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Janssen: Orpik should’ve fought Thornton, then ‘everything would have quieted down’

Dec 13, 2013, 4:57 PM EDT

Cam Janssen Getty Images

Devils tough guy Cam Janssen says the Shawn ThorntonBrooks Orpik incident could’ve been avoided had Orpik engaged Thornton when prompted to fight.

Here’s the excerpt, from a lengthy Q&A with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“Thornton calls you out, he’s calling you out in front of everybody, and you don’t fight, then it’s not over. Then we’ve got to get our justice. We’ve got to get our justice and then something happens and boom that happens. All of a sudden he’s hurt. If Orpik would, once in a while … Once in a while … you don’t have to trade punches, you don’t have to stand in there and go toe to toe.

“If Orpik just would have dropped his gloves and grabbed on – he’s a strong guy – grabbed on, held off Thornton, maybe took a couple [punches], and threw him down or whatever the case it, then it’s over. Then it’s over. Then it’s done. You fought. You stuck up for yourself. If you don’t do that, somebody else on Orpik’s team, somebody on Pittsburgh has to do it for you because of what you did.

“If Orpik would have just stepped up – all he had to do was grab and hold on, hold on to him – then everything would have quieted down. You stuck up for yourself. You knocked [Bruins forward Loui Eriksson] out. You stuck up for yourself. All of sudden it’s over. You fought. Boom.”

Janssen, one of the NHL’s most active fighters over the last seven seasons, said Thornton had to “step up and do something” in the wake of Eriksson getting hit — but specified that the way Thornton went about it (slew footing Orpik, then punching him while on the ice) was wrong.

“Not saying what he did was correct,” Janssen explained. “[Thornton] should have spun him around, challenged him again, see what happened and go from there.

“He shouldn’t have done what he did. Stuff happens in the heat of the moment.”

Related: Orpik (concussion) skates; Thornton hearing set for today

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. illashell - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Lol. Coming from someone who doesn’t have enough talent to do anything else in the NHL. Not even worth arguing about.

    • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      His opinion is more valid than yours

      • elvispocomo - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        His opinion that a hug fest will satisfy a team looking for revenge after what was deemed a legal hit on the ice? And he has no bias due to his role in the NHL (when he plays)?

    • thesublimeylimey - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:13 AM

      Couldn’t agree with you more.

      Sportsmen in general are not employed for their intelligence, especially those employed to punch people in the face.

  2. joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Maybe Thornton should have not have tried to defend a player who just got nailed by a clean check, and mostly because Eriksson was taking a suicide pass. Cam who?

    • atteckus - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      Except there is no way you can classify the Orpik hit on Eriksson as a “clean” hit. Orpik hit Eriksson, WHO NEVER HAD POSSESSION of the puck, nor even attempted to gain possession. That is, at minimum, interference. Second, Orpik left his feet to make the hit. If he missed Eriksson’s head, that is by definition CHARGING. But he didn’t miss Eriksson’s head. His shoulder made contact with it. In essence, that is the same him Jim Rome put on Nathan Horton during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, WORTHY OF A 4 GAME SUSPENSION.

      But it doesn’t matter. All that needs to be known is that the B’s will not allow such things. If we deem the hit bad, regardless of what you think, the refs think or the league thinks, one of your precious guys is going to be leaving the ice for a good long time. That’s a promise.

      • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:59 AM

        Move on! You’re just a bias Bruins fan with zero objectivity.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:19 AM

        First, the hit was clean all day long; shoulder/breastbone.
        Second, the hit was on a player with possession, by rule.
        Third, it was AARON Rome, not Jim Rome.
        Fourth, it is and will continue to be the Bruins who keep leaving the ice for a good long time.
        Exhibit A – Marc Savard
        Exhibit B – Nate Horton
        Exhibit C – Loui Eriksson

        Now, with that mounting evidence, Exibit’s A, B & C, one would think one of the numerous Bruins coaches would teach those unfortunate fellows how to skate with their head up. Anyone remotely knowledgeable about hockey knows you need to KEEP YOUR HEAD UP.

      • c9castine - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        its amazing two different people can watch the same video and somehow one sees different things than the other.

        orpik never left his feet. eriksson made a play on the puck. and orpiks hands and elbows were down with direct contact made to the shoulder.

        his head then snapped back and froth, and he went down super hard.

        you idiots realize you don’t need to be hit in the head to get a concussion right? knowledge is fun.

  3. claudegirwho - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    To Boston fans who think orpik should of fought remember this next time Marchand does something dirty and refuses to fight

    • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      I think your confusing being a pest with being dirty where players are getting injured. Every time I’ve seen him cross the line, he answers for it…I’ve got examples if you want.

