Skip to content

Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’

Dec 8, 2013, 6:50 PM EDT

juliengetty Getty Images

After Saturday’s mess of a game between Boston and Pittsburgh, Bruins head coach Claude Julien relayed a simple – but potentially inflammatory – message: Shawn Thornton admitted he was wrong, while Penguins players didn’t.

“Thorny did cross the line, and some others did too. You have to man up to those things, and I think he did,” Julien said. “He’s being truthful. That’s more than we can say about players that pretend that it wasn’t done on purpose.”

While Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said that he believes Brooks Orpik‘s hit on Loui Eriksson was legal, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe reports that Julien disagreed with that assessment.

Julien’s comment regarding players pretending something “wasn’t done on purpose” was directed at James Neal, who delivered this knee on Brad Marchand:

Again, Julien isn’t saying that the Bruins are faultless; it appears that he’s mainly claiming that the Penguins players aren’t holding themselves accountable. (Surely this won’t generate some venom from coaches, players and fans …)

Julien acknowledged that Brendan Shanahan and the NHL face a few difficult disciplinary decisions, as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports.

“He’s got some tough decisions to make,” Julien said.

In case you’re wondering, the Bruins and Penguins won’t face each other again in 2013-14 … unless they meet in the playoffs.

138 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. charlieconway96 - Dec 8, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    There is a pretty wide gap between Thornton and Neal’s comments following the game. Two very different responses for two pretty bad moves.

    • hockey412 - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      The guy is a disgusting, moronic, hypocritical pig that needs to keep his trap SHUT about other teams. It’s his MO…cry about the OTHER team. Admit your team did wrong, and end it there. Shut up about the other team.

      While the stretcher was coming out for Orpik, this garbage was taunting the Pens bench. This is swine. As is anyone that is ok with him.

      • hockeyrebel - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        Penn fans are the most degenerate, ignorant, dumbass people in the hockey world. Crybaby, I mean Crosby, certainly leads by example and these imbeciles eat it up like corn bread. If Crosby were a cult leader then everyone in Pittsburgh would be ready for a big ole glass of Koolaid!

        More to the point, I am not a Bruins fan by any means, actually a Wings fan but I’ve watched the stupid ass shenanigans from the Penns and a few select few like Neal and Crosby to find their level of “sportsmanship” pathetic.

        The entire incident would have been avoided had the penalty been called on Doorprick like it should have been. Thornton got his penalty when he tried to engage the little sissy.

        Then Crybaby makes the trip (doesn’t get called) and then that DB Neal knees a defenseless player in the head. Thank God that scumbag got something from the league.

        I wish they would suspend players and coaches for being little pissy crying girls, oh wait the Penns wouldn’t have half their team on any given night and certainly Cindy wouldn’t play another game after opening night if that were the case.

        Blasma is a bag of Chum, a spineless little jellyfish and so is his entire team. Neal is the only tough guy they have and his toughman skills are exceptional when no one is looking.

        Doorprick should have fought and avoided this. If he can dish it out he better be able to take it. He probably soiled his diapers when Thorton came at him the first time. I hope they didn’t run out of diapers for Cindy before the game was over. You think the trainer changes Cindy or does his mommy wait in the locker room to do it?

      • basedrum777 - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        Stay Classy Detroit, stay classy.

      • hockeyrebel - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:01 AM

        Is there a classier organization than Detroit? Is Detroit full of thugs and cheap shot artists? Nope, but the Penns are.

        I think what Thornton did was appalling and horrible and he should get suspended. I’m also a little surprised that he knocked Orpik out with that.

        But more to the point, the Pens get away with crap all the time and then the coaches pleads the case that they are victims. Change it and don’t worry about ruffling the feathers of that little sissy Crosby and make this crap won’t happen.

      • kmo25 - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Wahhh Wahhhh Wahhh go the Pens fans. “Ohhh no. OUR team could never INTENTIONALLY knee anyone in the head!”. Please! You proved yourself to be the first class hypocrite that you are in your statement….”Admit your team did wrong, and end it there.”….Your move Mr. Neal!

      • toiletclown - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:26 AM

        hockeyrebel is so mad that the red wings havent been relevant in years.

    • jimthebear - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      Glad to see the Pitt fans here. Did you write that still in your Crosby jammies in mom’s basement? He took responsibility for the Bruins, he pointed out the cowardly Pens wouldn’t do the same.. He was spot on. The Pens have ALWAYS been cheap shot cowards under the Crosby C.

      • thephilbittner - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        What does Crosby have to do with any of this?
        Youre the one who sounds like a little kid who could use some pajamas

  2. hazlydose - Dec 8, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    Neal should man up and admit that the knee was intentional. It would probably result in a longer suspension for him, but we’ve heard the “It was an accident” excuse from him before. Marchand has a reputation for being “sneaky dirty”. Watching every pens game, its easy to see this behavior from Neal as well. Next time the pens are losing or he gets frustrated watch #18, you’ll see a lot of similar behavior.

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM

      He is not a man so the concept is foreign….

    • billiamsofdollars - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      This is just another case of Marchand being sneaky dirty. It is clear he was trying to headbutt Neal’s knee.

      • hockeyrebel - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:02 AM

        Now thats funny, I don’t care who you are.

    • c9castine - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:44 PM

      I’ve watched every pens game for a couple decades. so that means all of Neals. Pens don’t need to be losing for him to play like that. i like the guy and the player but he plays like a dick on a nightly basis and hopefully sitting a few games and hurting his team will change him now before its too late, or he’s matt cooke and has to do it when he’s 32.

    • kastout11 - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      I agree 100%. Just watch the tape when the Flyers were beating down the Pens in the playoffs 2 years ago. Neal took several runs at Giroux and the stick up intentionally on Harnell. I have said for the last few years, he is the direist player on that team. I dislike Crosby and Malkin because they are great and beat my team; I hate Neal because he is dirty and gets easily frustrated when things do not go the Pens way.

      • basedrum777 - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        Sorry anybody who runs at Hartnell deserves to be commended. The “rough playing” Flyers get away with MURDER on the ice with their dirty play.

  3. concoursrider - Dec 8, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    As a Bruins fan, I agree Thornton went too far and most “normal” Bruins fans would agree. I believe be wanted to send a message, but not hurt him. However he did and he’ll be suspended and rightfully so.

    However, the Penguins aren’t angels either. Mr. Neal and Mr. Dupuis did some despicable things as well and I lost respect for Bylsma for acting like they’re the victims. Lets also not forget that Cooke ended Savards career too. I’m sure Pens fans will say “it’s history and get over it”, but if Orpik was done, which thankfully he isn’t, you’d be thinking the same way.

    • nbcornwell - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      As a Pens fan, I must agree with you. Thornton probably gets 10 games for that sucker punch. Neal I would say should get 5 or 6 games for that. Both very dirty plays and need to be taken out of hockey. Good to see that Bruins fans are acknowledging Thornton was in the wrong. I’ll definitely say that we were. I saw the Dupuis play here on PHT and it was a tough call to make. The puck was in Kelly’s feet, but Duper took a pretty big swing at it. Hard call to make either way. Cooke was reckless then, but I think he’s a changed player since then. He isn’t playing exceptionally dirty in Minnesota. I’m ok with Thornton dragging Orpik to the ice and getting in his face because thats his role on the team and great hockey, but the two punches were over the line.

      TLDR I as a die hard Pens fan accept that we were in wrong, glad Boston is accepting theirs too.

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Well said

      • pens919209 - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        The only fair thing I see is to suspend both Thornton and Neal for the rest of this season and the playoffs. That would put the rest of the league on notice that this sort of crap isn’t going to stand. Of course, the NHL doesn’t have the guts to do what’s right here, so that won’t happen… garage league, indeed.

