Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Will Shawn Thornton Sit Longer than John Scott?

Raise your hand if the Boston Bruins aren’t exactly your favourite team in league. There’s been a lot of bad blood between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins since the Milan Lucic and Ryan Miller incident. There’s been a lot of talk about whether the Bruins are a dirty team and in order to combat their physical play the Sabres themselves acquired John Scott. For the most part, the Bruins have managed to keep their play in check as they beat down on opponents while abiding to the NHL rules, but tonight things turned ugly in Boston.

Here’s how the situation started; A controversial big, and clean, hit delivered by Brooks Orpik on the Bruins Loui Erikkson left Erikkson in distress, but Orpik

was not assessed a penalty. Orpik, who isn’t a fighter and is one of the players who doesn’t like fighting, refused to drop the gloves with Shawn Thornton after the hit. A few shifts later James Neal had a dirty knee-on-head hit with Brad Marchand who was already laying on the ice.

Shawn Thornton had seen enough of his team getting beat up and decided that it was his job as enforcer to make a statement, and make a statement he did. After the whistle and during a scrum, Thornton found Orpik and decided to extract some revenge; He slew-footed Orpik and when he fell to the ice, Thornton proceeded to punch him in the head a few times for good measure.

The incident left Brooks Orpik unconscious. He was taken off on a stretcher and taken directly to hospital where it was reported he was conscious. Undoubtedly the Penguins will be without the services of Orpik for the foreseeable future, the question is how long Shawn Thornton should and will sit for?

There is little question that Thornton will be suspended, it’s just a matter of how long. What Thornton did would be classified as assault if it wasn’t done inside a hockey rink. So today’s poll is all about Shawn Thornton and how long he will be sitting for.

The Buffalo Sabres and John Scott specifically have been painted in a pretty black light based on some physical plays earlier in the year. Scott delivered a questionable hit which ultimately left him suspended for 7 games. His hit drew a lot of outcry about the role players, like Scott have in the game and some even went as far to say they shouldn’t be in the game.

Hits like the one John Scott delivered on Loui Erikkson are hits that happen often in the midst of a game and have almost become the norm in the game today. When a head hit is delivered few are surprised. But taking an unsuspecting player and sucker punching them while they lay defenceless on the ice is something that has no place in hockey.

After the game Shawn Thornton said he had already heard from Brendan Shanahan and felt sick because of his actions. Hopefully the NHL won’t let the Bruins get off with such a dangerous incident.

What Thornton did brings back memories of Todd Bertuzzi and his debatable hit and we all know what happened there. While I doubt Thornton will be punished nearly as bad, he does deserve a severe punishment.

Today we’re asking you guys how long Shawn Thornton deserves to sit for? Will it be longer than Scott’s hit?

How Long Will Shawn Thornton Sit?

View Results

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Tags: Brooks Orpik Buffalo Sabres Shawn Thornton

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  • Joe

    I answered less than 10 but i believe he should be suspended the entire season and neal should sit for at least 10 for kneein someone in the head. But given shanahans history im sure theyll receive less than the sabres players

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I would probably give him the entire season as well but he probably won’t sit much more than 10. I agree that Neal should be getting more than the 5 is. Shanahan rules with a messed up measuring stick thats for sure.

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  • wolfdoctor

    I’m a little confused Caitlin. Are we voting on how long he deserves to sit (20) or how long he will sit (less than 10)?

    BTW, if it were a Sabre he’d sit for 20 games. If he were a Leaf he’d sit for 3 games.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Sorry about that. You can vote either way… mainly on how long you think he should sit.
      Yes if he was a Sabre he’d be on his way to jail at this point haha

    • Jes

      He’d be kicked out of the NHL if he was a Sabre.

      • JHizzle75

        Especially if his name was Patrick Kaleta…..

        • Eric Lencher

          Shawn Thornton has played over a decade in the NHL and not only has he never been suspended, he is the most respected enforcer in the NHL. Patrick kaleta has a history of being suspended, so obviously as a repeat offender, he would get a longer suspension. It has nothing to do with the uniform he is wearing you idiot.