      • claudegirwho - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        He’s dirty and he answers if it’s a player of his choosing knowing they don’t really fight much

      • elvispocomo - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        And I think you’re confused in thinking Marchand doesn’t do anything dirty where injury results. I have examples too:

        Marchand gets approached right away, but Chara is even quicker to get there and shield him from having to answer for his dirty hit which resulted in an injury to Salo. That’s not the first time I’ve seen that after Marchand does something.

      • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        I knew this clip was coming bc you watched it on a different blog post today. Yes, that was dirty and yes, he would have answered for it. And you completely forget the context in which that happened. The entire game was dirty but only Marchand is pointed out…very selective of you. And are you surprised that his team came rushing in..? Like that doesn’t normally happen with every other NHL team in the league?

      • elvispocomo - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        I watched it on a different blog post today? And if you knew it was coming then why did you say this? “Every time I’ve seen him cross the line, he answers for it…I’ve got examples if you want.”

        That sounds like you can’t think of any examples that might contradict your absolute statement – or that you think people won’t challenge you on it.

        And I’m not being selective around that game or any other, just giving an example that directly contradicts your statement.

      • mp1131211 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:11 PM

        nunan- so because that happened in a game that was dirty, it was OK for Marchand to hide, but Orpik should answer for a clean hit that happened in an otherwise dirty game? Makes zero sense.

      • pastabelly - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        Marchand is a pest, but has never delivered a shot close to causing a concussion. Erickkson was just coming off from a concussion and Orpik delivered a borderline hit intended to injure. He should have dropped his gloves. He didn’t and paid the price. Thornton should not have practiced frontier justice, but Orpik should either quit playing on the edge or drop his gloves.

    • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      I think youre confusing being a pest with being dirty where players are getting injured. Every time I’ve seen him cross the line, he answers for it…I’ve got examples if you want.

      • drone501 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        i want

      • elvispocomo - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        @drone: don’t worry, I already supplied one that doesn’t match his statement on the earlier comment.

      • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        good times

      • elvispocomo - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        Hahaha… great ‘examples’. I must have remembered the second example because I “saw it in another blog post today.”

        But thanks for showing another example where one of his teammates tries to jump in front of a player trying to get Marchand to fight after a dirty hit. That’s a good example where they weren’t quick enough though, and Ballard gets in and grabs him. I guess I have to give Marchand credit for knowing he’s a dirty rat since he had his gloves off before Sedin could even roll over.

        And the first example? Marchand knows he’s going for a penalty and it’s actually him that instigates the fight afterwards to take Niskanen off with him. Easier to take on someone who only has 1 fight a year.

      • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:43 PM

        You’re logic is so skewed it’s ridiculous. Somehow you think bc he fought Niskanen that the penalties were even…no, Bruins obviously got a penalty out of it. AND you criticize him for having his teammates back him up. You see what you want to see I guess. Truth is that Marchand it legit, you know, you hate that he is as skilled as he is, and think your complaining actually discredits him somehow.And no, none of the examples I posted were on the blog today.. good try though.

      • mp1131211 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        You gotta be kidding! These are your examples of Marchand’s stand up style? Niskanen doesn’t even want to fight in the first one. Marchand drops the gloves and gets him going. This is EXACTLY what claudegirwho mentioned above. He picks on non-fighters like a p***y. In the second one, the entire Boston team comes to his rescue because they all know he’s too chicken s**t and weak to finish what he started on his own.

      • c9castine - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:12 PM

        those were your examples? matt niskanen, and then holding on for dear life with Ballard?

        what else you got.

      • nunan - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM

        Nope…those are plenty. the fact you aren’t satisfied is your problem. Proof is proof.

    • drone501 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      maybe he knew the pens were down to 5 d men. orpik doesn”t have to prove how tough he is. hardest hitter in the game.

      • pete387 - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        In today’s NHL you’re gonna be challenged if you deliver a hit that injures. Simple as that. If a player wants to dish out these kinds of hits then he better be ready to back it up.

      • 7mantel - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        Where is your video of Sid slew footing Ryan Callahand ?

      • basedrum777 - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        People like pete below are ridiculous. Last I checked, laying legal body checks in hockey do not require that you fight. IF that’s the case then very quickly many other people are going to be on the bandwagon for taking fighting out of hockey. To have to fight because you’re actually playing the game legally is F’n ridiculous. Janssen is only in the NHL because he fights, so he’s just looking out for his livelihood.