      • nbcornwell - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:15 PM

        @pens91209
        Im not sure the rest of the season is reasonable, but something definitely should be done. Hard call to make.

      • pepper2011 - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        Serious question, I am not trying to agitate. How did that punch knock him out?

        I know he was vulnerable, but Orpik isn’t a small guy. He’s not a fighter, but he hits hard and… I don’t know; I guess I would equate him to Johnny Boychuk and I just don’t get it.

        I am not trying to agitate- you seem like a well balanced Pens fan, just want your opinion. weird, no?

        It was an awful play by Thornton, but if it doesn’t knock him out it’s a two mimute roughing and maybe a 10 min misconduct. Possibly 4 for roughing.

        He should get 7-10 games. Probably 10. If it is 7 it’s in part along with his post game interview and years without incident.

      • footballfan - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        I am sure that punching him with his head between a hand and the ice is why he was knocked out. If he was picking up his head when he got hit the double whammy probably was all it took.

      • blastfurnaceknows - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:13 PM

        10 games should be what Neal receives. Thornton should get at least 30. The NHL needs to take this moment to tell every player on every team that when the whistle has blown and the play is dead, thou shall NEVER physically assault another player. What Thornton did was far too egregious to let slide with 10 games! Man up, NHL, and assume control for a change!

    • chanceoffleury - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Cooke is not even a Penguin anymore. And by your justification the torch is still out on Orpik. Savard played 25 games after the Cooke concussion.

    • jl9830 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      Where have you been for the past ~5 years? This happens all the time! The Penguins pull this garbage and then Bylsma acts like they’re victims, and Mario threatens to leave the league, etc. etc. It’s the same garbage from the Penguins, and it stems from the fact that the league- on-ice officials, and the league itself- gives them special treatment. Until they’re treated like other teams, this kind of stuff, where opponents feel the need to police the game themselves, is unfortunately going to happen.

      • basedrum777 - Dec 9, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        jl you’re an idiot. Slewfooting a player and punching his unconscious head when its on the ice is not nor has it ever been acceptable hockey.

    • c9castine - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:51 PM

      savards situation and orpiks aren’t comparable. you know it, everybody knows it. matt cooke threw a hit that was acceptable to A LOT of people at the time including the officials. most people have grown up since and realized it was wrong by everybody who did it.

      obviuously a few people remain that have no regard for the health of others or for that matter THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE A FAMILY AT HOME WATCHING THEM GET THEIR FACE BASHED INTO THE ICE AND LAY LIMP, NOT KNOWING WHAT IS HAPPENING.

      F you and your respect for the penguins certainly don’t need it from you, want it, and you certainly won’t be getting it back. after the whole bar calling incident last years playoffs (which was about the most childish and silly thing i have seen sports fans do) and not only what Thornton did but the response from the rest of the city. In Thornton is the only one willing to simply say “it was wrong, I’m sorry” without any BUTS or IF THIS or HE DID THAT.

      p.s. marc savard was one of my favorite hockey players since his time in atlanta through the end in boston. his BOSTON yes BOSTON jersey hangs in my closet among Lemieux and Crosby and Letang and St. Louis and Staal. i was sad to see him go. but its so freakin irrelevant here its not even funny.

      • upyourstodd - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:11 AM

        Easy Rod

    • hockey412 - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:28 AM

      Savard wasn’t hauled down from behind. He was injured during a HOCKEY PLAY, which was LEGAL at the time.

      It’s a shame that people had to be injured in order for the league to change the rules, but you’re right…get over it. It was a legal hit. So was the one on Eriksson. The difference is that in both cases legal hits seemed to push Boston fans and players over the edge.

      I don’t question that Neal was wrong, so suspend him a game and Thornton for 10. OR, suspend Neal for 10 and Thornton for 100. Marchand didn’t miss a shift, did he? And he’s known to flop. However, it was childish and dangerous so certainly suspendable.

      But the coach whining about what players are saying, that’s just embarassing.

    • jimthebear - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      I agree with you 100% from a die-hard Bruins fan who loves Thornton, and what he brings to our team. You said it eloquently.

    • stixzidinia - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:20 PM

      Revisionist history, at best. Savard had suffered numerous concussions in his pro career before ever stepping on the same ice as Matt Cooke. And after the Cooke concussion he was then medically cleared to play again. And then he was concussed again after that by another player. Savard’s concussions issues neither began nor ended with Matt Cooke.

      And this is pretty hilarious coming from Julien, the very inspiration for the glorious Embellishment City video on youtube. Go have a look if you haven’t seen it already. The guy who whined and whined at a presser about embellishment ruining the game while his boys were some of the most brazen culprits.

      Claude Julien isn’t “manning up” and “taking accountability”…….he’s playing PR (and fooling a large number of cretinous morons in the process).

  4. dropthepuckeh - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Neal is a weasel. He can’t admit he went for the knee on purpose because he is in denial as to the player he is. He isn’t the tough power forward he so wishes he could be at 6’2′. Instead he relies on cheap shots and can’t back anything up when asked to answer the bell. The sad thing is you could see it on his face when he was interviewed after the game. Obviously he meant to do it and he is too much of a wuss to admit anything. His day will come and we will hear the cries from the Pitt frauds when he does.

    • wikidpissah - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      He’s a complete weasel, and a coward. After he kneeing Marchand he went straight for the safety of the bench.

    • hockey412 - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      I remember when Neal put Chara on his ass a couple years back. Boy was that a hit. A good, clean, hockey hit. Like Orpik’s on Eriksson. Didn’t seem like a weasel. I’d love to take a look and see what Marchand (a known DIRTY player) was up to that shift. Don’t pretend Neal was the only “bad guy” on the ice. The Bruins bench if FULL of dirty, cheap weasels.

      Kneeing a guy when he’s down is HORRIBLE. Acting like Neal’s actions in that game were the only bad ones, is just plain retarded.

      • stixzidinia - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        If it was any other player i’d agree with you about it being horrible. But it’s Marchand, so it’s commendable. I’d have been tempted to try and decapitate him with my skate since he was in such an agreeable position.

      • naterealgood - Dec 10, 2013 at 12:26 AM

        Who are the dirty players on the Bruins?

      • hockey412 - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:05 AM

        Boychuk, McQuaid, Chara, Marchand, Lucic

  5. shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Has there been any injury reported for Orpik yet? Did he actually get hurt? Shame on the penguins organization for reporting nothing other than ” he’s alert and conscious” when clearly he was not in bad shape. Good enough to fly home that night. They clearly just wanted to keep the pressure on Thornton to make him look worse

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      They don’t let players fly with moderate to severe concussion symptoms. Orpik was suffering from crapping his pants and passing out when he realized he might have to answer the bell with Thornton. He is used to hiding behind his shield and the refs. Obviously not badly hurt unlike the guy he took out of the game and Kelly, who had his leg broken by a Pitt slash. Cheap. Weasels.

      • jkibler1 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        @dropthepuckeh, you are correct!! He caught a case of crapping his pants from Thornton who apparently suffered the same condition when John Scott confronted him. Of course that case of crapping ones pants was a side effect from the condition known as ” already had the pooped knocked outta me by John Scott once already” so it’s easy to seen that he had not yet been inoculated for the “answer the bell” syndrome.

      • thephilbittner - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        He has a concussion and the team is reporting memory loss.
        Also doubt the team put him on IR because of a case of”crappimg his pants against a player he won’t see again this year.
        Pens fans are admitting Neal was wrong. Why do Boston fans see, to think Thornton wasn’t im the wrong whike trying to act like their team has so much class. Oh yeah because Boston fans don’t know what class in hockey is

    • dchambers144 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      That’s an asshat comment. They don’t take guys off on stretchers for no reason. Bruins doctors were there too. So I assume Boychuck wasn’t really hurt on the hit the game before either.