          • JHizzle75

            Really? Why did our team decide to go out and get a guy like Scott? Yeah, that’s right. Lucic. What happened in the aftermath was the reason we have Scott.
            If you visited this site last week, you would realize that most of us “stupid” fans on here don’t want Scott,either. Kaleta also gives Buffalo a bad name, not many will argue with that. You are blinded by your team loyalty and can’t see what is painfully obvious to unbiased hockey fans. What Thornton did was dirty. You say they are friends? That’s not how I treat my friends, that’s for sure. You also seem to be saying that a player with a history of concussions should not have to take a hit? Maybe they should just throw the red jersey on him during the game so no one touches him. Don’t like getting hit? Maybe he’s in the wrong sport.

          • Eric Lencher

            Let me address your stupidity 1 comment at a time. Did Lucic hit Miller, who came way out of his net? Yes. He should have avoided him, but he didn’t, however your team LIED and said Miller was concussed in order to induce a suspension. Lucic did not target the head, and after reviewing the play, Shanahan determined that the proper call of interference was called.
            Milan Lucic, unlike Orpik, MANNED UP, and took off his helmet and visor and fought Gaustad to answer for the hit in the next game against Buffalo. That’s what men of honor do. Of course, because you are tired of Lucic beating the crap out of your team, you hate him.
            Lucic has single handedly destroyed your team! lol They went out and got Scott and guys like Ott and Kaleta, and went from being a playoff team before the Miller hit, to being the joke of the NHL. Bad signings like Leino and Erhoff have contributed as well.
            The bottom line is that you are letting your biased hatred for Boston impact what should be a logical observation, and Shanahan’s decision should be based on logic, not an overreaction. 6-10 games is logical for what he did.

          • Richard Spalding

            Forget this guy – he keeps calling people stupid and then proceeds to make idiotic comments. Don’t feed the troll. :)

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  • Jes

    Taking into fact that he is on a NHL favored team I don’t see much more then 8 games even though he should get like 20+ games.

    Pretty retarded IMO. I bet Neal will get more games lol.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Neal will have less than 5 and Thornton is pretty much guaranteed at least 6 with an in person hearing. But considering it is the Bruins I’m not expecting too much punishment for something that would get someone thrown in jail if it weren’t done on an ice rink.

      • Jes

        I know Caitlin. For some reason it seems that the NHL always rules in favor of the original 6. I dunno if it’s just me eon thinks that?

        • Caitlin Campbell

          I haven’t looked at it from the original 6 perspective but there are definitely teams that get favoured.

  • Dano

    I dont understand how there can be a comparison to the incidents between Scott hitting Someone ( while play is going ) and someone taking someone after play is dead, slew-footing them to the ice, then throwing a few to the guys face.

    People will say Scott targeted the head or hes too big or he intentionally did something.. it was during play and only between 2 players.

    This though? Old time hockey. I cant say I support what Thorts did, but I know why and the reasoning behind it. He should have forced the guy to face him and start throwing. But he didnt. He went after play was already called..

    Scott received 7 games for what could be called a ‘ hockey play ‘. He checked/hit someone.

    I wouldnt call what Thorts did a ‘ fight ‘ exactly. Its something very out of character for him ( jumping someone ).

    Methinks he sees 20+ games. With the anti-fighting crowd at a full uproar this season and ‘ concussions ‘ being a bad word in sports, the league cant sit back on it.

    • JHizzle75

      For the record, Thornton DID try to engage Orpik in a fight, but Orpik wanted nothing to do with him. You shouldn’t have to tangle with the other teams enforcer for throwing a clean, hard hockey hit. I think he’s done for 20 games, minimum.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I too understand why he went after Orpik and that Orpik wouldn’t fight but at the same time it doesn’t make what Thornton did write IMO. I don’t think Orpik should be forced to fight after he delivered a CLEAN hit.

      • JHizzle75

        You understand why he went after Orpik??? There’s too much over-reaction to clean hits in the NHL now. Seems like every time there is a clean, hard hit someone has to defend the guy who got hit. Last time I checked, it was OK to hit people in a hockey game, as long as it was a clean hit. Why do you say you understand what Thornton did?

        • Caitlin Campbell

          I understand why he went after Orpik in the sense that he was tired of seeing his teammates get beat up. I think he should have gone after Neal considering he actually broke the rules, but I mean I understand why Thornton was upset.

          • JHizzle75

            So Neal got 5. What is Thornton going to get?

          • Caitlin Campbell

            I’d say 10 is the bare minimum for Thornton but could be up around 12

          • JHizzle75

            For the record. What do you think he would get if he did that to Neal instead of Orpik?

        • Richard Spalding

          I knew what CC meant, but you’re right: any more, players want to challenge every clean, hard hit. Getting a bit ridiculous.

