About last night …

WhiteBuff

Thank you, Ted Nolan.
The coach of the visiting Buffalo Sabres did your Montreal Canadiens – and hockey in general – an immense favour Saturday night.
Nolan decided not to dress John Scott for the game at the Bell Centre.
With Buffalo’s 6’8″, 260-lb behemoth safely confined to the pressbox, Michel Therrien saw no reason to dress George Parros.
Instead, Ryan White drew in to the lineup.
And the fourth line – White centring Brandon Prust and Travis Moen – was the Canadiens’ best.

Prust has a goal an assist, two hits and was plus-2 and the game’s First Star.

Moen had two assists and three hits. He was plus-2 and the Third Star.

White had an assist and three hits. He was plus-1 and might have been plus-2 had he not completed a second-period shift and given way to Tomas Plekanec, who converted Prust’s pass into the Canadiens’ second goal.

The fourth liners each played 12 minutes and change at even-strength – more 5-on-5 ice time than either Daniel Brière (6:29) or Lars Eller (8:41).

After an opening period that had nine shots on goal and might have been the worst 20 minutes of “hockey” Bell Centre fans have endured this season, Michel Therrien sent a message to his dozy team. The coach started the second period with his fourth line, and they took all of 19 seconds to produce Prust’s goal and goose the game into something resembling a sports event.

Not that the latter 40 minutes merited inclusion in any DVD boxed set … unless they’re going to compete with Don Cherry’s latest Rock ‘Em/Sock ‘Em with a Snooze ‘Em/Lose ‘Em collection.

The objective of a visiting team is to take the home crowd out of the game – especially when the home crowd is 21,273 hockey connoisseurs who have paid major $$$ for their tickets and expect to be entertained.

Clogging the passing lanes, dominating possession for extended periods in the Canadiens’ end, the Sabres saw to it that entertainment was MIA for most of the evening.

The Sabres outhit the Canadiens 46-26. That barrage of bodychecking exceeded the 38-20 hit marging run up by Ottawa on Nov. 7 – a game the Senators won 4-1.

Buffalo also outshot the Canadiens 25-19. The only other time the Canadiens have been held to fewer than 20 shots this season was when the Devils visited last Monday. The Canadiens managed a mere 17 on Cory Schneider … and won 3-2.

Like the win over the Devils, the conquest of the Sabres was not pretty. But a win is a win, and the two points moved the Canadiens into a tie with Pittsburgh at 41.

Boston is just behind at 40 after beating the Penguins in a game marred by Shawn Thornton’s mugging of Brooks Orpik, barbaric even by NHL standards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuVq-TZ7AJM

Thornton deserves and will get a lengthy suspension. His loss will punch a hole in what’s generally considered the NHL’s best fourth line: Thornton, Gregory Campbell and daniel Paille.

On this saturday night at least, the Canadiens had a Bruins-quality contribution from their fourth line. White, Prust and Moen can all skate, hit and drop ‘em if necessarily – but not necessarily drop ‘em.

I’m sure we’ll see the unit intact when L.A. visits on Tuesday – the Kings’ first Bell Centre appearance since Nov. 24, 2010.

We also are likely to see more of Alex Galchenyuk with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. The revolving door at LW on the line continues. Max Pacioretty, Travis Moen, Brandon Prust, Daniel Brière and Rene Bourque all have seen service with the captain and the team’s best all-around forward.

Plekanec was picked as Second Star of the Buffalo game. In addition to scoring his 11th goal, tying him with Pacioretty for the team lead, Pleks added an assist on Galchenyuk’s goal and played 21 minutes of his customary cerebral and near-error-free hockey.

He’s not flashy. But man, Plekanec is a good hockey player.

Therrien trusts the 31-year-old veteran in all situations, and Plekanec’s latest task might be to bring out the best in Galchenyuk, who had strugled – along with Eller – since Brendan Gallagher was moved off their line.

Therrien tweaks his trios (I love alliteration), and the Canadiens keep winning.

The fourth-line pluggers were the latest in a cavalcade of heroes who led the Canadiens through a very challenging part of their schedule. The constants have been the goaltending of Carey Price and Peter Budaj and the play of the seven-man defence corps.

The most recent sequence was likened to a playoff series – seven games in 11 nights. The Canadiens took 13 of a possible 14 points.