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:38 PM

        So tell me then, what’s wrong with him? If he says his neck hurts, they’re gonna use a stretcher, regardless of what the trainer thinks is wrong. If it turns out he has a bad injury I’ll eat my words. Until then, I’m skeptical

    • killerpgh - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      Do you mean like Horton getting released from the hospital minutes after Rome got suspended for the rest of the SCF’s? Then being able to fly with the team and pour melted ice from Boston’s home rink on the Canucks ice. That was just good time/quick recovery, right……

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        Pretty sure he stayed overnight in Vancouver, was late traveling back to Boston, and was immediately reported to have a severe concussion. Not the same…

      • itsallniceonice - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:49 PM

        Wow Nucks fans are still butthurt?

      • jimthebear - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        Last time I checked, Horton didn’t play another stanley cut final game after that. You think Horton sat out to HELP the team? What a dumb comment you made.

      • mjdkid100 - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        Huh?

        The hit happened in Game 3 and Horton never played again, and flew back late. The water bottle was Game 7.

    • Hockeyfan - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      Orpik was clearly knocked unconscious. It was obvious from his positioning and from the reaction of all the players around him and their urgent signaling for medical staff. That’s an injury isn’t it? Whether or not he has continued concussion symptoms is to be seen. Your suggestion that the pens were purposely withholding information is unfounded. Frankly the public doesn’t have the right to know his condition.

      • dchambers144 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:50 PM

        @shaundre93: TV coverage in Pittsburgh showed Orpik on the ice, definitely not all there. Stretcher may not have been needed but then again I don’t have M.D. after my name. My only complaint with your argument is that Thorton didn’t know the condition of Eriksson yet went to extremes. What if Eriksson plays next game and has no “long term” effects from the Orpik hit, what if holding him out was precautionary.

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        So while we’re all sitting here wondering if orpik is paralyzed, its ok for the pens to just say he’s alert and conscious, all the while he’s gathering his things and getting on the plane with the team? Makes sense… Also, all bruins injuries have been reported, why not orpik? Obviously I’m glad he’s ok, but the whole situation stinks to me. And no, I’m not condoning Thornton, he deserves what he gets. Just really hate how the penguins as a whole have handled this, whilst the bruins have owned up to their wrongdoing

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:01 PM

        @chambers: regardless of his condition on the ice, the way it all unfolded, you don’t think that there is some responsibility on the part of the pens to inform us that he’s ok? All the pens have done is said ” it was a clean hit” ” it was an accident” they haven’t owned up to anything, still, over 24 hrs after the injury there has been no update even though we know he traveled with the team. The organization as a whole has handled this horribly. Also, Eriksson wont be playing, the TEAM REPORTED that he has a concussion.

      • Hockeyfan - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        And what if the opposite were true? What if Orpik was unconscious, bleeding in his head, taken to surgery? You think you have the right to know that too? You don’t. And the Pens or any other organization are not obligated to release that information. So yes it is ok for them to say “he is alert and conscious”. You are not entitled to know anything.

      • dchambers144 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:12 PM

        @shaundre93: I can’t speak to the Pens injury reporting. They did send out a tweet mid-game saying Orpik was alert and talking. I thought I caught a radio guy today saying that it is a concussion and he is out indefinitely (sorry, I was on my way in to the aweful Steeler game and missed it) and I can’t find an update.

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:15 PM

        Hockey fan, that’s not the case though. We KNOW orpik traveled with the team. So obviously he’s not bleeding from the ears. It seems irresponsible for them to leave us hangin on such a serious matter.

      • dchambers144 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        shaundre93: I will agree with you that injury reporting in the NHL is questionable at best. Teams do things differently with no real purpose except to disguise injuries.

        But, if the NHL tries to put in rules on reporting, we just get the NFL and Belicheck’s everyone is “questionable” report. However, I think it is hilarious that he does this and as a Pittsburgh fan, I generally find him unlikable.

      • Hockeyfan - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        Missing the point Shaurdre. Please note I wrote”what if…”
        It’s not irresponsible. You act like you have rights here,like the Pens should pick up the phone and call you to let you know how things are going. You don’t have the right to know!!!!

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        Hockey fan, I feel like we have a right to know because everyone is attacking Thornton for what appeared to be a very serious injury, and for the fact orpik went off on a stretcher. If he gets up, skates to the bench this is not nearly as big a deal. I’m under the impression that orpik is NOT hurt, and that would support my opinion that, while what Thornton did was stupid and suspension worthy, it was not nearly as bad as many are making it out to be

      • footballfan - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        There is a lot of legal issues with reporting injuries. I know several years back there was a big stink in the NFL when a player got a staph infection. I understand that everyone wants to hear that a player is doing just fine, but unless they give permission the team can give no details.

    • jkibler1 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      Shaundre, what medical school did you attend? What the hell makes you think that you are qualified to judge anyone’s injury? Oh wait, let me guess, your plasma tv gave you a good clear picture? And then you used your degree from 7-11 to determine he wasn’t injured? Of course Marchand lying tree was a medical emergency right dr. ??
      You are a complete horses ass. So your ” medical knowledge” is more astute than the trainers and BRUINS doctor ? All of whom had a slightly better view that you did from your lazy boy. Not to mention, apparently they know quite a bit more than you do? Of course , you may have stayed in a holiday inn last night and know more than I am giving you credit for? And for the record, I am not a fan of either team, but I am sure you knew that since you apparently know everything!!

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        I know NHL protocol, and that would be that if there are any signs of a concussion that player would not be permitted to travel with the team immediately after the incident. Marchand could have just as easily stayed down and gotten medical attention. It just blows my mind that you all think Thorntons incident is so awful, but will sit there and call neals knee accidental. The only difference between the two plays was that orpik was put on a stretcher for precautionary reasons. He’s with the team! Eriksson and Kelly will not be with the team because they are actually injured. You all claim to have player safety in mind but none of you give two craps about players who are actually hurt. If orpik had a serious concussion, it would have been reported by know. Penguins delivered three questionable plays that game to the bruins one, yet you’re all so quick to attack the bruins for being a dirty franchise. Was it the bruins who spent a whole series playing gongshow hockey, taking cheap shots and getting suspended? No! It was the penguins! They have a knack for causing these sorts of games and sneaking away unscathed. Your all really good at name calling but haven’t even considered some of the facts about concussion protocol. If he was injured, he wouldn’t have traveled. I felt sick watching that happened, and sat around for an hour after the game waiting for an update only to hear he’s ” alert and talking”. Meanwhile, he’s boarding the plane to travel with the team. fact of the matter is that that entire period was an absolute gong.show that was caused by a dirty hit, a non call and a refusal to man up. If any one of those things change, all of the anger and intensity would have been diffused. Obviously Thornton messed up big time, but it took a lot of garbage from the pens for that to happen. Say what you will, call me names but I have no respect for that team. I’m willing to bet orpik hits the ice before Eriksson, and its an absolute sham that the bruins are getting the brunt of the blame in this

    • pens5829 - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      It’s obvious you have as many rocks in your head as Thornton.

    • redmother3 - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      I’ve been checking for an injury report since it happened and the haven’t posted one, but Dr. Bylsma says he thinks it’s a concussion and that he thinks he was out for some time on the ice. One of the best hospitals around ran a batter of tests on him, but Bylsma isn’t saying that doctors say he has a concussion, just that he believes he has one. I’m not saying that Thornton didn’t cross the line, but this is his first time crossing the line and I would have to say with all the crap the Penguins were pulling that he had a good shove over the line. Mostly I blame the refs. They need to make the calls fairly for both teams and control the situations before they get out of control. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t to long ago I saw a Penguins vs. Fyers game that was even more out of control than this game. What team is the common factor in both games. Penguins get away with a lot of crap and the teams end up crossing the line out of frustration.