      • Dano

        Maybe Thorts should have took a good run at Crosby or Malkin? I dunno. He should have stopped at the slew foot, He would have probably only taken a game misconduct and not the full ‘ Office Package ‘.

        • Eric Lencher

          He threw 2 short punches at him, and Orpik Flukishly got KO’d. The result is what’s scary. The Neal kneeing looked far more deliberate and dangerous to me, but both deserve the 5-8 games IMO. You have to take into account Orpik was hurt, so that tacks on a couple of games to Shawn. He should get 7 or 8. However, unlike other enforcers, Shawn excepted responsibility after the game. John Scott hid from the media, as did his coach.

          • Dano

            Couple things..

            “He threw 2 short punches at him, and Orpik Flukishly got KO’d.”

            Go to youtube and find a slow motion video of it. The first swing connected with an elbow. Not intentionally from what I saw in my viewing, but an elbow none the less.

            Your crying about John Scott being a coward? Lets look at some other comments of yours on discuss forums, ok?

            “This thread confirms the stupidity of the Sabres fanbase!”


            “How could I possibly get f**ked over by a black woman? I would never lower myself to associate with one in the first place. LMFAONow go get your f**king shine box, nigga. Massa needs a shine”

            Some of your thoughts on Black people are.. disturbing.. being honest, there really shouldnt be a place on these forums for them.

          • Eric Lencher

            said it was cowardly to hide from the media after you commit a suspendable act. Thornton faced the media, which takes courage. And while John Scott is the best fighter in the NHL today, he is the most useless player in the leage, and I can play hockey better than he can. (true story)

            Next, the comment I made regarding the stupidity of the Sabres fanbase was based on the poll numbers which indicated that over 70% of responding fans believed that Thornton should get 15 games or more. That’s just silly. Zac Rinaldo pulled a player unwilling to fight, down to the ice TONIGHT and punched him. But because he wasn’t KO’d, nobody will give it a second thought.

            Thirdly, in the post you are referring to where I made racially insensitive comments,I was replying to someone who claimed that all white men are child molesters and serial killers, and that all white women deserved to be raped by black men because they benefited from slavery. Is what I said stupid, and intended to antagonize? Absolutely! As was their racist comments against whites. (They were made on World Star Hip Hop, Chief, so get a grip)

    • Richard Spalding

      “I dont understand how there can be a comparison to the incidents between Scott hitting Someone ( while play is going ) and someone taking someone after play is dead”

      Of course we don’t understand how there is even a comparison – we’re just stupid Sabres fans! The Bruins are never wrong, Dano.. Never. Sorry – I was channeling our new troll. :D

      • Dano

        New troll? I dunno about that. I read some comments and hoped it was a ‘ never has been ‘ type. Give then the Bettman package and then the gate before it even starts. I dunno if the guy is even a Bruins fan or not.. it really doesnt matter.

        As you quoted, the differences are quite obvious.. at least to those of us having some form of reason. ;)

        • Richard Spalding

          It really is obvious. And people keep saying “Thornton’s not a bad guy.” Well, Scott had never been suspended before this year, either. I dislike arguing with fans who are so blinded – jeez, even my eight-year old can hold a rational conversation.

          • Dano

            I have a perspective thats really.. Im trying to think of the best verbage.. ‘ 2 sided ‘. Not ‘ 2 faced ‘, but 2 sided.

            I grew up watching what I call ‘ real hockey ‘. It was a grinding game. You could tell whom played hockey by how many teeth they were missing and how many scars they had around their eyes. The players had off-season jobs and usually grew up on the farmlands somewhere in Canada.

            Today, players look like models of some kind. They are from all walks of life, all nationallities.. The game is a LOT different.

            About the only thing in common is the playing surface, skates, sticks and a puck in the net is a ‘ goal ‘.

            At ont time, Scott and Thorts would be considered the same, now, with ‘ correctness ‘ involved, one is called a ‘ goon ‘ and the other is a ‘ nice guy ‘.

            Have either been to an all-star game? Not as a spectator, but to play in it? Have either of them played as a ‘ scoring ‘ type? Neither of them kill off penalties or go out on the power play..

            *I* see no difference. My ‘ old ‘ perspective is they both represent their teams in the same way. When something needs to be done and their teams cant afford to have a ‘ star ‘ in the box, they do what their job dictates.

            Its a job no ‘ Hockey player ‘ wants, but its the job every team-mate appreciates your doing.

