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Thornton lays the burn on Vancouver columnist

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  January 11, 2012 07:46 AM

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Shawn Thornton scored on a penalty shot and fought old friend Mark Stuart in helping lead the Bruins to a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets last night, but he saved his best work for after the game.

During a segment on Comcast Sportsnet's "Sticks and Stones," Vancouver's Tony Gallagher, a columnist for The Province, criticized Thornton taking on Canucks forward Dale Weise during Saturday's much-ballyhooed game at the Garden, calling Thornton "unethical." Unbeknownst to Gallagher, Thornton just happened to be sitting on the set, and what ensues is a nifty little smackdown.

Oh, and as CSNNE.com pointed out, "for the record, Thornton is listed as 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, and Weise is listed as 6-2, 206." But you know, facts and all. 

Of course, this is playing well in Vancouver. The Province's Wyatt Arndt writes:

I thought it was kind of lame to ambush Tony like that with Shawn Thornton. I understand that many people love the idea of an athlete getting a chance to fire back at the media, but it still feels like this lacks professional courtesy. All this does is drag this rivalry into the mud a bit and make it seem even more like a school yard situation. Any time I find myself thinking "This reminds of something Damien Cox would do" I know it's not a good sign.

- Why doesn't Michael Felger at least debate and argue with Tony on this main point instead of just running to Shawn Thornton to jump in? Because of ratings most likely. And when a show values ratings above all else, I find it hard to take them seriously when they discuss the integrity of the game.

- Shawn Thornton likes to wear purple velvet suits. I won't lie, I found this odd. If I was a BRASH kind of guy, I might think Thornton murdered Grimace and is now wearing his skin as a suit.

- Shawn Thornton makes a good point during the video. He is correct that some guys can fight multiple times in a period, and it's his right to say he doesn't respect Weise for stepping up and answering the bell. What ruins his entire argument for me, though, is on one hand he is trying to have a logical debate, but then he follows that up with the gem of a line of how he fought "seven" Canucks in the period and he wasn't tired at all. Really Shawn? You dropped gloves and fought seven Canucks? Or do you think maybe you were mobbed near our bench and got pushed and shoved a bit? Or did a gloved punch sneak its way in there and really wear you out? I have no problem with Shawn wanting to make a point of Weise being able to fight after already having fought that period, but your counter point of having fought "seven" Canucks was, well, stupid.

- I was amused when Michael Felger responded to Gallagher talking about the Canucks winning the Presidents Trophy by congratulating him and telling him Boston used to celebrate those things too but they don't matter. It's a funny line, but again, it really lowers the bar on the entire professional thing. Wait, sorry, they are BRASH guys, so it's just what they do.

He goes on to write, "Vancouver and Chicago have what was the biggest rivalry in the NHL in my opinion, and they rarely talk trash about each other unless they are facing each other (aside from Dave Bolland). Keep it on the ice, and just tease us occasionally with some bitterness that flows into the press. Donít just throw it in our faces everyday. This is boring. And awkward. Donít be awkward."

I counted. Arndt wrote 1,412 words about this. Boring. Awkward. 

It goes on from there with more feigned outrage. I don't know, maybe it's all just sarcasm. Clearly, I'm not so sure anymore.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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