  6. theskinsman - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    The way I see it, the pens got in a ton of cheap, dirty hits and injured Bruins, mission accomplished. Next time out, look for a real payback, not the baby hits Thornton is being crucified for. The Pen proved again they can’t play hockey with Boston, can’t fight them like men, but they can cheap shot and dive better, no question.
    I hope no pens get seriously hurt, just beat down like the diving wimps they are, and losing the game again.

    • basedrum777 - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      When did Slewfoot, knockout, two punches to be sure, become a baby hit? You’re a fool.

      • theskinsman - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:25 PM

        I’ve seen bigger hits at a pee wee hockey fight.

  7. lowenni - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Both teams did things that were in the wrong, and he’s right, both should be held accountable.

    That being said, Orpik’s hit was legal, and I think Dupuis’ and Neal’s incidents were both unintentional (maybe not Neal’s). What Thornton did was by far the worst incident and he really crossed the line, he could’ve ended Orpik’s career (like what Todd Bertuzzi did). Julien shouldn’t be talking about the Pens.

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      Maybe not Neal’s? Maybe don’t try to summarize the situation. Marchand could have been knocked out and hurt much worse than Glass Orpik. In the real world if you knee someone in the head the penalty is much more severe than punching someone in the face. Orpik’s hit was not legal, Neal’s hit was not legal, Dupuis’ slash was not legal and Thornton’s punches were not legal. That’s it.

      • nbcornwell - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Orpik’s hit was legal I think. No contact with the head. Puck was in his feet. Its like the hit Vitale got on Briere a couple years back. Clean hit, just looked bad.

      • dchambers144 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:06 PM

        Actually, I believe Orpik’s hit was legal. There were a bunch of these hits last year and the Pens were the recipient of more that a few. I think Kerry Fraiser did an article for TSN where he clarified the hit. As long as the player plays the puck the hit is legal. It did look like Eriksson touched the puck. “Legal” and “Clean” are different terms. For instance, Cooke’s hit on Savard was legal (at the time) but definitely not clean. Lots of gray area and rules interpitation.

    • nbcornwell - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      As a Pens fan, you HAVE to admit Neal’s was intentional. C’mon man. He skated right to the back of him at the last second. Not on accident. Dupuis I could agree with you, maybe.

    • jl9830 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      HAHA omg Neal’s hit was unintentional? There goes all your credibility.

    • jimthebear - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Maybe not Neals? His was EVERY BIT as intentional as what Thornton did. He had to take 3 strides before striking Marchand.. You don’t think he could have EASILY avoided him if he wanted to? You lose all credibility with that comment, and as I strong Bruins fan, I’ll say what Thornton did was wrong.. Your comment is as cowardly as the rest of the Pens. And people wonder why we give Crosby no respect? Chara wouldn’t allow that on his team, and I’m sure Thornton, AFTER TAKING FULL RESPONSIBILITY with no conditions or whining, like Neal did, had to face Chara for that. Lets see Crosby lead like that just once.

  8. chanceoffleury - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I hate when things like this happen because for every rational analysis there are 10 that just generalize by calling the other fans and players stupid and dirty and any other bad label they can come up with. And it makes people come across as ignorant.

    As a Pens fan I am embarrassed, yet unsurprised, at what Neal did. I love Neal, he is one of my favorite players. But his style of play has led even me as a fan to stop giving him the benefit of the doubt, even if I do have a special sort of distaste for Marchand. Neal knew what he was doing. And any Bruin fan trying to defend or excuse what Thornton did is being a homer. The outcome of the situation is a miniscule factor in analyzing the severity of an incident like that, imo. I don’t believe Thornton had any intention of ending Orpik’s career. No matter who it is I just hesitate to believe any guy is out with the defined intention of ending a career. That’s a pretty big label and accusation to make against somebody you don’t even know. But it’s really hard for me to see how anybody can unbiasedly say Thornton’s actions didn’t insinuate he had every intention of wanting to hurt Orpik in one way or another. Whether he wanted to just give him a black eye or break a bone in his face or give him a concussion is impossible to tell. It was made worse by the surrounding events, too, imo. Doing that when there is already another player (Marchand) clearly hurt and down is just unnecessarily reckless and irresponsible.

    At the end of the day neither side should be defending anyone. What Neal did isn’t made better because of what Thornton did and vice versa. Each isolated event was dirty and inexcusable. Both deserve suspensions and should be embarrassed and apologize in a far better way than an “I’m sorry” ever could relay: by never, ever doing anything like it ever again. Neither deserved to be wearing the logos on the front of their jersey last night. All fans of both franchises should just aim to move forward because it was a poor reflection of what those organizations and this league represent. Here’s to hoping they get a chance to duke it out in the playoffs and get revenge on each other by making big hits where it really counts: on the scoreboard. And as a Pens fan I hope their scoreboard is hitting much, MUCH bigger than it did last year…..

  9. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Shaundre93.
    The Penguins never announce injuries. They are very tight lipped about their players injuries. I don’t know why. All they say is if it is upper body or lower body. It is very annoying.

    • Hockeyfan - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      Limited information on injuries is not unique to Pittsburgh. . Show me injury reports from other teams that give detail. You are clearly nitpicking Pen organization.

      • jl9830 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:08 PM

        Take it easy, Mr. Defensive. Someone brought up why we hadn’t heard anything about Orpik’s condition. We’re not talking about Penguins ability to diagnose injuries vs. other team’s ability to do the same.

  10. dchambers144 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    I’m not going to defend Neal, his knee was intentional and dirty. I will point out though that Marchand flailed on the ice and went down the runway but returned and didn’t miss a shift. Did he “embellish” slightly, probably but hey, he did take a knee to the head. However, he also came back and and threw a gloved punch into the face of Matta that went unpenalized because there was already a delayed B’s penalty.

    Pens and B’s fans (who actually understand the game) need to get a grip and realize there was a whole lot of bad in that game on both sides. And the worst part is, it overshadowed what actually wasn’t a bad game with lots of up and down action and some good plays.

  11. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Concourserider.
    Neal’s knee to the head of the Marchand was not right in what he did. He should have apologized. Dupuis was not right either. Dan Byslma did say last night that he felt Neal didn’t get his knee out of the way. Penguins fans should know all about concussions with what Sidney Crosby had to go through. Concussions suck I should know I have had at least 4 concussions. I think that both organizations are both kind of have an arrogance about them because of their recent success. When two good teams come together they usually clash.

  12. northstarnic - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    He is absolutely right. Dirtbag moves by both teams, but at least bruins own up to their “mistakes”.

    • dchambers144 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Agreed, I would have liked Neal to say something to the effect of “I saw that dirtbag Marchand and couldn’t help myself”, but let’s be honest, Thorton’s apology is more the exception than the norm. And that’s league wide, not just Pens and B’s; when’s the last time you actually saw a player apologize for a bad/stupid play? Also, yes I am a Pens fan but I’d like to think I at lease try to look at all sides and not be a complete “homer”.

    • joey4id - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:14 PM

      Big deal. BTW, have you ever heard March-hand admit to slew footing or giving cheap shots? So let’s not jump on the band wagon of high road too fast. Them Bs ain’t no choir boys.

      • supercoop8 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:51 PM

        “It was a dangerous play and it was definitely a slew-foot,” Marchand said. “Those are dangerous plays and guys can get hurt like that. It’s something I shouldn’t have done and they penalized me for it and I’ll move on now.”

        Marchand on slew foot to Niskanen a few years back.