  4. bruinsfan55 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    The hit by Orpik wasn’t clean. Eriksson never had possession of the puck so it was interference. Thorty tried to make Orpik own up Tobit and he didn’t. Don’t think what Thorty did was right in any way but it’s not worth arguing about. Shanaban will take care of it

    • drone501 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      thorty? are you a grownup? lol

      • claudegirwho - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        He’s clearly friends with the players and on a nick name basis with them duhhh

    • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      Duh! You must be a Bruins fan. Orpik timed the hit he nailed LE just prion to or about the same time the puck hit the played of his stick. Stop your whining.

    • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      bruinsfan55, I did the research just for you. This is directly from the NHL rule book;

      Page 78
      Possession of the Puck:
      The last player to touch the puck, other than the goalkeeper, shall be considered the player in possession. The player deemed in possession of the puck may be checked legally, provided the check is rendered immediately following his loss of possession.

      Eriksson was the last man that touched the puck prior to the hit.

    • burguin91 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:14 AM

      I hope Shanny gets a good laugh from Thortys tear jerking apology. You know where he calls Orpik “Brooksy” and how he’s got to know him over the last several years and skating during the summer with him and oh yah, even texting him a couple times. Wow, what a bud a real pal.

  5. njadvocate111 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Seems like Wayne Simmonds didnt have a problem doing it the other night? Or Nolan answering the bell after the McLaren hit. Taking a suicide pass? So now you’re implying that Ericksson turned away from the play, toward the boards because that was the best way to play the puck that had bounced behind him? Brilliant! Of course turning away from the play would indicate that he was making a play on the puck and thus eligible to be hit! Perfect logic. People from Pittsburgh dodging accountability? Say it aint so

  6. nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Of course he’s right. Orpik, and everyone else knows, if you choose to lay a hit like that, the other team is going to come after you. Happens with every single team. Orpik KNOWS that…and he still chose to run a guy like that. Clean or not clean, he’s going to be’s not a surprise. More NHLer’s seem to have Janssen’s point of view…which is why hockey is so great. Play honest and answer for yourself.

    • claudegirwho - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      Orpik doesn’t have time to deal with a slub like Thornton because….well he actually plays

      • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        So does Thornton…clearly, I’m speaking with someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That line has been one of the better 4th lines in hockey the past 3 years. That’s well known…except by you. Try to think independently and objectively and you’ll figure it out.

      • claudegirwho - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        Oh yeah your right cause clearly he is way too important to that fourth line that they have asked him to stop fighting because he will miss a shift. Give me a break that’s what he’s there for. I’m so tired of hearing “they have such a great fourth line that needs to be on the ice!” Well orpik is much more important to the pens already being down scuderi and Martin which means the remaining players aren’t allowed to hit anyone because after you have to fight. You clearly know nothing

      • mp1131211 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        Yes, and he is such an integral part of that line that Julien felt he should be scratched back in November. Clearly, his whopping three points this year prove he’s out there for much more than goonery

  7. njadvocate111 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    And to be dogging Cam Janssen is almost laughable from fans who supported a team that 2 years ago suited up Eric Godard, Mike Rupp, Deryk Engelland, Aaron Asham and Matt Cooke. Laughable

    • basedrum777 - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      You don’t think assholes taking runs at SC and EM had anything to do with those players being Penguins do you huh? Stay classy NJ.

  8. steelers88 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Orpik had a right not to fight. If he doesn’t want to fight he doesn’t have to. If Thorton was so mad why didn’t he go after some on the Penguins who was willing to fight.

    • drewzducks - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Probably because no such player existed other than possibly Engelland.

  9. 7mantel - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Why do Pens fans think what Thornton did was more brutal than what Neal did ? one used his fist the other used his knee !

    • drone501 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      only regret i have is that he didn”t knock that rodent out

      • drewzducks - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        He did. Hasn’t played since. Sorry, thought you meant Orpik.

      • 7mantel - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        Did you cheer for Matt Cooke ?

    • claudegirwho - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      At least marchand’s head had somewhere to go orpiks was driven into the ice

      • matt14gg - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:52 PM


      • 7mantel - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        his head didn’t look like it was driven into ice !