            Your 8 yr old will never see the game the way my eyes have ( and probably yours as well from your younger years ). He will watch an old film and say ‘ Holy crap dad! Did you see that? a hipcheck? They DID exist?!?! Whats with the guy swinging that stick! ‘. Its a different world and a different game.

            Theres very few ‘ warriors ‘ left. The ‘ New ‘ crowd has the reigns and the game is becoming what they want with no regards to the traditions of the past. Its just like the direction society is taking as a whole.

          • Richard Spalding

            I know what you’re saying, and the more we talk the more I see the “rats” to which you are referring, the little punks who take cheap shots and whacks with their sticks without fear of getting pounded. If the league wants to get rid of enforcers, they need to do a far better job with these rats.

            My 8 year-old was watching the Pens-Blue jackets game with me last night, and we got started on the topic of fighting. I didn’t tell him that fighting was wrong (and it doesn’t matter much, as it will be a while before he is truly in a position to worry about it) but I did tell him that there were times when you had to be willing to fight, and that my only requirements are that the fight be warranted, and mutual. He actually saw a clip of the Bertuzzi mugging and wanted to know why Bertuzzi was allowed to play hockey ever again. He’s a physical kid who likes contact (he went to a skate ‘n shoot Friday and was nailing his teammates!) and will be a pretty good fighter, but he’s also the kid who knocked someone on their ass this Saturday and immediately called a coach over when the kid didn’t get up. I won’t let him be a rat, that much is for sure!

          • Eric Lencher

            Let’s analyze your statement. “Scott had never been suspended before this year either.”
            That statement is PARTIALLY true, as he hadn’t been suspended by the NHL, but let’s face it. He only played in 180 games, or just over 2 seasons over a 5+ year period. He was a minor league talent who sat in the press box on most nights and watched the games from there.
            Thornton played in over 520 games before his first incident, or over six seasons worth of games.
            Let’s talk about Scott’s collegiate record at Michigan Tech. Normally I would say that these records are irrelevant, if he were an 18-21 year old kid, but John was a 24 years old when he graduated, a year OLDER than Lucic was when he hit Miller.
            Drunk Scott was menacing a couple of kids and when they got scared and got in their car & drove off, drunk Scott chased them in a car and rammed them. He was charged with 2 felonies and suspended 14 games by the NCAA.
            I guess they forgot to tell the fans in Buffalo about this when the team signed him?
            But keep deluding yourself. You are the rational one who thinks Shawn should get 20 plus games. Yup that’s rational all right! lol

          • Richard Spalding

            Will you just move on and stop trolling the site? You keep bringing up John Scott like I like him – I’ve written a few pieces about him and have even argued the Sabres should get rid of him. And you keep saying I think Thornton should get 20 + games – I never said that, either. I’m actually more pissed off by what James Neal did when he kneed Marchand. We’ve had enough of your calling readers and writers here stupid – do it again, I’ll make sure the moderator takes action.

          • Eric Lencher

            Who is trolling? You seem to be forgetting that it was you who compared what Thornton did to Scott’s hit on Eriksson. My only comparison was to how the 2 guys handled the media. I said that Thornton manned up and faced the music, and didn’t hide the way that both Scott and his coach did post game.
            you keep saying that I am calling all of your readers stupid, and you failed to mention that that conclusion was based on 70+ percent of this forum’s readers claiming that Thornton deserved 15+ games for the incident. I wasn’t trolling, but making a rational observation based on an irrational response from your forum pals.
            Next, if you can’t intelligently debate me, then stop responding. Threatening to get the moderator is what a child might do.
            I’m not swearing, nor threatening people, which is more than I can now say for you! Congratulations. I accept your surrender.

          • Richard Spalding

            I have been intelligently debating you – you’re the one running around calling people stupid. I don’t care what percentage of people who took the vote chose 15+ games; calling my readers stupid is not intelligent debate. I’m sorry you think it is, but I’m not sorry to pull rank and ask you to be polite on these forums. I get into all sorts of discussion around here without calling people names, and I ask the same of our readers. if you cannot share your opinions without insulting people, we won’t miss you.