      • joey4id - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:13 AM

        Hardly an apology to Niskanen but certainly an admission of guilt

  13. joey4id - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Since when is Julien the moral compass for truthfulness in the NHL? Big deal you’re speaking your truth. It’s not like what the Bs enforcer did wasn’t deliberate, thought out and not seen all over the world. Matter of fact Julien had ample time to mange Thornton’s emotion and diffuse the situation. What Thornton did could have been avoided if player and/or coach would have and should have diffused the tension. The attack on Orpik happened 10 mins after the check on Louie. Ample time to diffuse.

  14. sjsharks66 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Who are all these dbags showing up on PHT who keep defending Thornton and claiming Orpik was “faking it”? Must be the 40 racist twitter users.

    Let’s say Orpik was “faking it”. You don’t think the slew foot, getting on top of a player and punching them in the face would not receive punishment?

    Both teams did not play with class but it’s almost sickening to see all these Bruins and Pens fans defending the actions of Thornton and Neal. Both were in the wrong and a player was taken off on a stretcher. Have some damn respect folks.

    • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      Thornton should get punishment. The issue I take with everything is that everyone is acting like what Thornton did was so much worse than Neal based purely on the fact that orpik went off on a stretcher. Clearly the stretcher was not necessary, and orpik is not in bad shape. The bruins spoke out, expressed regret and have said they’ll accept the punishment. The pens have claimed no wrongdoing, defended their actions, and continue to withhold any update on orpik. That’s what I’m upset about

      • dchambers144 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        @shaudre93: I think most people (myself included) see a difference in that Neal acted at a momements notice (he couldn’t know a Bruin would be down in front of him) when Thorton clearly took his time (several minutes from previous play) and then skated after the whistle to the other end of the rink to engage. Then he did so with a slew foot and punches. For Neal to even it out, he would have had to knee Marchand then jump on him and punch him in the face after the play. Both dirty, but to different degrees.

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        No, what would have evened it out would be if marchand had stayed down on the ice and they called for a stretcher. You think that wasn’t intentional by Neal? You think marchand wasn’t dazed? You really think that Thornton thought about what he was going to do when he got to orpik? I’m not condoning Thornton at all, but all you pens fans are certainly trying to condone what Neal did. Kinda like the entire pens organization.

      • sjsharks66 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        I believe Bylsma admitted to Neal’s wrong doing in his post game.
        Of course, Neal will not say he did it. Just like Ryane Clowe did not admit to playing the puck from the bench. I hate the response of ” I haven’t seen the video”. It’s like come on man, it was you! why do you need to see the video?! Neal deserves 5 games, while Thornton deserves 10. I am not saying one is more acceptable than the other, but Thornton’s was per-meditated.

        I wish this whole incident never happened and we could all move on. Both the Pens and Bruins are respectful organizations with class act players. Sometimes they act very foolish and deserve punishment.

  15. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Neal should be suspend for about 4-5 games. I will defend Orpik. I have watched every penguins game since the 2006-2007 season and not once have I seen Orpik hit anyone dirty. Also Orpik is not one to drop the gloves. I think that Thorton should be suspended for however long Orpik is out. As I have said previously the Penguins like most teams don’t disclose their injuries, also the Penguins had an off day today. I think they said something about updating the status of Orpik tomorrow.

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      I wish we could take that offer and have Thornton miss a total of 1-2 games. I’m guessing Orpik just needed some clean shorts after he crapped his pants and passed out…

    • jl9830 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:10 PM

      Come on. You really haven’t seen Orpik hit anyone dirty? You haven’t watched one Penguins game if that’s true.

  16. the8man - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Thankfully, they don’t have scheduled games for the remainder of the season, so without a playoff meeting, the carnage may be over.

    As a Bruins fan, I don’t particularly want to see the Bs play the Pens, and I’m sure some Pens fans feel likewise.

  17. timmons94 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Of course Neal did it on purpose. Marchand is dirtiest player in NHL. And if skate was on other foot, we all know Marchand would of done same thing. Porky pig needs to shut up

    • flyerspsu - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:41 PM

      we all know marchand would have blatantly kneed a down opponent in the head? really? as dirty as marchand is you cant just assume he would do that, Neal is one of the only player that would do this, he consistently delivers blind side head shots

    • Moop - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      If Marchand is the dirtiest player in the NHL then the NHL is a pretty safe league. He’s not out there actively hurting players on a nightly basis.

      • jl9830 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        This. I’m not a fan of either team, so objectively, Marchand has had his moments, but he’s not that bad.

      • Moop - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        I’m a huge Bruins fan. Is Marchand a dirty player? At times. He gets under people’s skin and does slip and make dirty hits, including one from behind on the same James Neal in the ECF last season. But he’s not taking people’s heads off or ending people’s careers. Other than his hit on Sami Salo, I don’t believe he’s injured anyone for a long period of time or been suspended more than that one time.

  18. muckleflugga - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    kära fans: brad marchand försökte medvetet att orsaka en skada på james neal genom att försöka spetsa neal vänstra knä när han dansade på med. kan du stava röv hål? undertecknad, daniel och henrik Sedin

  19. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    Shaundre93.
    There really is nothing to report. His alive. He most likely has a concussion.

  20. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    Sjsharks66.
    I wish we could all move on too. The thing that sucks about this is the game was completely overshadowed, by the incident that occurred last night. That was one hell of a game. I used to love the Bruins/Penguins rivalry because it was a rivalry that was hard hitting and nothing else no cheap shots except for the Matt Cooke hit. But after last night it just seems like the rivalry won’t ever be the same again. I fell in love with hockey at 9 years old because I loved the hitting and the up and down action. I didn’t sign up for this. Last night wasn’t hockey it was a catastrophe. I can say today for the first time in my life that I’m embarrassed to be a Penguins fan.

  21. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    You never want to see a player injured whether it be Orpik, Eriksson, or Marchand. It sucks that both the Bruins and Penguins will be without two quality players for quite sometime.

  22. pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    Eat another box of Dunkin Donuts Fatboy

  23. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Yeah I don’t see Neal getting suspended for the year either. I do think that something has to change. The Penguins need to force Neal to change the style of his game kind of what they did with Cooke. I also think that Malkin should change his game as well. Neal and Malkin let things get under their skin to easily, and they usually take dumb penalties that sometimes cost Penguins games.

  24. pastabelly - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Claude is a stand up guy with a lot of honor, but he’s a fool if he believes the Penguins will live up to his standards. Orpik’s hit was dirty as was Neal’s.

  25. irokkit - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Shaundre93. AMEN!!!!!
    Thank you for a clear perspective

    Pastabelly. You’re dismissed. Orpik’s hit was not dirty.

    How many of you know any NHL players? Have Any of you ever played? After high School? On the pond? College?
    I ask because i don’t know about you. And if you don’t play, or haven’t played since you got cut from the junior varsity squad back in 92, try and temper you disdain for men you can’t understand.

    Do you have ANY clue how fast this game is?

    Challenge….
    Please try to make a comment (it doesn’t even have to be intelligent) without insulting or criticizing NHL players. Because truth be known…
    YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IT TAKES TO PLAY THIS GAME!!!!

  26. dumbassgreg - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    no surprise father julien did his usual. we confessed to our sins .after all we are morally superior .lmao. now we forget about them.. but we will talk endless about what you wrong and how it is your fault we did wrong. sure he said our game every second word. he really would have been a perfect priest pompous and pious lmao

  27. rrsm53 - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    If Thornton gets 10 games then Shanahan should get punched in the face, Orpik came up with his shoulder all they have to do is watch the video, if he manned up and faced Thornton whether or not he got his clock cleaned to bad. At least Matt Cooke had the balls to throw down with Thornton it was not smart but give credit where credit is due. John Scott has done worse and only got 7 games for his hit on Ericsson. Thornton deserves at least 5 games. He has never been suspended before plus he is at least sorry about it, not the other pieces of crap on the Pens. Can’t stand that team hopefully some day soon Crosby and the big bird Malkin will get their clocks cleaned for some of the cheap shots they give out also. Bottom line if Neal gets less than Thornton the league has gone to hell. Orpik deserves something also for his hit.

