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Bylsma: Neal needs to learn from Marchand hit

Dec 11, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

James Neal Getty Images

In retrospect, Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal realizes that kneeing Brad Marchand in the head wasn’t too bright.

What compounds it though, and what might have contributed to his suspension being five games, is the fact that this isn’t Neal’s first run-in with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Prior to this incident, he had previously been suspended twice before.

That’s a cause for concern for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“There needs to be some education there,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There needs to be some learning in how he needs to play the game and how he can play the game.”

Bylsma has already talked to Neal at length about the incident and it seems likely the subject will be brought up again.

For his part, Neal acknowledges that in addition to it not being his “smartest decision,” he hurt the Penguins with his actions by removing himself from the lineup.

“He’s a 40-goal scorer and has to be able to play that way without crossing that line,” Bylsma said.

114 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. ibieiniid - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    “Most of the Penguins view Marchand with a level of esteem usually reserved for foot fungus and Flyers”

    lmao alright Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, you got me there. i lol’d in my office. although, is it me or is this sentence backwards?:

    “Sure, there might have been a time — say, just over 11 minutes into what would become a 3-2 loss Saturday night in Boston — when Penguins winger James Neal figured, however briefly, that driving a knee into the head of Bruins forward Brad Marchand wasn’t such a terrible idea.”

    not “might.” there WAS a time when he thought that wasn’t such a terrible idea… that’s why he did it. or are they still asserting that it was an accident?

    • Tyler - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      I’m a Pens fan. Neal’s suspension should have been longer. Perhaps 7-10 games. Kneeing Marchand in the head WAS a terrible idea.

      A swift kick to Marchand’s cojones on the other hand…

      • ibieiniid - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        lol i read that “or the other head.” it worked well after “cojones.”

        but I don’t understand how Neal can say he made the “decision” to do what he did, but still say he didn’t mean to “hurt or injure.” what, a knee to the head usually feels GOOD?

    • pastabelly - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Yup, the team that employed Matt Cooke all of those years WOULD think that. Marchand as actually a pretty good player.

      Bylsma was pretty much shamed into making that statement after being called out by Claude earlier in the week.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        Please don’t kid yourself into thinking anyone gives a rats as* what the fat hypocrite behind the Boston bench thinks. He’s been embarassing the NHL for years now.

        He’s not shaming ANYONE into ANYTHING. Especially not the Pens coach, to a local paper. You’re delusional.

  2. pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    IBIEINIID flocking his gums with another useless comment as always

    • ibieiniid - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      the visual of a flock of gums lol. it’s flopping, or flapping dipsh**.

      what else do you want me to say though? we already had several stories about this. I actually read the linked article and addressed a positive and a negative in there. what kind of comments are you looking for?

  3. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Neal brushed his leg into Marchand. The action was very wrong I agree but Neal gave Marchand a little tap. He could’ve concussed him or done a lot more damage but held back. The problem is was Neal should have known Marchand would play it up and roll around acting hurt. Bad move, either way Neal should’ve avoided Marchand but the act wasn’t serious at all. He basically pushed his head with his leg,
    Not hit.

    • upyourstodd - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      Is it fun trolling?

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      HA! Thanks for that…I needed a good laugh this morning.

      Now back to your cave.

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      0 Thumbs up
      17 Thumbs down

      clearly your mindset is of the majority here ;)

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        If this was crosbys glass brain hit from behind you pens fans would be on rooftops up in arms screaming it was attempted murder on your golden boy and he’d be out the rest of the year so don’t claim it wasn’t bad just cause he wasn’t injured on the play. Hit from behind the head is the most dangerous place to get hit. It’s insane the double standards with you pens fans.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        Wait though “broadstreetsbaddest” (hahahaha)….isn’t that right where Emery was punching Holtby? Over and over and against Holtby’s will? Something tells me there’s a reason why you side with Boston there.

    • drewzducks - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      As a Pens fan you’ve seen firsthand Sidney playing up barely noticeable taps to the head to the point where he’s given himself multiple weeks of vacation while still being paid by a team on the verge of bankruptcy. Can’t wait til the next time. Trolling is so easy even a Pens fan can do it.

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        That’s exactly where emery was hitting him, in a fight though not like Neal who knee’d him while he was on the ice defenseless. I’m trying to understand your point in reference to that. I never condoned that act, where as all you pens fans with double standard that it’s ok for Neal to but god forbid that happened to him or Crosby you’d call for that players head.