          • Eric Lencher

            Intelligently? lol That’s debatable! You haven’t made a rational point, nor been able to refute any of what I have said. You keep harping on the fact that I made a generalization about Sabres fans being stupid, based on the vast majority of them making an irrational decision based on emotion and not logic. Have I continued to call them stupid in each of my posts? No. I have debated the incidents on their merit, but when you are unable to counter my point, you just revert to my first post where I drew that conclusion instead of challenging me with facts.
            Again, you can attempt to “pull rank” on me all you want, but at the end of the day, it will be you surrendering. In none of these replies since the first comment I made after reading the illogical, emotional response, have I sworn or called anyone stupid. But feel free to message the moderator, who is no doubt a Sabres fan, and would gladly ban me. It will just prove my point that you are less knowledgeable about the sport, and incapable of debating me rationally.

          • Richard Spalding

            “In none of these replies since the first comment I made after reading the illogical, emotional response, have I sworn or called anyone stupid.”

            100% untrue.

            Your response to jhizzle75: “Let me address your stupidity 1 comment at a time.”

            Response to Dano: “Maybe if you guys weren’t “stupid Sabres fans” you would have picked up on this?”

            Thanks for coming – I appreciate the page views, but we’re moving on.

          • Eric Lencher

            Poor little guy didn’t read the conversation with Dano where we discussed that I used quotes around my statement to denote sarcasm. (Also here’s a tip-when quoting within a quote, use single quotation marks, not double)

            I even explained this to him further on in the conversation.

            Regarding Jhizzle, why don’t you read what YOU wrote above my comment: “forget this guy – he keeps calling people stupid”

            Since I had only done it in my original post, I was again being sarcastic. I would also like to note that none of you on this forum was able to challenge anything wrotten in the post.
            Again, I accept your surrender. You cannot challenge the points, and you keep reverting (as I said you would) to my initial opening statement regarding the absurdity of the conclusion of Sabres fans regarding the poll.
            Challenge the facts if you can.
            I wont hold my breath, because both you and I know that I destroyed every single one of you on this forum. I provided facts and evidence, and you replied with emotion, unable to challenge any of the facts.

            It was thoroughly enjoyable, educating you folks on NHL hockey. Maybe some day you people in Buffalo could return the favor and educate me on….um…let’s see….shoveling maybe? LMAO

          • Dano

            Just ignore him. If he doesnt understand why, its not on you. ;)

          • Richard Spalding

            Argh! I know – arguing with people like this is like being on crack cocaine: I can’t stop!!!!

        • Eric Lencher

          Dano, I think you need to go back to the beginning of this thread and read! I made no comparison of the Scott hit to what Thornton did. I compared how Shawn manned up and spoke to the media after an incident where he was in the wrong. It was Richard who compared the 2 hits. Maybe if you guys weren’t “stupid Sabres fans” you would have picked up on this?
          You seem to be forgetting that I acknowledged that what Thornton did was wrong, and think he deserves 6-10 games. His past behavior IS A FACTOR whether you like it or not. That is one of the determining factors that Shanahan uses, as is injury and intent.
          While Thorny had bad intentions, and it looked scary and that Orpik was injured, he wasn’t. He was released from the hospital & made the team flight that night.
          Oh, and FYI I played at Boston College a couple of decades back. We weren’t the powerhouse that they are today, but we did win a Beanpot-so I know a little bit about what I’m talking about.

          • Dano

            Where to start with this ..

            “Dano, I think you need to go back to the beginning of this thread and read!”

            My reading comprehension skills arent lacking. No need to cover the comments you made twice.

            “Maybe if you guys weren’t “stupid Sabres fans” you would have picked up on this?”

            Even if *ANY* us us were as your implying ‘ stupid ‘, I dont think any of us would degrade themselves to the point of telling someone of color to run and get their shine box.

            Any discussion you might wish to have with me will be ignored as you really arent worthy of conversation. I dont know if your ‘ higher education ‘ will allow you such comprehension, but Im hoping that someday you might catch on.

            If you continually insult people calling them ‘ stupid sabres fans ‘, how can you possible believe someone will converse with you when they know exactly what they are getting involved with?

            Good luck to you, I wish you the best, but you might want to find a place where the conversation is talking down to ‘ niggas ‘ and others whom you continually profess to be ‘ stupid ‘. *THIS* forum ( from what I have seen ) doesnt really care for such conversations.

          • Eric Lencher

            Do I really need to explain that I was being sarcastic Dan, in regards to the stupid Sabres fan comment? I already stated that THAT was pertaining to the 70 or 80% clamoring for 15 plus games for this incident. The reason I used the quotes was because Rich kept harping on that comment in his replies to you.
            The go get your f’in shine box line is from Good Fellas. Most people get that.
            You have a great day, Dano! Enjoy your last place team. Maybe in 3-5 years, with some good drafting and free agent signings, Buffalo will be a contender again. But that’s not going to happen with guys like Scott cracking the line-up.