    • blastfurnaceknows - Dec 10, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      In a land of stupid and ignorant comments, yours sir stand out from the rest, What you have written is some of the most insanely idiotic material I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who has read it is now dumber for having done so. I award you no points, sir, and may God have mercy on your soul!

  28. bgrillz - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    Yes, Neal did knee Marchand. No one is going to man up and say yeah, I kneed him on purpose. Let’s be real here Claude. How many times has that little rat taken a cheap shot at another player, and you use that befuddled fat boy like huh? Us? We aren’t dirty? Chara has gotten away with quite a few, as has Lucic. Right, he didn’t run over Miller on purpose, he was just making a play on the puck. This is the first time Claude has owned anything his team has done. So look in the mirror before you start pointing to other teams to be honest. What Thornton did, you can dot defend, even to the blindest of loyalists. It was cheap, dirty, and cowardice.

  29. Lou Gagliardi - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Bruins fans are NEVER allowed to whine and moan about Cooke and Savard again. NEVER.

    What Shawn Thorton did borderlines on criminal and he should not only be suspended but in jail.

    As for Neal? Puh-leeze. If I’m lifting my leg at the same time as a dirty–and I do mean dirty–player goes to take a dive, of course he’s going to get hit.

    At the end of the day, the Bruins deserve everything they’ve gotten. I wouldn’t be surprised if they bomb the rest of the season and use this massacre as an excuse.

    • montrealbbr - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      I agree with you here. Thornton is a goon who deserves to be thrown out of the league for what he did. And all I keep hearing about is how Neal should be suspended when he accidentally skated into that piece of trash on the ice. If you watch the video you can see that neal doesnt wasnt even looking that way and there is no intent there.

      And boston fans need to stop crying about players like Scott and Cooke when you have players like Thornton, Chara and Looch on your team. They should all be tossed out if you ask me. You hurt a player like that and you should also face criminal charges.

      • jimthebear - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        These two comments are too stupid to waste 10 calories typing to answer.. And Pitt wonders why Crosby gets no respect.. Thornton will have to answer to Chara at some point.. Neil doesn’t respect Crosby like that.

  30. amityvillefun - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Funny how differently the fans of each team view this game and the incidents involved. If it was Crosby that was concussed, you folks would be screaming bloody murder and demanding heads.

    The blame for this game goes to both teams…but mostly to the REFS letting it get out of hand.

    If you injure a player, you pay for it. That’s always been “the code.” Clean hit, dirty hit, whatever. If someone lined up Cindy and concussed him, the Bruins would expect a response if the refs did nothing about it. If the REFS aren’t going to do something about it, the enforcers will. Thornton was doing his job and his rage and emotions got the better of him. But he had a RIGHT to be pissed! Concuss a guy and knee another player to head and break a players leg and let it fly? I don’t think so!

    So yes, Thornton got carried away and lost his cool (and he has never done anything like this that I know of) HOWEVER, if the REFS called the proper penalties, it NEVER would have gotten this out of hand.

    There is a reason the Bruins and the Flyers always seem to get into it with the Penguins. They play dirty and cheap. Thornton does not have a reputation as a “dirty” player and as an enforcer, that is tough to do.

    While I don’t agree with the way he handled things, at least he DID SOMETHING TO STAND UP TO THE PENGUINS CHEAP SHOTS AND ATTEMPTS TO INJURE.

    Eriksson might not be back for a long time and neither will Kelly. How much you wanna bet Orpik doesn’t miss more than a game or two?

    I sincerely hope the Bruins face the Pens again in the playoffs and give Crosby or Malkin a hit like Eriksson took, or cheap slash like Kelly took. See how you like it when we take your damn players out of commission!

    I was glad to see Chara bury home the game winner.

    NHL refs, you are supposed to police the game….this was a lousy job with terrible calls that lead to things getting way out of hand. Shanahan should take that into consideration.

    Am NOT happy with what Thornton did, but I’m glad someone stuck up for the Bruins. Enough with cheap shots taking out our players!

    • edubbnaz - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      I don’t necessarily disagree with some of your points, but do you really think Thorton would not look to exact revenge on Orpik if the refs had correctly call the minor for interference on the hit?

      This whole attempt to injure belief is tepid at best. Players simply do not intentionally try to injure other players that often (unless its Tie Domi doing it. In that case thats all he ever did). Often times someone ends up injured for a few different reasons IMO:

      1. The basic skill level within the NHL has drastically dropped. In some teams efforts to get “bigger, stronger, meaner” they have sacrificed skills like skating and hockey sense for size and strength. This leads to players putting themself in bad and vulnerable positions and ultimately injuries. Not every time a player is hurt is it the fault of the person doing the hitting. I am a Red Wings fan, the hit that injured Danny DeKeyser’s shoulder and landed him on the LTIR was completely clean and the injury was 100% on Danny (as the Wings broadcasters pointed out the second it happened) for not knowing how to brace himself to take the hit along the boards properly (and he is actually a very highly skilled young player). Self preservation is not taught properly anymore as too often there is too much focus on the flash and dash parts of the game.

      2. The equipment worn today (especially the shoulder pads) coupled with the general speed of the game has turned players into wrecking balls. There is no second thought in a player’s mind anymore to step up and deliver a bone crunching hit simply because the pads are so affective in absorbing the blow on their end that their body feels none of the affects of the hit.

      3. This kind of ties into #1 but is a little different. There is too much emphasis on the big hit. Because the skill level has dropped too often the only defensive ability the player has is to run into the other guy and knock him into the boards. Kids do not learn proper body positioning and how to use the stick in the defensive zone as well as they should. Its a tough skill to teach because it takes a lot of patience and time and often coaches feel it is not important enough to spend the time on. Think about it, how many times have you heard that a young player needs to learn how to be better in their own zone? Now how often do you hear that a player is great in his own zone but really needs to learn how to be more offensive?

  31. bruins4ever - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Can some of you Pitt fans really believe that Neal’s knee was accidental, to start withj I’ll never defend what Thornton did, he should get 10 games minimum! Also I can’t believe Neal’s comments after the game, he denies his actions, doesn’t think he kneed Marchand. Watch the play – he skates toward him and flexes his leg/knee right into Marchands head – and says later that Marchand was on the way down and there may have been contact. What’s also perplexing is Neals post game comments and some of you defending him.

  32. rpiotr01 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    So, is this what players policing themselves looks like?

    • amityvillefun - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      I guess so man, and it isn’t pretty.

      If the purpose of fighting is to eliminate cheap shots, it isn’t working at all.

  33. edubbnaz - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    1. Orpik’s hit was clean, but it was interferance and should have been called as such (would not have stopped the retaliation crap though).

    2. Neal’s move was intentional. These guys can skate in the tightest of areas, stop on a dime, contort their body and get a shot off and you are going to try and convince me that he did not have the spatial recognition to realize his knee was going to hit Marchand, and int he head no less?

    3. Thorton’s actions were chicken S#$%. I have serious issues with this modern era thinking where a guy puts a good hit on a player and somehow is then required to fight the resident tough guy. If you do not like your guys getting hit, STOP PUTTING THEM IN VULNERABLE POSITIONS! How many times does a guy have to get crunched because he got caught trying to find the puck in his skates before guys learn to stop doing it. Orpik is not required by some unwritten code to have to fight simply because he caught Loui with his head down. The second he declined to fight Thorton after it was clear that Thorton wanted to go the follow on actions went from spur of the moment, heat of battle type to premeditated. Thorton may not have wanted to leave Orpik unconscious on the ice, but he absolutely went over to him in that gathering with the premeditated intent to hurt him (remember there is a difference between being hurt and being injuried).