      • toiletclown - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        if your looking for a broad sport you might want to start watching tennis bro

  4. myroncopesflask - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    He needs to learn how to do things like this during a scrum, during a wholesale line change, or some other high traffic situation. The only reason this is a big deal is that he got caught. Much worse goes on behind the play in every game. Neal needs to learn how to be like Malkin. Dirty as they come but he doesn’t get called for half of the stuff he does. I love watching the mad Russian do his thing.

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      …and the only reason the Thornton situation is a big deal is because Orpik was knocked out.

      Neal’s hit is worse than Thorntons IMO.

      Neal clearly intended to hurt Marchand – he failed.

      People throw punches while they are on the ice a lot more than people think…especially at the end of fights, but because Orpik was knocked out it is a big deal. Not excusing what Thornton did AT ALL, and he absolutely deserves a suspension, but the INTENT to knock Orpik out was not there…the same cannot be said for Neal however.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        I agree with most of the comments on here, Neal needs to clean it up, many players do – and many players ON THE BOSTON SQUAD like Marchand, Boychuk, McQuaid, Chara, Lucic – are just as dirty. It ALL needs cleaned up, in my opinion.

        But this is where it gets so retarded. Thornton didn’t mean to injure? Are you drunk? You don’t slewfoot a man from behind and jump on him and punch him in the face for ANY other reason. There is absolutely no way to defend your comments.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        Also – those punches thrown at the end of plays is, and has always been (outside of a few Chara headshots and Lucic runnings and Marchand slewfoots) the reason I hold EXTREME disgust towards the Bruins. THEY are the ones doing that – don’t act like the entire league gets away with punches. McQuaid, Lucic, and Boychuk are horrible behind the play. I’ve actually never seen a whistle blown where a punch WASN’T thrown by a Boston player. Don’t act like because your team throws punches behind the play that it is somehow acceptible or part of the game.

      • supercoop8 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM

        @hockey412 The after whistle glove punches are a common play for the Bruins, and it is goon play. The two handed slashes that Letang, Malkin, Crosby, and Kunitz dole out every time they are touched is less thuggish but just as bush league. How many times do you see a group of Pens players single a guy out, surround him after the whistle, and paint him with rabbit crosschecks. The reason the Pens end up in melees with the Flyers, Islanders, and Bruins is because they are in the same class when it comes to dirty play; they just bring a different style to it. If you take the Pacciorety incident off Chara’s record [which I admit he should have been suspended], his play is no more chippy than Malkin. They are two players that other teams target that frequently lose their head.

        What I’ve seen on these boards since this incident is the belligerence of the blood lusting sect of Bruins fans and the pathetic lack of self-awareness from the arrogant sect of Pens fans; both equally as irritating and misinformed.

      • montrealbbr - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        Marchand, Boychuk, McQuaid, Lucic, Chara and Thornton are some of the dirtiest players in the league. I hope that Thornton is not only suspended for the rest of the season but I think they should start taking draft picks away. That will get teams like Boston to start drafting hockey players and not scumbags who try to win by hurting the other team.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        Thanks Supercoop, understood – if I’ve said something misinformed or delusional let me know.

      • stepanup - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        @montrealbbr – Thank for your epitmoizing the Habs fans that the rest of the NHL loves to hate. Stereotypes wouldn’t exist without a reason, so thanks again. And don’t worry, your whining crowd and featherweight lineup will continue to generate large PP disparities in your favor.

      • montrealbbr - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        You talk like its a bad thing to be the team that has more time on the power play. This usually means more goals and more wins. I will take that over being the team that feels they are tougher by hitting players after the whistle.

      • drone501 - Dec 11, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        wish he had knocked out that rat bastard

  5. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Neal is saying he didn’t intend to injure because he held back. More of like a warning to Marchand. I hate how people are questioning his intent, if Neal wanted to really hurt Marchand he would have. Also, the 5 game suspension is for what?? This league will always amaze me, Marchand wasn’t hurt so on that basis the suspension should be little. The NHL itself created that thought from the history of suspensions. I’m curious to the person who thinks Neal should get 7-10 games. My opinion was that if Neal got 5 games then Thornton should get 25. If Neal got 7-10 than Thornton should get 35-50 gms. Basically a 5x multiplier (causing injury is a big part).

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Read the comment above yours.

      So…let me get this straight – After the game, Neal was adamant about that fact that he did not intend to even TOUCH Marchand and that it was completely incidental. Now, after the fact, he is saying he was trying to “hold back” from hitting him when he clearly skates into the hit with PLENTY of time to avoid him. Video evidence proves it…you cannot deny it.