It’s too bad New Jersey and Buffalo weren’t eliminated.

 •  •  •

Credit Shawn Thornton for facing the music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9re_6HqbWko

 

 

 

654 Comments

  1. Mike D says:

    On the topic of questionable hits, did anyone else see a questionable hit by Pleks just before Chucky’s goal?

    It happened pretty quick and I haven’t seen any replays or highlights of it, but when I watched the game it appeared as though he delivered a head shot with his elbow.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • dhenry1234 says:

      I just saw it. Ref was literally standing right there. If it was dirty, there’s no doubt in my mind that it would have been called by the professional on the ice.

  2. JM says:

    DD – Orpik should get at least 3 Games … Thornton should get at least 10 Games … Neal should get at least 3 Games.

  3. durocher says:

    Any chance Pleks gets serious consideration for the Selke? He deserves it

    Seems like Briere is pretty superfluous on our team — he isn’t getting PP time and barely played last night. Maybe MB can trade him to Colorado for Jamie McGinn?

    • Loonie says:

      As long as Jonathan Toews, David Backes and Pavel Datsyuk are in the NHL Tomas Plekanec has no chance of winning a selke.

      None.

      • Mike D says:

        Which is sad, but also pretty damn accurate. Not to suggest that Pleks necessarily deserves it more than those guys (or others of their ilk), but Pleky is a bit “under the radar” for how good he is, regardless of whether he should win a Selke or not.

        I’d like to see him get nominated at least once though…….just not in a contract year ;)

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

    • Habfan17 says:

      Wouldn’t that be funny, if Briere was traded since he said it was hs dream of playing for the Habs one day! He probably has some kind of no movement clause.

      Habfan17

  4. 1010 says:

    Just seen it all. I stand pat with my earlier suspensions. The Bruins got involved in an ugly game in a week when they played les Habs. But it didn`t involve them and I love it.

    GO HABS…

  5. DAVE. N says:

    IMO, there is a very simple way to stop the crap that was Pens/ Bruins last night. Suspend the players, take away their salaries for the length of the suspension.; The teams then have to match the $, pay out the insurers fees for the medical costs involved and play without a replacement for the period of suspension.
    Brutal action requires a power response. It will eliminate this idiocy across the league immediately. That wasn’t hockey; that was deliberate attempt to injure, and an assault. Pathetic.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      All excellent but all based on the unfounded assumption that the NHL is in any way interested in eliminating this kind of play. It should be but isn’t.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Take a look at the comment section, Mike. Lowest common denominator prevails once again.

    • Mike D says:

      Excellent read Boone. Thanks for linking it.

      – Honestly yours
      Twitter: @de_benny

    • DAVE. N says:

      Good reading..thanks Mike

    • 1010 says:

      The same Ken Campbell that wanted Pacioretty suspended the other night for the hit on Boychuk.

      GO HABS…

      • Loonie says:

        He should have been.

        Careless doesn’t mean malicious but that was textbook boarding in a dangerous area. Pacioretty got off very lucky.

        • Mike D says:

          I’m gonna have to disagree with ya there Tom. There wasn’t much force in Max’s hit and definitely no intent to injure. Max bumped him as they were both fighting for position to get a loose puck near the corner. I agree with the 2 minutes he got for boarding, but I really think that’s all there was to it.

          It is a shame that Boychuck got injured the way he did, but I think that’s more the result of the awkward way he twisted as he fell. And Max’s hit didn’t cause that twist – it was just the way Boychuck was maneuvering for the puck.

          That said, it’s nice to see ya posting again. Haven’t seen you on here for a while. Cheers.

          – Honestly yours
          Twitter: @de_benny

        • Ton says:

          I come to terms that you write your posts without thinking…….that was a hockey play all the way! Julien as well as reiterated this!

          • Loonie says:

            Since when do “hockey plays” automatically rule out suspension?

            Zdeno Chara interfered with Max Pacioretty and sent him face first into a broken neck, but that was a hockey play.

            A bodycheck regardless of whether or not it’s within the rules is part of hockey, that’s where the line gets drawn.

            Boarding is an infraction, more to the point, boarding a player within the three to five foot area of the boards is considered reckless and dangerous. That doesn’t mean bodychecks aren’t part of hockey.

            Mitigating circumstances dictate the consequences.

          • