So I had to chime in on this Shawn Thornton debacle. The entire city of Pittsburgh is calling for Thornton’s head. Calling him a disgrace to hockey. I got to be honest. I thought Thornton did what he had to do. I know he said he’s sick about it. I know he apologized. I believe him. But I still think Thornton did what was necessary. I’ve heard people say there is no place for this type of shit in hockey. You know what there is no place in hockey for? Kneeing defenseless players in the head who are laying on the ice. That was the play that sparked this entire incident. A play that was 100 times more brutal than what Thornton did. 9 out of 10 times the player who intentionally gets kneed in the head will be the one who needs a stretcher in that situation. Thornton’s job is to defend his teammates. The Penguins were taking cheap shots out there. Thornton already tried to fight Brooks Orpik after his borderline shot on Loui Eriksson earlier in the game and he refused to fight. Then James Neal almost kills Marchand and Thornton lost his cool. But again who can blame him? The Penguins brought this on themselves. I’m not saying Thornton doesn’t deserve to be suspended. He does. But James Neal should get double the games Thornton gets. And truthfully I wouldn’t have wanted Thornton to do anything differently than he did today except maybe pummel Neal instead of Orpik.
Bottomline is if the Penguins are going to try to paralyze your guys and then act like cowards refusing to fight afterwards you need to play dirty. You can’t just let your guys get decapitated out there. It’s an eye for an eye. That’s just the way the NHL works. The Penguins brought it on themselves. So don’t cry to me when shit like this happens. You asked for it. You got it.
UPDATE- Lots of pink hat hockey fans have their pink little panties in a bunch about this blog so let me clarify something. There is no way Thornton meant to send Orpik to the hospital. He was trying to send a message. A message that had to be sent. It was freak thing that Orpik got concussed. My point is what Neal did to Nose Face was a billion times more dangerous than what Thornton did. It’s unfortunate that Orpik had to be “evacuated”, but standing around in a circle and doing the Macerena wasn’t enough after the cheap shot on Marchand. The situation had to be escalated and it’s Shawn Thornton’s job to escalate it. It was just a freak thing that Orpik ended up getting knocked out cold like that which makes Thornton’s actions seem way worse than they actually were. Nobody is happy he had to go to the hospital. But shit happens when you play dirty and the Penguins initiated it all.