      He KNOWS he cannot make a hit like that in this league, yet he did. It was a CONSCIOUS decision to hit Marchand the way he did – no two ways about it. Take of your rose colored glasses dude!

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        One more thing to consider – Neal had Marchand prone – if he wanted to injure – that was the time. Hell If he was going to end his career, that was the time.

        Instead – Marchand didn’t miss a shift. Figure that in, because you have no real idea about what Neal’s intentions were.

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        Dude – here you are thinking (“one more thing to consider”) that a player is actively contemplating ending someones career when they see someone in a prone position, and you are questioning my ability to determine said players intent to injure (not end a career!) another player? C’mon

        Just because Marchand didn’t miss a shift doesn’t mean he wasn’t trying to cause him harm. That’s ridiculous.

        Maybe Marchand’s tougher than you think ;) (that statement is guaranteed to piss people off haha)

  6. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Again, if Neal wanted to injure or hurt Marchand he would of. He can’t come out and say he meant it because he’s been saying the opposite, but he obviously meant to send Marchand a message, and it was along the lines of a face wash not a knockout. Watch the replay again, Neal is gliding and let’s up big time.

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      To say that Neal “let up” is laughable

      Lay off the pipe son.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        How long do you think Marchand will be out due to Neal’s hit?

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

        HOCKEY

        You’re comment solidifies the fact that he league determines suspensions based on the RESULT of the ACTION. NOT the action itself….therein lies the problem.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Please tell me, then – how do you know what Neal’s intentions were?

        And how then, do you know what Thornton’s intentions were?

        You don’t. You’re assuming you do, because you are a Boston fan as disgusted by all of this as the rest of us, yet you, AND penvik, have the need to consol yourselves by comparing each. You two are the exact same person, the exact same fan. And both wrong.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        If Neal hadn’t “let up” Marchand would be in the hospital.

    • bruininnh1984 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      what does it matter if marchand doesn’t miss any time, the intent was there

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        He got 5 games for his actions. How do you know what his intentions were? Only Neal knows what his intentions were, and he said differently, right?

        Or do you know something he doesn’t know?

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        How do I know he intended to hit Marchand in the head???

        I watched the video of him skating INTO his head when he had plenty of time to avoid the contact

        I read the post game interview where he was adamantly denying making contact with Marchands head.

        I watched the video of the play – again –

        I read the comments post suspension in which he goes on to say that he made a bad choice. “Choice” meaning he consciously CHOSE to knee Marchand in the head. You don’t knee someone in the head without intent to cause serious harm.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        No, doofus. How do you know that Neal’s intentions were to injure (and yet didn’t) and Thornton’s intentions were to NOT injure (yet did).

        It all sounds completely insane. You are blinded by your homerness.

      • bruininnh1984 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        i can only go by the act itself cause i sure don’t believe anything neal said in his postgame interview, oh and btw, how do you know what neal’s intentions were?

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        Actually Neal said very clearly that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

        No – I don’t believe him either. But it isn’t the place of a Bruin fan to judge it, then turn around and apply a completely different set of assumptions to Thornton.

    • stepanup - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      So if he’s gliding, and had time to let up, then he had plenty of time to maybe, get out of the way entirely?

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:52 PM

        How do I know, or have a pretty well educated guess?

        What’s the first line in the preview? That right – Neal’s 3rd suspension.

        How many suspensions does Thornton have in more playing years? None. And this is for a player with the reputation as a “goon”…you see where I’m going there???

        Countless fights under his belt – and in response to much worse hits – and zero suspensions. It’s pretty clear he didn’t intend to knock out Orpik like that.

  7. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Kovodisc, you are right, Thornton did not attempt to injure. Thornton tried to kill Orpik. The law should be looking into this, take it out if the leagues hands

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Wow.

      You seriously have me speechless right now.

      Step awaaaay from the keyboard!

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        Hahah the law? Where you from, Montreal?

  8. bruininnh1984 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    i don’t understand how people can still defend neal for doing what he did, regardless of whether or not it was marchand

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      BRUIN – how can you not side with the sound logic that PENVIK provides all of us???

      I mean – the logic is undeniable

      • bruininnh1984 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        maybe his reasoning is just way over my head, cause obviously neal is a stand up player who’s getting screwed by the league in this instance

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM

        You’re no better, bro. You’re actually exactly the same. You might want to lay off the dude, because you are the spitting image. Just in reverse.