          • Richard Spalding

            Hey: some of those stupid Sabres fans were pretty close – 15 games, eh?

            And I’m still amused by this line: “I made no comparison of the Scott hit to what Thornton did. It was Richard who compared the 2 hits.”

            Have you still not realized what the title, and point of, this article was?

          • Eric Lencher

            What Thornton got and what he deserved are 2 completely different things. Even Pittsburgh’s coach and GM were surprised by the length of the suspension.

            “Shawn Thornton is a pretty honest hockey player who made a mistake on the play. He (Shanahan) made a ruling that says volumes about getting that play out of the game. … I think it’s a pretty strong message.” Dan Blysma, Pens coach.

            GM Ray Shero said, “I don’t honestly know if it’s my position to say whether it’s fair or not. I think the message was sent by Brendan Shanahan by what I saw that it’s the longest suspension he’s given out in the regular season, so I guess that’s a message being sent. As to whether it’s too long, not long enough, it’s not for me to say. It’s too bad with Brooks being hurt, but at the same time, Shawn Thornton, he has been a player who throughout his career … has been an honest player. He’s never been suspended before. He plays a tough role. I don’t think what happened is what he intended to happen. I don’t believe that…”

          • Richard Spalding

            And yet, there are some people who wonder if 15 games was too lenient, simply due to the nature of what happened. It’s entirely debatable, and I’m no fan of Shanahan or the Department of Player safety, because too many of the decisions that come out of that office are arbitrary. Still, even the Sabres fans who chose 20+ games weren’t too far off – in my dealings with fans on this site, I find most of the people I chat with to be very knowledgeable about the sport. Such violence was clearly not an accepted “part of the game,” and respected player or not, a message was going to be sent that his actions were unacceptable. Hey – I’m respected in my community. If I jump someone and punch them while they are motionless on the ground, however, I doubt my community or the police will care too much about my reputation.

  • Richard Spalding

    My question is why the hell didn’t Thornton go after Neal? Orpic’s hit was legal; Neal’s was scumbag. So really, Thornton is guilty of stupidity twice. Some of these cheap-shot artists need to lose a season – that is the only way they will understand.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I was wondering the same thing Rich… why Orpik who made a clear hit over Neal/ I guess Neal is viewed as more of a superstar so Thornton didn’t want to break the “code” which he ended up breaking.

      • Eric Lencher

        Do you people really not understand the sport? It doesn’t matter if a hit is clean. If you target a star player who has a concussion history with anything but a routine hit, you will have to answer for it.
        The hit was a borderline hit to begin with, but after watching on slow mop replay, I would agree that it wasn’t dirty because it caught Louis’ blade after the weird bounce. The players on the ice don’t have access to the slow mo. They see it in real time, and Thornton’s job is to protect the skill players.
        If Orpik ran Cody Hodgson, and then refused to fight Scott, and then later in the period, Neal kneed Kaleta in the head, & Scott saw an opportunity to get Orpik, you might see things differently.
        2 short punches shouldn’t have done the damage that they did. It’s the result that was scary, but Orpik was not even kept in the hospital for observation, so the injury was not serious. If it was a concussion, it had to be mild, otherwise he would have been held overnight for observation. He actually made it to the airport and was on his team’s flight!

        • Richard Spalding

          “2 short punches shouldn’t have done the damage that they did”

          It’s not a case of whether Orpik had it coming – it is how Thornton decided to fight the guy. Again – no one is complaining about the guy trying to fight. You can’t endorse tripping a guy from behind and then going at him while he is dazed, though. Well, I guess you can. 2 short punches are not why Thornton will get suspended, but keep focusing on that.

          • Eric Lencher

            Zac Rinaldo attacked a guy earlier tonight and threw 2 punches while he was down. Should he be suspended? Of course not. The only difference between the 2 instances was a flukish KO.
            Should Thornton be suspended? Yes. But for 6-10 games, not 20 plus as you knuckleheads are clamoring for because you’re biased and uneducated. Thornton has 10 years and over 520 games in this league. His reputation is as the most honorable enforcer in the game, and he screwed up in this case. Whether you like it or not, past behavior will be a factor in his discipline.

