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.
Hey, remember when everyone held up Shawn Thornton as the anti-John Scott b/c he scores goals once in a while? Good times.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 8, 2013
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?