      • 7mantel - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:55 PM

        not really

  10. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:35 PM


    you apparently watch hockey, but miss salient points related to these events…

    whether the hit on eriksson was dirty or clean is immaterial; in the contemporary nhl, players are called to defend hits of the quality delivered by orpik. janssen’s an active player intimately involved in these sort of circumstances…he knows

    so does every active and retired player commenting on these matters…to a man, they call the orpik’s hit marginal or outright dirty, but typically part of his modus operandi; uncalled for marginal or dirty, and worthy of response from a bruin

    does repeated denial of orpik’s culpability in these events change the circumstances, permitting greater sanction therefore on thornton…no

    credibility and respect on the other hand, change in proportion to weight of the lie

    • drone501 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      speak english dickhead

      • claudegirwho - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        He must have his thesaurus out today his mommy have it to him for Christmas and he wants to break it in

      • njadvocate111 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        Translation: If thats the style of game he wants to play, he will have to answer for the borderline hits (ie. see Erik Cole broken neck, Johan Franzen knee injury, Derek Stepan knee injury). Its part of the game, one that you didnt seem to have a problem with it when Crosby was getting hit and Godard leaving the bench to aid a teammate. Cant have it both ways, although with a class act like Mario at the helm, cant say I’m surprised. Skating 4 days after he needing a stretcher! What a warrior

      • micasa81 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        I don’t agree with what he said, but I had no problem understanding it. He’s one of the wittiest commenters here when he’s not quoting obscure song lyrics.

      • elvispocomo - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        @njadvocate111: As far as Orpik skating less than a week after the concussion, that’s not uncommon (nor necessarily unsafe). There are teams that have done that too early though, like the Hawks (e.g. Seabrook, Toews, etc.) and the Bruins themselves (Horton skating in the 2011 finals prior to game 7after his major concussion, where he was actually out for some time).

      • theskinsman - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        Poor drone pens fan, are words with more than five letters too much for you? Clearly from the shallow end of the gene pool.

      • bostonguy10 - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        I see they don’t teach english in Pittsburgh

  11. steelers88 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I don’t think what Thorton did to Orpik was worse than what Neal did to Marchand. Their both at fault here. Both plays were very dirty. Both players deserve to be suspended. Both incidents from the players were reckless and stupid.

    • amityvillefun - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      Exactly Steelers. The only difference was it was Orpik’s play started the whole thing. And what about Kelly? His leg was broken with a slash. Was that an accident?

      The fact of the matter is, the Pens are guilty of the hit being nasty enough to cause injury, a slash that broke a player’s leg, and a knee to the head.

      Thornton is guilty of calling out Orpik on a hit that INJURED a Bruins player. That’s his job. Orpik chose to be a coward. Thornton lost his cool and went ballistic on him.

      Truth be told, the “slew foot” could have been much worse if he had body slammed him to the ice on the way down. Instead, he held onto his jersey so that didn’t happen.

      What you people in Pittsburgh don’t understand is that Chara, Lucic, or Thornton could hurt a player just as badly as Orpik did on his hit. Crosby has a concussion history, would you want a Bruin to purposely try to catch him with his head down and nail him? Trust me, if Chara wanted to, Crosby could easily be the one going out on a stretcher.

      But I guess an “eye for an eye” would make the whole NHL blind. Or in the hospital with concussions.

      BTW, still no word on Eriksson. I’ll bet Orpik will be back on the ice long before he will.

      When it comes down to it, the Pens can’t match up to the physicality of the Bruins and it pisses them off. So they get dirty to compensate. Why else knee a guy in the head when he is down for NO REASON?

      Again, what Thornton did was wrong, but I doubt he’d do something like that if he wasn’t pushed to his limit.

      • pittsburghmohawk - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        First, get over the slash. Was it any worse than any other slash in hockey? NO. It was no more than a 2 minute penalty. Which, by the way, is what Kelly should have gotten when he also slashed Dupuis. Oh, and we believe you about Chara. He showed his true colors when he tried to kill Pacioretty. If it is OK for Thornton to go after Orpik for a hit on somebody else, why can’t Neal go after Marchand for a boarding on him in a previous game. Thornton had nothing to do with the Orpik play. His job is to goon it up, and he did that well. Don’t give me any crap about how greta the 4th line is in Boston, look at Thornton’s career stats. The only thing he is good at over his career is PIMs.

  12. ash0war - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    True fans of a hockey club will See that a player has done wrong but still support them. blind hockey fans Will refuse to see when one of their players have done wrong No matter what it will be the other teams fault for their players actions, those fans piss me off! I agree Pittsburgh has had some dirty players, I haven’t liked what those players have done but while they were wearing that Pittsburgh jersey I support them I couldn’t defend them but I did support them. Brooks had the option to fight or not to fight he chose not to, for a play that he thought he did not have to answer to because he thought it was a clean hit, everything should have been dropped by then, it was not Brooks is fault what Thornton did. They both made their decisions. I think that this game has taught teams a lesson but now it should be dropped so all these players can move on.

