A few words in defense of Thornton

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    A few words in defense of Thornton

    Lest' anyone get the wrong idea, let me start by saying what should be obvious:

    1. Thornton was wrong.  You never punch a guy lying down and not fighting back.

    2. He should be suspended, 5 games or so.

    3. Orpik's hit, while maybe questionable, was not "dirty".

    However, there is some context that we as Bruins fans should be aware of, that will be missed by the media and everyone else.

    Thornton doesn't really belong on this team.  Skill-wise he has no place anymore.  Yet Bruins players, coaches, and management still seem to want him there.  The only possible justification for this is toughness and the protection of his teammates (whether you buy that or not).  Thornton has to know that he is only here by a razor thin margin that seems to be shrinking with every passing day.  He's just about done.  The only way for his to demonstrate his value, given his lack of skills, is to fight, stick up for his teammates, and be the first guy to act as a deterrent to bad hits on Bruins skill players.  It's his only chance to justify his spot.

    When James Neal guided his knee into the head of a prone Brad Marchand, it marked the 3rd time in less than 60 minutes of game time that a key Bruin player was injured by an illegal or very questionable hit.  It was the second rivalry game in a row, looking like the second loss.  Thornton was on the ice.  Thornton has never been criticized more than after the Matt Cooke hit for failing to immediately take vengeance.  Shawn Thornton is there to answer for three injured teammates, not to wait to conduct a feasibility test on the extent of the injuries and the malice of the hits.  If Thornton is ever going to be in the roster, he has to do something.

    He needs to react then and there.  I wanted something done at that point in the game (Marchand looked badly hurt).  I was fine with grabbing Orpik and throwing him down.  I was fine with starting fights.  I was fine with a cuff to the face to Orpik.  I obviously was not fine with then crossing the line and throwing the extra punches at a prone player, but it was a surprising thing.

    I would never question Orpik's injury, but personally I was shocked that a gloved punch to a visor-ed opponent caused such damage.  I couldn't understand it.  I like that Thornton immediately took full responsibility, owned the blame, and wished Orpik well (much more than we'll get from James Neal).  I wish Orpik well too.

    Thornton will pay a huge price I'm sure.  He should.  I think he's pretty much done.  But if he doesn't react and go after someone tonight, than he's as useless as people say he is, and unfortunately he just went too far.  He's in a tough spot.  I would never argue against the punishment that is coming, but I also don't begrudge the guy.  That wasn't Marty McSorely. 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: A few words in defense of Thornton


    5 games seems about right. Though I do expect Orpik to play the next Pen game after the suspension is handed out.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bruinfaninnewjersey. Show Bruinfaninnewjersey's posts

    Re: A few words in defense of Thornton

    Good stuff Fletch.

    While Thornton remains ultimately responsible for his actions, I put a good bit of the blame on the refs for letting things get out of hand.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kelvana33. Show kelvana33's posts

    Re: A few words in defense of Thornton

    Very well said, as usual Fletch.

    So I've watched the replay over and over of the Thornton/Orpik episode. At first I thought Orpik hit his head on the ice as a result of the punches from Thornton. I don't like Thornton hitting a defenseless player laying on his back. If Thornton dropped the gloves and Orpik turtled, I would have no problem with Thornton getting a couple in and giving him the Cam Neely on Claude Lemieux treatment. At that point, Orpik would look bad.

    Like I said before, I think Thornton is an honest player who lost his cool for a bit. After reviewing the scrum, I have to say, I didnt see any punches that are stretcher worthy. They all hit the sheild and didnt seem like Thorntons most powerful punches as he was unable to extend his arm fully. By no means am I suggesting Orpik faked it, but I've seen harder punches thrown in a scrum after a whistle with no penalties called. Just my opinion.

    The slew foot is totally out of character for Thornton. I didnt like that and i think thats what Shanahan is going to focus on. San said it earlier and I totally agree with it. Slew foot + stretcher = suspension.

    I can see Thornton getting suspended. I hope Orpik is alright.

    I say all of this yet I thought to myself, if this was the response to Matt Cooke as Marc Savard laid on the ice, there would be a much higher opinion of him here.

     

     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Fletcher1. Show Fletcher1's posts

    Re: A few words in defense of Thornton

    We could (and do) debate whether Thornton should even be on the roster or not.  But again, if he is taking that spot, and he can't provide really anything skill-wise, then his only real value is his toughness .

    After watching three Bruins players get run and injured over 60 minutes of play, I'm pretty much calling for him to freak out.  Too bad he couldn't get a fight.  He did the wrong thing, but I damn well wanted someone going after the Pens at that point.

    Hasn't Thornton been criticized here for being the gentlemen tough guy who always asks for the dance instead of just being angry and aggressive?  Tough spot for him.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bruinfaninnewjersey. Show Bruinfaninnewjersey's posts

    Re: A few words in defense of Thornton

    In response to Fletcher1's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Hasn't Thornton been criticized here for being the gentlemen tough guy who always asks for the dance instead of just being angry and aggressive?  Tough spot for him.

    [/QUOTE]

    No one has done this more than NAS... but ST can't do anything right in his book

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Not-A-Shot. Show Not-A-Shot's posts

    Re: A few words in defense of Thornton

    In response to Fletcher1's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    We could (and do) debate whether Thornton should even be on the roster or not.  But again, if he is taking that spot, and he can't provide really anything skill-wise, then his only real value is his toughness .

    After watching three Bruins players get run and injured over 60 minutes of play, I'm pretty much calling for him to freak out.  Too bad he couldn't get a fight.  He did the wrong thing, but I damn well wanted someone going after the Pens at that point.

    Hasn't Thornton been criticized here for being the gentlemen tough guy who always asks for the dance instead of just being angry and aggressive?  Tough spot for him.

    [/QUOTE]

    Instead of asking Orpik to fight and then skating away when it didn't happen, he should have gone all Andrew Ference on him.

    Slew footing a guy and then punching him as he's defenseless on his back is not the same.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from OrrandPapiRGods. Show OrrandPapiRGods's posts

    Re: A few words in defense of Thornton


    Great post Fletch. I was amazed that those short jabs created a stretcher scenario because the fall did nothing.Thornton was doing his job and crossed the line, to a moderate extent, and will/should pay a price. The Neal knee was dirtier and had more potential for severe injury..

    He's in line for some extra attention next game.

     
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