  9. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    I’m saying that YES, Neal definitely meant to hit Marchand. Yes with his knee and yes to his head. There’s no disputing that. Neal made a very poor choice of judgement. But what he DID do and is plain as day to me is held back. He could have really hurt Marchand in that situation and didn’t. He more or less gave him a wake-up/scare, which again I agree was the wrong choice. But he DID NOT attempt to hurt Marchand or obviously he would have. Very different from stalking somebody up and down the ice than jumping them from behind and driving a forearm fist into the face while the player is defense less and against the ice

    • bruininnh1984 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      if neal really wanted to hold back, he would have avoided hitting marchand in the head with his knee

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        He is admitting that Neal targeted Marchand’s head with his knee.

        That is all I need to hear from him because it’s black and white IMO

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Right – so he should get a suspension…we’ll say, oh, 5 games…and the coach maybe should call him in and tell him to clean it up. What else are you looking for. What’s the point of ANY of your posts in this.

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      What is a forearm fist? To me it looked like to cheap shots with a glove on…

      Dude – he TARGETED Marchands HEAD with his KNEE!!!! That is all that needs to be said! It’s pretty black and white.

      Maybe he didn’t go all out and do a knee-drop to his head, but to say he held back is ludicrous

      If there was even an ATTEMPT to hold back, he would have been skating AWAY from Marchand, not TOWARDS, and INTO him.

    • jpelle82 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      while i dont think he shouldve gotten any kind of leniency for “letting up” i do agree it couldve been a lot worse. he couldve outright kicked him or drove his knee harder, in which case we would be talking about 10-15 games instead of 5 though. when i watched it over and over it was pretty clear there was intent and it was malicious no matter how you try to cut it. if he was really trying to be sneaky he couldve tried to “jump” over him and kick him on the way down and if he was really trying to hurt him he shouldve kicked him harder. several things couldve happened but what did happen was definitely bad enough for me.

  10. pastabelly - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Thornton, for all of his fighting, has one of the better reputations in the league as a stand up guy. What he did was wrong and he knows he will deserve whatever he gets. Neal and Orpik have dirty and cheap histories too them. It’s about time Bylsma has come out and said something. When coaches actually discourage this behavior, they will be protecting their own players from retaliation. Claude has called out Marchand in the past and called the Thornton play cheap. OWN YOUR CHEAP PLAY. It’s about time Pittsburgh.

    • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      Just an idea, here. You might want to actually read the article before you post in all caps like that. Just a thought.

      Thornton is respected in Boston, man. That’s it. He’s a classless goon to the rest of the league. And even some Boston fans are starting to see who he really is.

      I’m just glad he’s getting the widespread rep he deserves. Wish someone didn’t have to get hurt first.

      Orpik, though, has always been very respected in the league. And on the team. That’s why he wears the A.

      • gallyhatch - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        You may have your finger on the pulse of opinions in Pittsburgh, but you don’t speak for people around the rest of the league. According to the Ottawa Sun, Orpik is not as respected as you think he is:

        http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/12/09/senators-enforcers-stand-up-for-shawn-thornton

        “The fact is, many players take advantage of the league’s instigator rule to give opponents cheap shots they know they won’t have to answer for. Orpik, who one NHL executive referred to Monday as one of the “dirtiest and phoniest players in the league” rarely drops the gloves even though he plays on the edge.”

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        And was the executive from Boston perhaps?

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        Also – are you SERIOUSLY going to cite an article from a bunch of enforcers who are sticking up for the guy that fights, and talking trash on the guy that doesn’t? That’s kind of silly.

      • gallyhatch - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nhl/news/20131209/nhl-fighting-shawn-thornton-brooks-orpik-attack/

        This is one from Sports Illustrated, in which the writer refers to Orpik as a player with “a reputation for ‘thorny’ play” and also refers to Thornton as “a player of integrity”.

        You don’t have to agree with the writers (I know you don’t) but I’m presenting a counter point to your assertions that
        A) Thornton is only respected in Boston and nowhere else and
        B) Orpik is very respected in the league.

        There are plenty of people who disagree with you, and they don’t just root for the Bruins.

      • jpelle82 - Dec 12, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        your SI writer is from Boston, went to BC and everything…not a good example there gallyhatch

      • gallyhatch - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        Your point is noted, bad example.