  13. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:46 PM


    of course orpik had a right to decline thornton’s invitation

    orpik also had a right to respect a defenseless eriksson

    exercising his right to run from thornton does not implicitly absolve orpik from responsibility for the goon-shot on eriksson

    at some point, someone, somewhere, was coming to call…best way out, turtle, roll over, do the worm, then hide behind volumes of hysterical and self-righteous denial after the hang man rang your bell

    orpik is not yet excused from the discipline to come, so formal sanction beyond that delivered by thornton may still come…

    • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      “goon-shot on eriksson” really! bit of a drama queen are you.

    • pittsburghmohawk - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Really? You think Orpik is going to be disciplined for a clean hit? You are delusional. Erikson’s stick touched the puck before the hit. So he had possession and not interference.. Orpik kept his shates on the ice. So it wasn’t charging. Orpik’s shoulder hit him square in the sternum. So it wasn’t a headshot. What exactly is it that you think Orpik is going to receive discipline for? Time to understand that guys get injured by clean, legal hits. It’s a tough game.

  14. steelers88 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Brooks Orpik sucks for not playing tonight. Come On! It’s just a concussion. If he was a Steeler he would be practicing days ago. Kidding of course.

  15. steelers88 - Dec 13, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Orpik’s hit was clean. How many times do I have to say this! It was his job to hit Eriksson. The only reason why Eriksson got a concussion is because he hit his head on the ice. It was a to to chest hit. He did not target the head. If anyone is a goon in this it’s Thorton and Neal, but not Orpik. Orpik is the furthest thing from a dirty player. He is a hard hitter but it’s clean, also Orpik is not much of a fighter he never fights.

    • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      It’s borderline..I won’t say it was dirty but I wouldn’t call it the cleanest hit bc Eriksson clearly does not have the puck and his head is down..clean or not clean, massive hit and everybody knows that a hit like that is going to get a’s just a fact. Nothing surprising about it.

      • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:13 PM

        Eriksson touched the puck just prior to or about the same time Orpik laid into him. LE attempted to play the puck while looking behind. He put himself in a vulnerable position. He was not a defenseless player. According to the rules he was fair game. One can argue about changing the rule, but you can’t argue whether or not he was fair game. It’s black on white in the Rule Book.

        Page 78 of the NHL Rule Book states;
        Possession of the Puck:
        The last player to touch the puck, other than the goalkeeper, shall be considered the player in possession. The player deemed in possession of the puck may be checked legally, provided the check is rendered immediately following his loss of possession.

      • pittsburghmohawk - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:06 PM

        Just because the moron put his head down does not make it an illegal/dirty hit. With the PENS already missing Scuderi and Martin, Orpik is not going to be stupid and drop the gloves and be forced to sit for 5 minutes. I guess that is too much for some to understand.

  16. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    drone501 and claudegirwho, refreshed from an afternoon of pulling puds while dressed in momma’s nighties, have entered the fray…

    in proportion to inability to understand big wordies and complete paragraphs, each resort to the last refuge of illiterate yet strangely malignant clowns cursing the world with ownership of computers or smart phones their same mommas bought them…everywhere

    wash your hands, go here, imbeciles…

  17. nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Lot of hypocrisy here. Standard today is if you lay a hit like that on a skilled player, clean or not, you’re going to be a target. Like it or not that’s the way it is. Start there before you begin to analyze this with your homer glasses. Orpik knows, like we all do, what’s going to happen if he lays a hit like that. You can’t argue that. His choice. Okay, so in today’s NHL he has to answer for it..not anyone else. And if he doesn’t things escalate. Fine, don’t fight, let it escalate…but don’t cry about it when guys start getting dirty. Orpik should have answered the bell, like most players would have, and Thornton shouldn’t have done what he did, even though I’m still not sure what actually happened to cause a concussion…he had his gloves on, Orpik’s head didn’t hit the ice (not initially at least), and Thornton was throwing jabs, not haymakers..more bad luck than anything. Maybe Orpik doesn’t fight bc he is soft…not that there is anything wrong with that.

    • elvispocomo - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      What’s fine is someone asking for him to answer with a fight right after the hit. What’s also fine is Orpik declining. What’s not fine is Thornton continuing on about it and eventually doing something as dirty as slewfooting him to the ice and punching him while he’s down just because Orpik didn’t fight.

      There is nothing anywhere to say a person has to fight another, even if the hit was illegal. That happens often enough that Thornton shouldn’t be so fazed that he feels he has to exact retribution well after the fact, and nor should it be the norm that players get jumped for clean hits (or hits that don’t get penalties called) every time there’s a perceived in justice.

