Laperriere: "I Won't Fight Boogaard"
(from the Minneapolis Star Tribune)
By Michael Russo
April 8, 2008 - When the Wild and Anaheim Ducks met earlier this season, Ducks veteran Brad May felt he had no choice but to fight Derek Boogaard and "answer the bell" for sucker-punching non-pugilist Kim Johnsson in last year's playoffs.
But Colorado Avalanche forward Ian Laperriere, fresh off repeatedly punching Wild star Marian Gaborik with his gloves still on in Sunday's regular-season finale, made clear Monday he has no plans to drop the gloves with the "Boogeyman" when the Wild and Avalanche open the Western Conference quarterfinals Wednesday in St. Paul.
"I won't fight Boogaard. He knows that," said Laperriere, 34, a 14-year vet who's been in 161 fights. "The guy's 6-7, 270. I don't want anything to do with that.
"But if he wants to take penalties on me and chase me all night, be my guest. We'll be on the power play and we'll win games like that."
Laperriere might be an actor -- he played Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion in the motion picture "The Rocket" -- but he isn't a good enough actor to deny that he went after Gaborik on Sunday (fight can be seen on wildenforcers.com).
He clearly was trying to get inside Gaborik's head with the playoff series on the horizon.
"You know what, he started punching me, so I punched back," Laperriere said. "He should know better. If you punch me with no time on the clock, I'll punch back."
Midway through the third period, Laperriere also nailed Gaborik with a borderline dirty check, but he thinks it's ludicrous that his treatment of Gaborik has become an issue.
Laperriere brought up Wild defenseman Brent Burns' epic physical battle with Peter Forsberg during the Wild's 3-1 victory March 17.
"Go back to that game in Minnesota, they played Peter that way," Laperriere said. "OK, they might not have punched Peter in the face four times in a row like I did [to Gaborik], but overall, Peter had a much tougher night than Gaborik had [Sunday].
"Gaborik is a guy you've got to play hard. He's a guy we're going to have to keep an eye on all series. If not, he's going to hurt you."
Bottom line: Gaborik should expect to be targeted, as should Forsberg.
Todd Fedoruk is a given to play every playoff game, but it's not known if Wild coach Jacques Lemaire will dress both Boogaard and Chris Simon in the same games.
If he does play, Simon said, "You always remember things. We're going to play hard, but stick within the rules. I think Gabby did a great job, an amazing job [on Laperriere]. But, you know, we need him playing hockey."