    • Dano

      The rats are going to run this league ( literally ) inside of 3 years. Between the instigator rule ( along with the Bettman package ), theres nothing a *real* enforcer can do but constantly take suspensions. The League took all of these things away from the players. They really arent allowed to police their own.

      From watching both views, I dont think Thorts saw the knee to the head, but he saw and remembered the hit Orpik ( good hit IMO ) put on Louie. Louie was out of the game.. Might be his mindset, cant say how valid it is but.. its a thought.

    • Eric Lencher

      This thread confirms the stupidity of the Sabres fanbase! First off, Eriksson has a concussion history, and Orpik took a run at him. It’s an enforcer’s job to protect the star players, whether a hit is boarderline, as the Orpik hit was, or if it was dirty. After reviewing it, the puck did hit Louis’ blade, which is what makes the hit legal, but at first blush, it appeared the puck took a weird hop, and Orpik did not even pursue the puck and just targeted the player.
      As Rick Tocchet, a former Penguin said after the game, when you play like Orpik does, you have to be accountable when a player get’s hurt. That’s how I played, and it could have defused this situation before it escalated.
      Next, Thornton played 10 years in the NHL without a suspension-unlike Scott who never even dressed for half a season because he is useless. Shawn will get 6-10 games likely, but anything more would be overkill. The Neal knee to the head was a far dirtier and more dangerous hit. Orpik getting KO’d by 2 gloved jabs is absolutely flukish. There are punches like that ion just about every scrum.
      Unlike John Scott, who hid from the media after the game in typical Buffalo cowardly fashion, Thornton faced the music and answered questions about what happened. He took accountability for what he did, and didn’t make excuses.
      Interestingly enough, Thornton and Orpik are friends who started hanging out and working out together during the NHL lockout a few years back. Brooks played for Boston College.

      • Richard Spalding

        “This thread confirms the stupidity of the Sabres fanbase!”

        Gosh, with an opening like that I sure do hope you come around here more often.

        Orpik’s hit was clean – end of story. Neal’s was not, which is why Thornton should have gone after Neal. Now, I agree with what Dano said below – Thornton may not have noticed the hit on Marchand. Even so, if Orpik refused to fight, cowardly as that may be, taking him down from behind and hitting him in the head was far worse than Scott’s hit on Erikkson – and again, I criticized Scott soundly for that. Scott’s hit was in the flow of the game, and I felt it was dirty – but it wasn’t a take down from behind after the whistle.

        ” There are punches like that ion just about every scrum.”

        You accuse me of being stupid, but miss the point that most scrums don’t start with a take down from behind, with punches coming after you have been slammed to the ice. Absolutely genius of you to ignore this, which is the entire reason the play was dirty, not the punches themselves.

        As far as John Scott ignoring the media, you are (again) ignoring the fact that he contacted Eriksson to make sure he was okay, and spoke to the media the next day about how bad he felt. You can be a fan without being blinded to just your team’s slice of the world, you know.

        • Eric Lencher

          As a Sabres fan, you don’t seem to be! You want to give John Scott credit for saying how badly he felt the next day, after he had time to prepare for an interview, and not speak from the heart in the heat right after the incident happened. It holds about as much weight with me as Kobe Bryant’s prepared apology letter.
          Regardiong Thornton grabbing Orpik from behind, Orpik was well aware that Shawn was on the ice and was looking for him. He just wanted to try and avoid him because he knew a beating was coming.
          Fans seem to forget the history between these 2 teams. Matt Cooke essentially ended Marc Savard’s career just a few years ago, and Thornton was there to see that. He can’t let people take runs at starrs who are not physical players.
          Notice Shawn let Milan Lucic handle his own buisiness with Deryk Engelland, and Deryk has beaten Colton Orr twice, so he’s a guy that can fight.
          Again, I am NOT saying that what Thornton did was right, however a logical punishment is 6-10 games. Did you see Zac Rinaldo jump a Dallas Star player? It was EXACTLY the same scenario, except he didn’t flukishly get KO’d.
          How many times have you ever seen 2 gloved jabs KO someone?
          You are also giving Scott credit for contacting Eriksson, which is standard proceedure in the NHL when someone is hurt. But Thornton didn’t have to ask someone for Orpik’s number. Shawn texted him twice before the game even ended from the locker room because as I stated, they are guys who have worked out together and skated with each other in the offseason.
          Don’t let your bias and hatred for Boston blind you. Thronton is the most respected enforcer in the NHL, and has been for a long time. Not many 210lb guys beat Derek Boogaard.