    4. For the poster above saying that the only reason people are not as upset about Neal’s frankly bs play as they are about Thorton’s is because Orpik was stretchered off is very near sighted. While both were very dirty plays and neither has any place in hockey at all, the reason the Thorton hit is viewed with more vitriol right now is because it was the much more obvious of the two. While we are all pretty sure Neal moved his knee on purpose and clearly knew what he was doing, his actions cannot be definitively shown to be intentional. It can be argued that it was an unintentional action and there is really no way to definitively prove it was because you cannot truly know what he was thinking in that situation. With Thorton there is no doubt. There is no way to claim it was accidently. He clearly targeted Orpik and had both malace and remeditated intent. This does not in any way excuse Neal or say what he did was “less dirty”. What it was though was less “obviously dirty”. This is the very reason why you will not see him “own up to his actions” like so many of you want him to do. Thorton did it partly I am sure because he truly was sorry the man was injured like that. But do not kid yourself. He also did it because he had to. He has to show remorse and contrition in the aftermath in order to not be completely vilified. Neal coming out and confirming in even indirect ways that his play was in fact intentional would only serve as more evidence for Shanny to use when determining his suspension. Some may see it as being gutless or a punk to not own up to his actions, but as I pointed out there is no benefit what so ever for Neal to do it (and why would you expect someone who is willing to knee a man who is laying on the ice in the head to fess up to it anyways).

    On a final note, stop with this notion that the stretcher was a show or that the Penguins are playing games in order to make Orpik seem more hurt then he really is so that Thorton would get a more severe suspension. Anyone with any kind of medical training will tell you that it is standard practice anymore to immobilize anyone even remotely suspect of having sustained head, neck or spinal injuries. And the simple fact that he flew with the team does not mean he did not sustain a head injury. There is such a thing as a late or delayed onset of PCS (post concussion symptoms or syndrome). Just because he did not show immediate symptoms does not mean he is fine. Stop looking through team colored glasses. The fact that a player on the other side did something dirty does not excuse the fact that your team’s player was just as dirty. It is crap like this that takes away from the true beauty of hockey.

  34. acepylut - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    As a die-hard B’hawks fan, I am absolutely disgusted by the Penguins cowardice and dirtiness. If last years SCF did anything, it was to prove that the Boston Bruins are a stand-up team, with a stand-up coach, and stand-up players. Pittsburg is nothing but a bunch of whiney crybabies.

    None of this bs would have happened in Pittsburg had men on their hockey team, instead of a bunch of cowards. To note: Oprik’s initial hit, penalty, and when it’s time for him to answer the call for his dirty hit that started this crap, he turned tail like a little baby.

    Then Neal, what another coward – kneeing a man on the ground. Pathetic. He should get 2x as much as Thornton.

    Then Boston’s Thornton, punching a coward on a team of cowards laying on the ground – mans up afterword – admits his wrongdoing, as does his team….

    Meanwhile, the crying penguins are all acting like they did nothing. Pathetic. I hope they get their butts swept out of the playoffs again this year.

  35. bruins41390 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    It’s really great to see that 90% of penguins fans can’t admit to having dirty players on the team…Thorty admitted it was a mistake…but none of this probably would have happened if orpik would have manned up and taken the beating like he should have…neal is a joke…to knee someone in the head like that and then the pens fans say well marchand is dirty…no hes just annoying…and doesn’t deserve a cheap shot to the head from neal. It just goes to show you that most of the pens fans are cry babys just like sidney crosby….man up and realize your faults…bruins fans have…..its really funny how delusional the penguins coach and most fans are with this….

    • blastfurnaceknows - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      You say it’s funny, I say it is sad. I think it is sad that the NHL has a fan like you. It is why the NHL never does enough when presented with something as egregious as Saturday night.

      Orpik’s hit was LEGAL. Neal’s wasn’t. Both happened while the puck was in play. Orpik doesn’t owe a knuckle-dragging, nose breather, such as yourself, or any Bruin fan who may agree with you, a fight or some simple-minded obligation to “man-up.” Thornton attacked him (from behind, what a real man he is) when the puck was dead and everyone was just milling around, slue foot him to the ice, pounced on top of him and then struck him in the face and head with his fist and elbow. If that is your definition of manning up, then it is you who is delusional!

      Thornton should be gone a minimum of 30 games. Neal should be gone 10-14 games. Enough is enough with this garbage in this league!

      • bruins41390 - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        30 games? seriously….calm it down……the overdramatics isn’t necessary…and i’m sure you think fighting in general should be taken out of the league as well….and like i said earlier and i will stand by what i said…i don’t agree with how he attacked him from behind because no one should get knocked out like that….but don’t knock one of our players out and not expect anyone from the bruins to just stand there be ok with it….everyone who knows NHL hockey knows that when a player hits another player and its kind of shady expect a fight…if you can’t handle it DON’T CHEAPSHOT SOMEONE!!!! And clearly thornton isn’t that dirty of a player if this is his first suspension. He apologized he clearly didn’t intentionally mean to knock him out…i’m just saying the situation probably would have ended a lot differently if he owned up to his not so legal hit on erikkson. and by the way i never condoned what he did was right. so again chill.

      • blastfurnaceknows - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        Yes, seriously. No one is being “over-dramatic.” You talk about what Thornton intended? Really? Let’s see . . . 1) he intended to ignore the whistle; 2) he intended to skate over to Orpik, while ignoring the whistle and dead play; 3) he intended to skate over to Orpik from behind him during dead time; 4) he intended to slew foot him, tripping him to the ice, while Orpik wasn’t looking; 5) he intended to immediately jump on top of him, while Orpik was prone on the ice; 6) he intended to strike Orpik in the head/face with his fist; and 7) he intended to strike Orpik in the head/face with his elbow. Then this beacon of the community, this coward of the county, says “I didn’t mean to hurt him.” Really? Seriously, really? What else, on earth, could he have been intending? He’s as dishonest as Neal! The difference, you may ask? Neal’s play appeared to be spur of the moment and while the puck was in play. Your guy waited for dead time and committed a calculated, deliberate, from-behind assault on an unsuspecting player. I don’t care whether he’s been suspended before or not. This is the WORST kind of “on-ice” infraction a player can commit. Now, that I really think about it, 30 days may be too light.

        You are too immersed in your team and your garbage filth of a player to see how bad his actions really were. I hope the NHL finally takes a serious stand on these sort of things and sets a long, overdue precent here.

  36. PCa Survivor - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Orpik is on I.R.
    Neal has been suspended for five games
    Thorton should be suspended for the season

    • kmo25 - Dec 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      The season!? HAAA! For giving Glass JOe Orpik a couple of dope slaps?
      Hysterical!

  37. budzo83 - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Thornton crossed the line, no doubt about it, and I don’t like the fact that Orpik got hurt… However, he HAS to fight Thornton before that whole thing escalated. He has to answer the bell whether he thinks he needs to or not. I understand that Orpik is not a “fighter” per se, but he’s a big guy that plays a physical game, and he launched himself at a skill player who did not have control of the puck. It was a bad hit. I understand that if he had control of the puck it’s a clean hit, but it wasn’t. That doesn’t make the end result justifiable or acceptable, but Orpik knew that someone would be coming after him and that he was going to have to face the music.

  38. psousa1 - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Bullsh!t. Orpik launched himself at Eriksson and delivered a head shot. Dupuis breaks Chris Kelly’s leg with a slash. Neal intentionally knees Marchand’s head.