        Here’s another Ottawa based writer who calls Thornton one of the ‘more respected enforcers in the league’.

        http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/85033/the-weekend-in-hockey-shawn-thornton-breaks-the-code

        Here’s a quote from Jack Johnson, Blue Jacket’s defenseman, 2010 teammate and friend of Brooks Orpik when asked what Thornton’s reputation is around the league:

        “I think, from what I’ve seen, an honest player. He plays his role well. Everyone knows it. I don’t think he’s had incidents in the past. I think it was a case where Brooks wasn’t lying there and got hurt, nobody would be talking about it.”

        http://blogs.post-gazette.com/sports/2013-06-20-18-51-15/empty-netters/40022-blue-jackets-johnson-on-orpik-and-thornton-12-10-13

        Or you can sit here and believe that Homer412 speaks for everyone outside of Boston.

        I would like to think noone is that stupid, but you never know.

    • pens5829 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      Another Penguin hater heard from. Troll.

      Love how the Beanhead fans keep trying to blame this all on the Pens. Clean hit and your boys con;t know how to respond without goonism. Reminds of of the Flyers. What Neal did was wrong? Absolutely. Was is in response to all the dirty paly from Marchand over the years? Positively. Anyone that says Marchand is not a dirty player is either blinded Boston fan or doesn’t know hockey. Dude slew-foots and does more illegal stick-work than anyone I can remember in years, then turtles behind his big brothers. What a turd?

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        He certainly earned that reputation in the league – no question about it.

        With that being said – he is making fundamental shifts in his play and has greatly reduced the amount of dirty play he use to conduct. He still plays with a chip on his shoulder (who doesn’t?) and gets under people’s skin, but his cheap/dirty play is on the decline and it’s nice to see.

        I didn’t like seeing his antics out there sometimes.

      • pastabelly - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        Why should Bruins fans hold anything against the team that cheap shotted two of its best players in the last 30 years into forced retirement? Hmmmmm?????????? Orpik certainly looked like he wanted to make it three.

        Has any Bruins fan made any excuses for Marchand? Claude has already publicly called him out. I guess that’s an excuse for the dirty Crosby and the dirtier Neal for their actions. I suppose frontier justice is okay for them but not okay for Thornton after Orpik’s head shot on Erickkson that concussed him and jeopardized his career.

  11. cobra617 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    What does he need to learn? This wasn’t some inadvertent act. He purposely hit him in the head with his knee?
    Look, I think Marchand is one of the biggest scumbags in the game. But you simply cannot do what Neal did.

    • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      He needs to learn not to purposely hit people in the head with his knee.

      Stated otherwise, he needs to learn to control his emotions even when dealing with scum, lest you become scum yourself (see Shawn Thornton). He also needs to learn that his actions won’t be tolerated.

      I dunno, man…maybe read the article or something.

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        “He needs to learn to control his emotions when dealing with scum, lest you become scum yourself (see Shawn Thornton)”

        So by your logic that would make the “well respected” Brooks Orpik scum. Thank you for that.

      • mvshark - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        Hockey412 you finally admitit….You call Marchand scum, fine, but no w Neal has become SCUM, just as you say Thornton has become…you and Pendik are most definitely two boytoys living in Sindeys house as servants and bloggers…move back toyour Amish heritage and stay off the net.

  12. kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    HOCKEY412 – I will stand by my comments and absolutely defend them.

    I’m absolutely saying that Thornton WAS NOT trying to knock Orpik out.

    Rough him up good? Absolutely! It was unfortunate that it happened, and Thornton has completely owned up to the hit. His postgame comments and actions support it – this rattled him.

    He deserves a suspension – he knows it. But this would not be such a big deal had he not been knocked out. Punches are thrown with people on the ground all the time…are they all trying to knock out their opponent to the point of being taken off in a stretcher? Absolutely not.

    Thornton crossed the line – everyone agrees there.

    • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      Ok then – Neal was just trying to “rough him up good” then. And according to you – that is just fine.

      Case closed, you can go about your day. Neal got five games for trying to “rough him up good” and needs to stop trying to “rough him (or others) up good”

      This WOULD be a big deal. Actually a bigger deal. The league has tampered with the idea of removing hockey – between two willing combatants. Along comes Thornton who thinks honor is for nothing and decides he doesn’t NEED Orpik’s willingness to fight him, he’ll do it like the garbage punk he is, from behind. That’s not even two willing fighters and it’s not a big deal????

      The league to has remove this, needs to send a clear message, that includes many, many games, and many, many dollars. No one thinks Neals hit should stay in hockey. Nor should Thorntons.

