Shawn Thornton understood the risks when he dropped the gloves with big John Scott last Thursday in Boston.
Sure, the fight — which left the Bruins’ forward with a concussion — could’ve gone better. But hey, that’s the gig.
So to those observers who suggested Thornton should’ve skated away from Scott’s challenge, that’s not how he operates.
“Obviously with Buffalo, they brought [Scott] in probably because of our team,” said Thornton yesterday, per CSNNE.com. “It’s my job to make sure that I’m available for that, so it’s not one of our star players that has to do it. That’s part of my role. And I accept it fully.
“I wish it went differently. I knew it was going to happen, and it was better to get it out of the way early. Would you rather that, or wait until he does something stupid and I have to deal with it? It was out of the way and it was a non-factor after that, I think.”
As for the notion that Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara (6’9, 255 lbs), was a better match physically for Scott (6’8, 258 lbs)?
“I don’t even know where that [bleep] comes from,” said Thornton (6’2, 217 lbs).
“[Chara]’s our best player and arguably the best defenseman in the league. There’s no reason for him to have to fight my battles. I’ve done this for a long time, and it’s on me.”
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.