MONTREAL — They had two conversations about it, but Matt Carkner and Derek Boogaard never did drop the gloves Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Carkner said Monday he has no problem fighting the Rangers enforcer, who is generally considered the NHL’s toughest dude and, at 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, three inches taller and more than 25 pounds heavier than him.
But the timing has to be right.
“The first one he asked me to go, and I was quite honestly pretty tired from a long shift. So I said, ‘Beat it,’ ” the Senators defenceman said. “You can’t give him an advantage. He’s already got a huge (size) advantage.
“Then when we took a penalty I said to him, ‘OK, now’s your chance. If you want to go me, go me right now.’ And he just said, ‘Expletive deleted, off.’
“He was being smart.
“I only saw him once in the first period, and in the third. I thought if we needed it, I was going to tangle, give us some energy. But at the time he asked me, we had all the momentum.”
Carkner disagreed that fighting Boogaard is a little like throwing himself to the lions.
“He’s tough, but if you do pretty decent against a guy like that, it’s energy (for the team),” he said. “I’d take my lumps, and I could throw a few in there, you never know what happens in a fight.
“I’ve fought him before, in the minors. It was all right. I think it was a quick one. A few lefties and we went down.
“You know against those guys, they can do a lot of damage. They have a lot of leverage. It’s like 270 pounds behind his punch. It’s a lot of weight. But you’ve just got to be smart. I don’t think you want to throw bomb-for-bomb against a guy like that. Especially when you’re not always going to reach him and he’s going to reach you every time. So you get in tight, get a few licks in here and there, tie him up, tire him out, grapple, take him down on the ground, ground and pound.
“Get him in the guillotine and see what happens.”
The Rangers are in Ottawa on Thursday night.