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        If that was the case then the league should have set the standard after the Emery/Holtby debacle which was just as, if not more, violent then the Orpik/Thornton incident.

        The NHL “discipline” is a freakin joke.

        Again – suspend the action and not the result.

        Both Neal and Thornton crossed the line and both deserve to be suspended.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        Emery at least haded the jaded decency to come at a man to his face. That’s not more violent in my eyes. Told him to get his hands up. Thornton is a joke, and will always, from this incident on, be a joke.

        Kneeing a player who is down is bad. Slamming an unsuspecting player with his back turned to the ice, then flopping on him and beating on him so his head repeatedly hits the ice, is insane.

        You’re right…suspend the action. Not the result…if they want what Thornton did out of hockey, and are serious about taking goonish liabilities out of an otherwise awesome sport, getting hockey to a point where the average joe can watch it without being sick to their stomach, then Thornton should be GONE.

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Then by your standards NEAL kneeds (do you see what I did there) to be GONE as well.

  13. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    The league could do this very easily. Neal is suspended until Marchand plays again….. Oh wait, he wasn’t even scratched. Thornton is suspended until Orpik plays again. The same logic should have been used with bertuzzi and YES also with Matt Cooke.

  14. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Oh and where do u guys see thumbs up/down. I’m using my phone for this app and don’t see any thumbs up/down

  15. drewsylvania - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Bylsma’s learned one thing: Somehow coaches are immune to criticism when they let their players act dirty.

    • jpelle82 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      claude julien knows first hand how that works

      • drewsylvania - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:42 AM

        As have all coaches, but the Pens are dirtier than the Bruins.

      • jpelle82 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        thats funny

    • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      Change the underoos, kiddo. Open your eyes.

  16. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Bottom line is, from a pens fan is this. You beat the penguins by playing dirty for 60min. The refs will call 5-7 powerplays and then put the whistle away. Meanwhile, the infractions continue but do not get called. This happens routinely over and over when we play Boston, Philly, and the isles did it a couple years ago too. Pitt tries to play a legal hard hitting, hard skating game. Which works great up until the refs decide it’s time to out the whistle away or time to even up the calls. Makes me sick. Thornton should have gotten a 10 min misconduct immediately after the original hit on Erikkson. The refs should have also warned the bruins bench that any retaliation would be watched like a hawk.

    Philly uses this plan of attack everytime they play Pittsburgh. All you have to do us kill a few penalties and then the refs will start to look away. But at the same time will call any reactionary penalties on the pens. It’s ridiculous but if I was coaching against Pitt I would do the same thing. Punch them after very whistle and remember that clutching, grabbing, and mauling is all legit in the third period afainst Pitt.

    • montrealbbr - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      Boston always throws punches and cross checks after the whistle! I dont know why they are never called for it. They dont have any skill or speed on the team so they end up playing dirty to win. Pittsburgh tried to play a tough game and lay some legal hits against boston and look what happened from it. The bruins hate getting hit but love to hurt players and play dirty.

      • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        LOL Boston doesn’t have any speed or skill players. Haha.

      • drewsylvania - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        This is some truly funny stuff. Thanks for representing the stereotype of your fanbase.

      • mvshark - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        and what about your beyotch Subban??????? Montrealballwasher…get you eyes checked..or stop smokin crak you bought from penvik or hockey412

    • bruininnh1984 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      by your logic, the pens should never lose a game

  17. montrealbbr - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    He needs to learn to aim for the temples and skate harder before colliding with his head.

    • drewsylvania - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      Internet Coward.

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        You’re no better.

    • drewzducks - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      And this is what has become of the once proud Habnots over the past 20 years. A cowardly disgrace to the sport.

  18. amityvillefun - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    There are many people in the league who have a lot of respect for Thornton and the role he plays. Saw this on the NHL website:

    Nashville Predators general manager David Poile said he believes progress is being made because incidents like the ones in the game between the Bruins and Penguins at TD Garden are becoming rarer.

    “The type of thing that Neal did, I can’t even remember seeing a thing like for [a long time],” Poile said. “And Shawn Thornton, he seems to be a stand-up guy who plays his role really well. He’s already said he made a mistake, and he’s going to pay for that. I don’t think that stuff will happen very much.”

    The fact that he doesn’t have a suspension history (esp considering the role he plays) says volumes. Fact of the matter is, Thornton got sick of the cheap shots and lack of respect shown to the Bruins.