      • nunan - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        The point is, players who choose to make that hit usually choose to back it up because, again, in the league today, clean or dirty hits are responded to and Orpik knows that. Also, Thornton is somewhat a victim of bad luck here. He’ll get his 10, or maybe more, but you can’t say he was expecting that sort of injury to happen. It wasn’t that vicious of an attack and he has been around long enough to know what he’s doing. He was in control there..just an unexpected result.

      • elvispocomo - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        Wow, he was in control? Clearly he wasn’t in control or he would have through about slewfooting a player and punching them while defenceless on the ice before he did it.

        And why should any player making a big hit with no penalty have to back anything up? What’s wrong with challenging him once and just taking his number to get him with a legal hit of your own if he doesn’t fight? Or why jump to trying to confront him with a fight to begin with?

        It’s clearly not necessary on every play and it happens way too often. Escalating it/continuing it beyond the initial play is a scenario where injury could be expected to happen, especially if your trying to exact revenge by going to attack a guy from behind.

  18. hazlydose - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Brooks Orpik doesn’t believe fighting belongs in hockey so he chooses not to fight. In a poll of the pens locker room, Orpik was the only player that said he would like to see fighting banned.

    • nicknyhc - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      Brooks Orpik doesn’t want fighting in the game because he’d get knocked around all the time for being a cheap shot artist. One of the dirtiest hitters in the game.

      Dirty and won’t even answer for it. The worst type of hockey player.

      • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        What’s your point?

  19. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:59 PM


    i’ve not seen any article related to penguins’ locker room poll…have you a link you can share

    still, i’ll counter by suggesting it is hypocritical for orpik to condemn fighting, while delivering ruinous hits to defenceless players…

    this while understanding overt risk for brain damage resulting from blows to the head experienced in a fight would likely be cause for orpik’s position…if not, why else

    yet, concussive forces produced in body-checking are every bit as damaging, and result in more concussions than those resulting from fighting; widely held understandings apparent to all in the game and those following the game

    how then, can orpik argue from one position opposed to fighting while supporting another position in support of delivering hits in the manner he was able

    it’s not hard to understand why orpik is getting little in the way of respect from his peers

    • hazlydose - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      “Asked 15 Pens last year if fighting should be banned from hockey. Only one said yes: Brooks Orpik. Doesn’t want to be a vegetable someday.”

      That is from pens beat reporter Josh Yohe’s twitter account. I don’t know how to link to an individual tweet but its from Dec. 7th.

      It is hypocritical to worry about the possible brain damaging affects of fighting while ignoring those of body checks. I was just giving a possible explanation as to why Orpik turned down Thornton’s first attempts at a fight.

    • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      muckleflugga, blah blah blah!
      according to the rules Eriksson was not considered as a defenseless player on the contact with Orpik.

      There are no concussions ever reported because a of body check unless there is direct contact to the head, or the player hits his head on the ice.

      According to an NHL research fighting is over 43 times more likely to result in a man-game lost to a concussion than a legal hit is.

  20. theskinsman - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Glass jaw Orpik got what he had coming, the injury was probably from his cheap shot on Erikkson earlier.Thornton hardly hit him.

    • bullwinkle88 - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      Since when is a clean hit a “cheap shot”?

      • 7mantel - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        when it’s not clean ! i’ve been to the home game for the Pen’s when Pen fan stood and cheered Cooke when he laid out Ryan McDonagh !

  21. sjsharks66 - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Orpik the dirtiest hitter? What what about Kronwall? Usually it’s him. How about Oshie? Hell, let’s throw big Jumbo Joe in there.

    Every time there is a big hit, it’s “dirty”. Then in the same breath you all cry about how fighting is important ( which it is ) and how tough hockey is. Just don’t hit anyone right? Ericsson touched the puck, just because it was “interference” does not make it a dirty hit. A hit that deserves 2 minutes, sure? To say dirty is like saying he should be suspended for interference.

  22. hazlydose - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Whether or not Orpik should have answered “the bell” aside, I do have an issue with something Janssen says:
    “You stuck up for yourself. If you don’t do that, somebody else on Orpik’s team, somebody on Pittsburgh has to do it for you because of what you did”

    Lucic and Engelland fought 4 minutes before the incident occurred. Shouldn’t that have had the desired effect? It obviously didn’t. Defenders of “the code” claim that fighting calms down the game. That didn’t happen in this situation. The “bell” was answered and it didn’t quiet down anything. The bell continued to ring and ring until the only ringing left was between Orpik’s ears.

    • shortsxit34 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      You’re ignoring that Neal kneed Marchand on that same play, seconds before Thornton flips out.

