BOSTON, MA --
After he took exception to some stick work by Vancouver's Alex Burrows, Boston's Shawn Thornton
confronted the forward (who you remember was penalized for biting Patrice Bergeron
in Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final) and was promptly surrounded by a lot of players in white Canucks jerseys.
"I knew there were a lot of bodies," said Thornton. "I saw the replay in between periods. I was just surprised I could stand up that long with six guys on the attack; until Zee [Zdeno Chara
] grabbed a hold of somebody and pulled the whole pile down.
"Like I said, I’m fine, nothing came out of it. I don’t...remember getting hit or anything. I was more worried, when the pile's like that, just protecting your fingers and face from skates.
"But the linesmen did an okay job of making sure nothing happened when we were in the scrum," he said.
However the officials couldn't prevent all of the hard feelings, bottled up since the B's Stanley Cup victory last spring, which translated into 107 minutes in penalties between the Canucks and Bruins.
Surprisingly enough, Thornton didn't earn a fighting major on the day, while Nathan Horton
and Gregory Campbell
each squared off with a Canuck.
But it's not as if Thornton didn't try.
At one point, the winger actually dropped his gloves and attempted to square off with Vancouver's Dale Weise.
"Oh, he said 'let’s go', I don’t know if he was talking to me or someone else but [referee Dan O’Rourke] heard him and [referee] Don VanMassenhoven heard him and that’s why he went with me I’m assuming," said Thornton of he and Weise's matching unsportsmanlike minors at 14:58 of the first period. "I mean, you’ll have to ask him.
"But Donny said, 'wait until the puck drops' and I said 'of course'. I heard him say 'we’ll go', maybe he was talking to [Adam] McQuaid or I have no idea. But...obviously [I] thought it was go time."
For much of the game it seemed like "go time" for both teams, but Thornton didn't think his Bruins had lost their cool.
"I mean, I felt we were pretty levelheaded," said the B's beat cop. "Obviously some things happened that maybe sparked a little thing.
"I feel bad that they had seven guys on the ice and Luch [Milan Lucic
] was on a change and he gets ejected for coming in to my defense," added Thornton of the Game Misconduct penalty given to Lucic that was later rescinded by the NHL.
"So, I feel bad that we lose one of our best players after all that, but I guess that’s the end of it," he said.
Maybe. Maybe not. Although Lucic's penalty was rescinded, forward Brad Marchand
earned a clipping major and a Game Misconduct at 18:47 of the second period and could face supplementary discipline.
It won't, however, be the end of Thornton defending himself or his teammates.
"I mean I’m a big boy I can handle myself," said Thornton. "I’m not worried about that. I was more upset with the spear to the throat.
"I don’t lose my cool for no reason.
"I see myself as a pretty honest player. But, I’m not going to let someone spear me in the throat. I’m also a man so I stand up for myself," he said.