    Essentially, if you are going to headhunt and disrespect Bruins players, you WILL pay a price. Just ask Orpik. Do I agree with how Thornton did it? Nope. But this is one spot on an otherwise pristine NHL record of no suspensions.

    If Orpik was half a man, he’d have faced the Bruins for his actions. But he was a coward and dodged the fight. If you don’t want to fight, be a little more careful when you line someone up and don’t injure them.

    Again, if it was a Bruin who injured Crosby, Pens fans would demand retaliation as well. Especially if it was his second one this year….

    I suppose the Pens fans will also say they got swept because the Bruins are a bunch of “cheap, no talent goons.” Right. Keep drinking the Penguin Kool Aid. Bruins suck, Penguins are just so awesome and NEVER cheap shot anyone. Right?

    Pfft. Wrong.

    The difference is Thornton was honest enough to admit he made a mistake. If Orpik stood up, it never would have happened. Liars and cowards.

    Go ahead, spew your hatred of the Bruins…and Whammy all you like. It doesn’t mean sh!t.

    • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      John Scott doesn’t have a suspension history (before the Eriksson hit). Says nothing. To remove Thornton and Scott and any goon like them from hockey would pay dividends.

    • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      By the way – Crosby’s been concussed, you might remember. No one demanded retaliation. Your comments are cocky, misinformed, and self-absorbed.

      • amityvillefun - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        Not concussed by a Bruin though, right?

        Your comments are hopelessly biased and arrogant not to mention inflammatory. Yeah, you don’t like the Bruins. We get it. Yeah, you think they are a bunch of goons. We get it. Yeah, Cindy Crosby is the second coming of Christ, we get it.

        The sweep gets sweeter all the time. ZERO wins in ECF. No Crosby miracles there, huh?

        Flyers fans had it right. “The Cowardly Penguin.”

      • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        I guess if your line of reasoning isn’t working, just try idiocy? Is that what you are doing?

        Boston played great in the finals, the Pens didn’t play bad either after the first game. That has nothing to do with my hatred. Crosby’s good, not Christ. Rask is good as well. So is Bergeron, defensively anyway.

        My hatred for the Bruins started a while back noticing how many punches, after the whistle or behind the play, they take – never called by the ref – or grabbing smaller guys heads and not letting go – not getting called by the refs. Then came the Chara “incident”. Then Lucic running Miller and avoiding Scott. Then all the Marchand slewfoots (I thought the Jon Stewart clip, while funny, was SPOT ON about the organization). The Chara’s deliberate headshot this year. Now this.

        Honestly – I love the sport but the Bruins are everything that is wrong with it.

  19. irokkit - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    How come none of you idiots are commenting on the Panic hit.
    Oh
    1) he’s not an established player yet
    2) he’s not on the Bruins
    3) you are idiots
    4) he’s not on the penguins
    6) he’s plays for the lightning
    7) you are idiots 8) you are idiots
    9) etc…

    So, tell me I have infuriated you?
    And why?
    Before you comment, think.

    Don’t forget,
    I bleed Black & Gold.
    I play the game.
    I am not biased.
    I accept all constructive conversation
    I will not tolerate attacks of a personal nature towards any NHL player.
    Penguins, Bruins, Panthers or Habs!!!
    (Okay, I lied about the Habs….hee hehee)

    Seriously… My only point is STOP already. The convo about the Bruins/Penguins game is over people.
    Let it go!!!!

    If this happened between the lightning/capitols..,,.there would be nothing made of it.
    Guys made serious mistakes. MISTAKES people.
    Nobody is perfect. Let the league handle it. (angry people will now condemn the league)

    At least they are not clubbing each other over the heads with their sticks. They are trying to play the game. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong.
    For ALL of you that watch the game. Thank you.

    • drewsylvania - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      The Panik hit has nothing to do with the Pens. This is a Pens/Bruins thread. It even gives the title right at the top.

      Sanctimonious much?

    • hockey412 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      Do you have a concussion?

      • montrealbbr - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        I think most bruins fans have concussions. That is what happens when you try to be like your heroes on the ice.

        hockey412 you are wasting your time trying to reason with these goons here. They will never understand what its like to see skilled players like we have here in Montreal or you have in Pittsburgh. Any player with talent is traded away for AHL type talent that can fight and play dirty.

  20. endusersolutions2013 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    Considering the “offense is everything, defense???” mindset the Pens typified the last few years, + their cheap shots, I had little respect for their coach.

    He brought/agreed with/worked with (who knows the initiator) a defense oriented assistant.

