference to Lemieux’s first-period hit on Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, and as for the not being able to say no to Lemieux, that’s certainly true, as this was the third fight between the two players since Frederic made the jump as a full-time NHLer in 2021.

  • And as for Frederic’s disdain for the son of ex-Bruins nemesis Claude Lemieux, well, that’s nothing new either.

    Back in 2021, Frederic was forthright and admitted that he was jealous that then-teammate Nick Ritchie got Lemieux to drop the gloves with him. During that same Zoom call with the media (I don’t miss those days), Frederic refused to call Lemieux by name, instead referring to him as only “number 48.”

    Frederic had constant issues with Lemieux during that pandemic-delayed 2021 season during Lemieux’s run with the Rangers, and there’s little doubt that Frederic’s full ‘this guy is bad and I don’t care because I want you all to know it’ moment came when Lemieux delivered a cheap-as-hell hit on Frederic into an open bench door after a dump-and-change in a Mar. 13, 2021 showdown at TD Garden.

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  • It certainly doesn’t help that Lemieux also has issues with Senators captain Brady Tkachuk, a childhood friend of Frederic, after Lemieux allegedly bit him during a Nov. 2021 contest.

    “The guy’s just a joke,” Tkachuk said of Lemieux back then. “He shouldn’t be in the league. This guy’s gutless. No other team wants him. He’s going to keep begging to be in the NHL, but no other team wants him, he’s an absolute joke. I can’t even wrap my head around it. People don’t even do this. He’s just a bad guy.

    “He’s just a complete brick head. He’s got nothing up there. Bad guy, bad player, but what a joke he is.”

    Can’t imagine Frederic disagrees with any of that.

  • Jan 5, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles Kings left wing Brendan Lemieux (48) and Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) fight in the third period at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 5, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Brendan Lemieux (48) and Boston Bruins center Trent Frederic (11) fight in the third period at Crypto.com Arena. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

  • And since that spirited 2021 battle involving both himself and his friends, Frederic has answered with glee every single time Lemieux has looked his way, and that’s clearly unlikely to change moving forward.

    But barring a trade involving Lemieux, Thursday marked the end of the 2022-23 version of Lemieux vs. Frederic, meaning round four won’t come until next season at the very earliest.

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