          • Richard Spalding

            You come here saying things like “This thread confirms the stupidity of the Sabres fanbase!” and then you say don’t let your bias and hatred blind you – ha ha! Man, that’s good.

            You can dislike Scott all you want – his hit on Eriksson came in the form of a check during the flow of the game. That’s way different from pulling an unsuspecting player down from behind. You keep referring to the KO as fluky – what the hell does that have to do with it? It was a fluke that should never have happened. You could argue that it was a fluke that Todd Bertuzzi broke Steve Moore’s neck in 2004, but it was a fluke that never should have happened BECAUSE YOU DON”T ATTACK PLAYERS FROM BEHIND. Thornton might be well-respected; he might bake cookies for his grandma; he might even visit blind kids in the hospital – who cares? All we’re saying here is that what he did was stupid and incredibly dangerous. It could have ended a lot worse, and cannot be tolerated. I bet he’ll get ten games, and whether that is enough to discourage other players to do it, who knows?

            As for telling me that as a Sabres fan I am not blinded by loyalty to my team, you can ask anyone who comes to this site more than the two times that you have whether I am a blind fan boy or not. I’m not too worried about your take on it.

          • Eric Lencher

            Where did I say that I disliked Scott? I don’t think he’s an NHL caliber player, but I acknowledged in this forum that he is the best fighter in the NHL right now. I just think that when someone is an enforcer, and they make a mistake, they should own it immediately, and that’s what Thornton did.
            Scott had a previous altercation where he attacked a star player, Phil Kessel, and that put him on the disciplinary radar. Had the Kessel incident never occurred, his punishment for hitting Loui in the head, would have been less severe.
            Now I understand that a player’s prior conduct should impact how long a suspension is, as is his accountability. Scott didn’t face the media, and had gone after a star player just a couple of weeks prior.
            Thornton has played over a decade in the NHL, and NEVER been suspended, and did not go after star players.
            The fact that Corey Tropp asked Jamie Devane to fight, and when he got KO’d, Scott went after Kessel is absurd.
            I’ve seen Greg Campbell get his butt kicked in just about every fight he’s ever been in. I remember Ott beat him when Ott was with Dallas. Did Thornton go after a star? No. He went out and challenged Chris Barch, because that’s his job. His job isn’t to go after star players. That’s why Thornton is a respected enforcer, and Scott is looked at as what is wrong with the sport by many.

          • Richard Spalding

            “Where did I say that I disliked Scott?”

            Well, you did say

            “Scott who never even dressed for half a season because he is useless.”


            “Unlike John Scott, who hid from the media after the game in typical Buffalo cowardly fashion”

            These are not statements you make when you like a player. I can’t help but assume you don’t like John Scott when you type stuff like that. I wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth, but those statements don’t scream “I don’t dislike the guy.” :)

            I didn’t like what John Scott did in the preseason game in Toronto and managed to anger a lot of readers around here with what I thought of that scenario. You’re dealing with someone who actually is able to separate himself from being a fan and being a writer – I don’t turn a blind eye to the dumb things the Sabres do. But again, if Scott got 10 games for an in-game check, Thornton should get at least that much for slew-footing Orpik from behind, nice guy or not. Remember: Scott had NO history of suspensions before he hit Eriksson, so reputation or not, his record was 100% clean.

          • Eric Lencher

            Neither of your examples indicate a dislike for John Scott-even though you took them out of context to begin with.

            “I don’t think he’s an NHL caliber player, but I acknowledged in this forum that he is the best fighter in the NHL right now. I just think that when someone is an enforcer, and they make a mistake, they should own it immediately, and that’s what Thornton did.”

            Now regarding your statement “His record was 100% clean” you are incorrect. Just because a player had no suspensions, doesn’t mean he was 100% clean. Again, Scott had just had the Kessel incident which garnered national attention in both the US and Canada.
            I’m not comparing him to Matt Cooke, but he is a player who hardly ever dresses, and when he does, he is glued to the bench for 53 minutes a night.
            Shawn spent 10 plus years building a reputation as an honored enforcer, and he never in a decade plus, ever went after a guy like Kessel.
            The clean history, and accountability he took after the game will factor into how Shanahan decides to discipline him.
            If it were Brad Marchand, he’d probably get, AND DESERVE, 20 games since he has a history of dirty hits and play.