Habs' Budaj has history with Bruins

BOSTON -- Peter Budaj, the Canadiens' starting goaltender for Sunday’s game against the Bruins, has an interesting history against the Boston organization.

During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Budaj was a prospect in the Colorado Avalanche organization and playing for their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. On Nov. 12, 2004, Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, hosted the Bears at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.

I was covering the P-Bruins that season for the Providence Journal and was working the game when an all-out melee erupted behind the teams’ benches in the lower concourse near the locker rooms.

The only players remaining on the ice were Budaj and Providence goalie Hannu Toivonen. They began to pass the puck back and forth from their respective goal creases before the two skated toward center ice and dropped the gloves. It was a decent fight between the two masked men and the fans certainly enjoyed it. (See video above.)

Since there were no officials on the ice, once Toivonen fell to the ice, P-Bruins teammate Brendan Walsh jumped in to separate the goaltenders.

Fast forward to Sunday’s game: Budaj (2-1-1, 2.45 GAA, .905 SP) will start for the Habs against the Bruins and Tuukka Rask (11-1-2/1.82/.933).