  39. bruins41390 - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    blastfurnace….so just because neals was spur of the moment it makes it less dirty? you act like thornton killed his family….off with thorntons head because he made a mistake….i’m pretty sure someone whose truly vengeful and terrible and goon like and all the other over the top names you called him intentinally meant for him to get hurt i don’t think he would have been as upset as everyone says he was in the locker room. You really need to remember peoples intentions from your own team then if thornton purposely meant to knock orpik out. If we really want to talk about dirty players and people who should have gotten suspended for a long period of time….we could go back to Matt Cooke and Mark Savard….but i’m sure you’ll find some excuse for that “non dirty” dirty hit….and the same hit goes for the one on cam neely that ended his career…do they teach pens players that in camp? how to cheap shot someone by kneeing them? Don’t make it seem like this is the worst most outragious hit in hockey and that Thornton should be banned.

    • blastfurnaceknows - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      I never said he should be “banned,” I said the suspension should be deadly serious, and I don’t want to hear about your litany of alleged past injustices. What he did needs to stop. What Neal did needs to stop. Period. What Thornton did was absolutely, unquestionably worse. If you don’t see it, then you never will. The NHL has to put an end to BOTH things. It has to prevent the head shots. Neal’s suspension was too light. I fear Thornton’s will be too, but it shouldn’t be. What he did is the lowest form of “retribution” a respectable hockey player can take. Look, Orpik is on the ice like a good portion of the game. Go check him. He’s not hard to find with the puck in play. There are plenty of avenues to take in hockey, outside of fighting, and without COWARDLY coming up from behind in dead time and committing a criminal assault on an unsuspecting opponent. Seriously, you don’t get that? You don’t want that to stop forever? Too bad. A 30+ game suspension would be a hell of a deterrent and that is exactly what the NHL should do.

  40. girouxed - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Thornton was justified in what he did.

    James Neal should be suspended for the rest of the season.

  41. dabruins - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Lots of good comments (and some juvenile ones as well) so here’s my take on it, and keep in mind I am a Bruins fan born and raised in Boston:

    Thornton was wrong, PERIOD! His first attempt to challenge Orpik was spot on and expectedbut the from behind slew foot and sucker punch is intolerable and the resultant injury exacerbates his extremely poor decision.
    Orpik was wrong, TWICE! First for blowing up Errikson who now has a concussion and second for not answering the bell when challenged right after. After a hit like that, he’s an idiot if he doesn’t expect the opponents team enforcer to stir it up. If he answers the challenge like the “code” says, it would’ve been a done deal. He cowered so the idea was still out there that vengeance was due. That may be wrong but that is why the unwritten “code” is typically followed.
    Neal was wrong as well! I applaude the Pens fans for acknowledging his typical dirty style of play and I think this was far from an accident. He plays on the edge much like Marchand does but that does not excuse the blatant knee to the head which fortunately, did not cause serious injury.

    Now for the suspensions: Neal getting 5 games is probably adequate (I would’ve preferred 7 or 8) though I don’t think it will register to change his style of play.
    Thornton should probably get 20-25 games as his antics were deplorable. I respect others opinions of 10 games or 30 games or the season as we all have our opinions so that is mine. Though I really don’t think he intended to injure Orpik quite like he did, the result was not good and I hope Orpik recovers quickly.

    Finally, here is an aspect that I haven’t seen mentioned …. what about Orpik? Does he deserve a suspension for causing injury to Errikson on a hit that was a penalty? Could a suspension run concurrently with his games lost due to injury? I’m not stirring anything up but just invoking thought and discussion.

  42. hockeydan18 - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Okay so lets move away from the Boston fans justifing Thornton’s actions and Pgh fans justifing Neal’s actions. My focus is what the hell has happened to the NHL? As a defensive player you are supposed to depossess opposing players of the puck and thwart offensive opportunities. As a forward player it is common knowledge and practice to have you head up when skating in open ice. Anybody remember Scott Stevens hard hits on R.J. Umberger (as a Flyer), Paul Kariya, or Ron Francis??? I don’t recall anyone following Stevens around the ice trying to antagonize a fight after the fact. I’d really compare this to the Stevens on Umberger or Stevens on Kariya hit… Why? All of the instances players were skating in open ice with their heads down looking for a puck in their skates. When the hit is made it is considered a hockey play in that scenario (X’s and O’s). Forward has possession or contact with the puck, opposing defenseman plays the body. Where does this underlying “CODE” come in all of the sudden that every big hit in todays game must be combatted with a fight? What has happened to remembering the number that hit you and getting CLEAN retrobution later in a game or later in the season. It is a simple solution you don’t want your good players to be hit, don’t play them, or teach them to keep their head up. Ultimately what will happen is the dog and pony show fighting after every CLEAN hit will take hitting out of the sport all together. Not justifing Neal’s knee at all, but it was a response to Marchand punching Maatta in the face seconds earlier in the Pgh corner. If officials take more notice to players like Marchand and Cooke, perhaps teams will not have to take matters into their own hands and go cheap shot for cheap shot.

    • dabruins - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      I thought I was pretty clear that ALL parties in this debacle were WRONG. I remember the hits you mention about Stevens and there are distinct differences from this instance. Orpik’s hit was not displacing a player from the puck. The puck came off the boards and was BEHIND Errikson but Orpik had already decided he was gonna make the hit. If Errikson had the puck and his head down than I would agree with you completely but that is not the case here. That’s where the CODE comes in where a teammate stands up to defend a guy that got annihilated needlessly. Every good hit DOES NOT require a fight. If it’s a good clean hit than so be it but in my opinion, Errikson was not eligible to be hit just because he was in the vicinity of the puck.

      The Neal knee is a completely different story and has no correlation to any other incident other than just plain dirty. Yes, Marchand always plays on the edge and is known to be a pest with the pushing and shoving and face washing, etc. but that does not deserve a knee to the head while he is down. As a Boston fan, I like the grittiness that Marchand plays with but I find myself yelling at him all the time because he pushes it time and time again. I would love to see officials give a few more penalties to help cut out a lot of the BS and cheap crap.

      • hockeydan18 - Dec 10, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        I guess my point on Marchand was (or is). If Neal put a glove in Seidenberg’s face in the corner then was lying on the ice as Marchand was skating by… I can almost 100% guarantee you Marchand would have done something cheap too… all needless crap stemming from a non-call. If the officials would get the whistles out of their pockets and make the first call… none of the bone headed stuff happens as a result. Even in the Orpik instance, if you are on the stance that it should have been interference (by the way Umberger never had full possession when Stevens hit him, the puck was at his skates very similar to the Orpik/Eriksson play) if a whistle is blown and a 2 minute penalty given, would Thornton still have acted like a caveman?? For whatever reason perception of the officials has always been to call the retalliation not the primary infraction. The way players are playing today, I thing the first call needs to be made more often before players get that “self-policing” or “breaking the code” mentality.

  43. pizoisoned - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I generally refuse to talk about the Cooke incident. It was legal at the time, and it shouldn’t have been. That’s a flaw in the rules. I don’t think anyone can objectively look at Neals hit and say it was unintentional and he deserves every one of his 5 game suspension. As far as Thorton, he basically did everything but steal Orpiks wallet with that tugging and anything less than a 10 game suspension is a joke. He probably deserves 20 but I imagine he’ll get 15 for it and a heavy fine.

    As far as the Bruins as an organization and their comments on the matter, good for you for being forced to acknowledge the obvious. If you want to suggest that had Orpik fought or had Neal not kneed your guy this could have been avoided, ask yourself how you would react if Chara had to be carted off in a stretcher because he “didn’t want to fight”.

    Look, I’m a Pittsburgh fan. Always have been. I like hockey though. If Thornton comes over and gives Orpik a face wash or starts pushing, hey that’s hockey. It’s not ok, nor has it ever been ok to throw someone on the ice and pummel them while they’re defenseless, no matter how upset you are with them.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Ryan (1250)
  2. J. Drouin (1187)
  3. C. Giroux (1168)
  4. J. Quick (1123)
  5. N. Horton (1081)