    1st media response tho this dangerous cheap shot was to essentially contridict his players initial public statement.

    Now him saying this. Blysma’s getting my respect. This “I can win by cheap shooting my opponents” has got to go. I played 6 years of organized BBall as an interior player and never committed an intentional foul (sure I had some un-intentionals). So I know you can play hard and to win, and still play clean.

    Scott H. Davis

  21. toiletclown - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    this is getting a bit ridiculous, everyone knows marchand leaned into neals knee like the great actress she is. He should be suspended for at least 10 games for his actions.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      Hmmm. The NHL sees this differently (while choosing to ignore the Oprik hit on Loui Erickson that caused a concussion).

      His coach TWICE expressed an otherwise opinion publicly. I don’t remember a coach doing that before.

      And you somehow see it otherwise?

      • pastabelly - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        Orpik probably would have had a hearing if the Bruins let the thing go. That was one dirty hit on a player who was just coming back from a concussion. Orpik’s hit was disgusting and that’s what set off Thornton. Thornton did the right thing in challenging that weenie to a fight. He did the wrong thing in kicking the crap out of him after Orpik decided to take the coward’s way out. The Crosby/Neal double cheap shot tag team on Marchand, more or less, was the last straw and those two morons can take some blame for further escalating hostilities.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Apparently “everyone” does not include his coach.

    • thesportsjudge - Dec 11, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Hey toiletclown, if you are calling Marchand a “she” then logic dictates in your NEXT sentence the “he” would be Neal. So are you saying JN got off easy at only 5 games?

  22. irokkit - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Oh, I so didn’t want to go here.
    For the most part (excluding my own deliberate instigator) this whole thread (and the previous 6) have been mostly pens/bruins haters/fans.
    Until…
    Montrealbbr. (Whatever jackrabbit)

    He goes and redefines hate/jealousy/incompetence.

    You guys know what the best part of the 2000 decade was? (Aside from what, 7 Boston championships in all four sports)
    And three additional unsuccessful appearances

    It marked the first decade in which The Montreal Canadiens did not win a Stanley cup since the formation of the NHL.
    And it looks like we may be able to notch another decade (2010) to that as well, if we’re lucky that is.

    Sincerely. EVERYTHING HAB HATER!!!!

    “Sorry Mom I tried so hard to behave.”
    “It’s alright Son. He is a Habitant, they should all be tossed in the garbage disposal.”
    “Yea, you’re right mom.”

  23. muckleflugga - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    no, i have to come in on the side of penvik here…

    having been in many a pile-up on the ice, and participated in brawling scrums, i believe neal’s so-called kneeing was anything but

    neal did not make an effort to avoid marchand, he did not deviate from his course other than to lean his leg slightly toward marchand before any contact occurred, he did not make what could be construed as a kneeing action, he did not drive his knee into marchand’s head as held in distortion of fact following the incident, and he did not injure marchand though contact was made with the most vulnerable part of his skull, the temple

    neal simply glided through a fallen player, and collected his shoulder and head in the process. marchand, kneeling with hard pads and padded gloves on fresh ice, was struck and spun out of the contact, action that likely mitigated damage but exaggerated in a visual sense, the force of contact

    neal was in the moment, inordinately stupid; he could have made the same point by falling through marchand while looking back, or he could have avoided contact entirely

    don’t for one minute think hockey players are particularly smart. intelligence in the hockey community follows the same curve found in the population at large…that’s why we have so many federal and state prisons

    as bylsma stated, it comes down to education, a commodity in woefully short supply throughout much of the nhl

  24. irokkit - Dec 11, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Well, in he business world, when you occupy your time with failed ventures, you fail. When you occupy your time with 100,000 earners you earn 100,000. When you occupy your time with 1,000,000 earners, your earn 1,000,000….

    In blogs, when you occupy your time with senseless bantering, ignorant ranting, tactless counterpoints….well then your just f*****g stupid.

    @hockey 412

    I honorably rename you jock-eeee412 because that is obviously what you see through to witness the world.
    Your hatred for the Bruins started….and then you go on to describe activities of any given team on any given night after any given whistle.
    My assumption is you’re either a Vancouver Ca-nut-sack fan or a Canadiens fan. Either way, learn some some hockey IQ.
    Oh, ‘ave a good day, aye….and pick up an extra 2-fer. I think you should get pissed tonight.
    Lv ya

    • kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Awesome

  25. toiletclown - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    i wish one of the penguins would have come across the back of thorntons neck with their stick after the orpik incident.

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