      • 7mantel - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM

        Pen fans are the biggest homers ! their players can do do no wrong ! Cleanest team in the league according to them !

      • hazlydose - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        I have two issues with this.

        1) Is pretty self explanatory, why didn’t he go after Neal then?

        2) He calmly skated down the ice towards Orpik. He didn’t sprint at him and tackle him with his gloves off. He calmly skated down the ice and slew footed him. There were no signs of uncontrollable anger until after he was on top of Orpik

      • hazlydose - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        Thornton never saw the knee. Go to the video and watch the play. At the point Neal’s knee contacts Marchand’s head, Thornton is looking down at the puck on his stick.

    • hazlydose - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:38 PM


      At what point in my post did I say that the penguins were “clean” and that they could “do no wrong”. I was pointing out that apparently the bell was answered for the Eriksson hit.

  23. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:03 PM


    no, i agree…i wasn’t questioning your argument, i was questioning orpik’s

    i wanted the link, so i could read the article itself

    there are sites that give instruction on html tagging generally, and youtube has a simple means for copying html and tagging into these boards

    or, someone like blomfeld may give basic instruction

  24. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM


    you’re a slippery one no doubt, but you’re left having to define touching the puck versus possession of the puck…

    the consensus in hockey up here is, possession means you must have sufficient control of the puck so as to execute a meaningful hockey play, if you’re going to be deemed fair game

    it might be argued a player chipping a puck past another player then gunning by him is in control constituting possession, but that implies the player doing the chipping had to see and be able to assess the opposing player’s position to make a meaningful hockey play by definition

    eriksson did not see orpik, and was unable to make a meaningful hockey play with respect to orpik’s position

    orpik new it, stepped-up, and guzzled him

    • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      more blah blah… whether up here, down there, east, west…. the NHL defines possession on page 78 of the rule book. Perhaps you should read it.

      “The last player to touch the puck, other than the goalkeeper, shall be considered the player in possession.”

      That will hopefully teach eriksson not to look in one direction while skating in the opposite direction.

  25. shortsxit34 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen a single person lay any blame with the officials.

    The Orpik hit was questionable (it doesn’t matter which side you take), and he knew that somebody was coming in to defend Eriksson. That man was Thornton and Orpik declined the fight. At that moment, the officials should have known to reel the game in and call absolutely everything, no matter how ticky-tak. They knew the Bruins were out for blood and that the game would get out of control quickly. Call enough penalties, slow down the flow of the game, eventually the players get the message.

    Instead it took one guy getting kneed in the head and another being taken off on a stretcher for the game to calm down.

    • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      Oh! So call penalties where they don’t exist to control the game. Brilliant! Why didn’t anyone in the history of the NHL never think about that?

      • shortsxit34 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        Is that what you read? You have comprehension issues then.

      • joey4id - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        Yep! And I don’t understand the game just like the officials who officiated that game. Right?

    • pastabelly - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      I don’t know why a trip wasn’t called on when Crosby pulled off his cheap play on Marchand, which was followed by Neal’s knee to a downed Marchand. You’re not entirely off base. It was Orpik, followed by Crosby, followed by Neal. It seemed as if the Penguins were out to make a statement. Next time these teams play each other, the league needs to have officials call it tightly and warn the coaches or more will get hurt. Bergeron has a concussion history. My fear is that he is Pittsburgh’s next target.

      • hazlydose - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        Crosby’s trip was “cheap”. It was a run of the mill tripping penalty but there was no malicious intent. Crosby went to stick check, Marchand beat him with a move, and Crosby got his skates instead of the puck. A tripping penalty should have been called but it was hardly “cheap” The following Neal knee absolutely was dirty, but that trip happens once or twice a game.

      • hazlydose - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        The first sentence should read “Crosby’s trip was cheap?”. Excuse my clumsy fingers.

      • shortsxit34 - Dec 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM

        You’re right that there should have been a trip called on Crosby during that sequence, but it wasn’t really cheap–not on his party anyway. There was also a crosscheck that should have been called on the Bruins a few plays earlier. Neither was a huge offense, but it would have helped to bring down the emotions a bit for both teams.

  26. steelers88 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Okay. What Neal did was dirty, cheap and reckless. Neal is a goon. You happy now?

  27. hockey412 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:30 PM


  28. steelers88 - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Like I’ve said before i’ll say this once again.The NHL better wake up soon they need to seriously reevaluate themselves. The players lack of respect this year has been absolutely appalling. Hockey is a tough sport as it is, your going to get injured even from a clean hit. The duty that all hockey players have is to respect one another as opponents. That means you have a duty not to take cheap shots on any player that has his back turned or a player on the ice. When you take a cheapshot your not only affecting that player but your affecting that players life off the ice that includes his family. Also players acting like this isn’t good. Young kids look up to these players as role models and when the players act like this and the young kids see this they will imitate what they see on tv. The NHL better wake up or your going to see these types of incidents on the ice because the NHL is to stubborn to do anything. I truly believe the only way the NHL will change is when a player dies on the ice.

  29. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:48 PM


    the village all declar’d how much he knew
    ’twas certain he could write, and cipher too

    lands he could measure, terms and tides presage
    and e’en the story ran that he could gauge
    in arguing too, the parson own’d his skill

    for e’en though vanquish’d he could argue still

  30. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:59 PM


    in your self-appointed role as list arbiter of what constitutes brevity, comprehension, and appropriate posting etiquette, i find your offering rambling, unfocussed, and largely derivative…

    have you ever played competitive contact hockey…?

    has original thought related to your hockey experience been presented in these boards done other than stating ad nauseam material well regurgitated

    do you understand wit, humour, double entendre

    i quote:

    pastabelly – Dec 11, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    I am guessing that the following is your point that could have been made in three sentences:

    While this isn’t twitter, it would help if you just made your points and left it at that.

  31. ducksk - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    2 words. Stupid goon.

  32. muckleflugga - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:42 PM


    nice post for the most part…

    your opening position is declared, argument sustaining your position is tied into the body of your comment, in spite of apparent typos. but, you lose focus in your conclusion…your ending is fuzzy when you should clearly repeat your opening position as flowing from argument in the body

    addressing your position, i believe the role of the league, its department of safety, and performance of in-game officials was discussed at length and repeatedly, in various manifestations of well written and somewhat lengthy offerings since

    i encourage you to spend time reading longer commentary, then deliberating content with a critical eye to style, intent, argument…look at the work and how ideas flow in the course of assembling the whole

    seek the underlying art and cadence in the written word, that which defines humour, sarcasm or satire particularly

    i offer this critique while examining your earlier position:

    shortsxit34 – Dec 10, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    I swear to God, you’re one of those guys that speaks just to hear himself talk, aren’t you?

  33. greenmtnboy31 - Dec 13, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Wow, the idiot circus is in full swing today.

    • theskinsman - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:45 AM

      Now it is.

  34. pens5829 - Dec 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    Let me guess. Spygate never really happened in Beantown? Right? And to think I used to think Philadelphia fans were the most delusional in sports?

  35. pens5829 - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:07 AM

  36. graymalkin26 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Spot on, and the Pens stood around when Orpek was made a fool of…heartless team. Oh yeah, I hear he’s back skating, playing possum on a stretcher…embarrassing. Most of the neg comments are from stupid Americans who know nothing about hockey…knob gobblers.

  37. denverwally - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Amen. The truth is that Orpik is gutless. He is a major cheap shot artist, and finally got what he had coming to him.

  38. wikidpissah - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    I’ve been watching Orpik since he was at Boston College. He’s a solid player who has always played physical. There is no excusing what Thornton did, and he’s said as much. Thornton is an enforcer who is well respected around the league, and is pretty upset about what he did, and the impact it will have on his reputation. He’s a sold fourth line player who plays a regular shift.

    The players in the NHL are well aware of what’s happening in the league with different teams and different players. There’s a difference between a clean hit and a legal hit. Orpik knew that Eriksson was recently concussed by a cheap shot from John Scott (4-6 minutes per game) who isn’t close to an NHL talent. Orpik also has a reputation for laying the really big hits on European players, who are unlikely to respond. He would not have hit Sean Thornton coming out of the zone like that. Thornton challenged him, and then Dougie Hamilton (19 years old) challenged him. He refused both. When Neal targeted Marchand’s head with his knee, Thornton lost it. Again, I’m not excusing it, just explaining the background.

    I hope Orpik is fine, with no aftereffects. He didn’t deserve what happened to him, but if he wants to play as an intimidating hitter, he needs to be prepared for people looking for him to answer the bell.

  39. redwinger6 - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Why should one of the Pens best d-men take himself off the ice for 5 minutes to fight some 4th liner who plays 8 minutes a game? That’s a bad trade for his team. If a guy creams one of your guys and won’t fight, know what you do? Line one of his skill guys up for a clean hit and bury them, and tell them “Thank Orpik for that hit.”

  40. theatrecon - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Should be 15 games from the time Orpik returns. No sooner.

  41. bunkerhillbob - Dec 15, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    He was going to fight Thornton, until his diaper filled up. What a wuss.

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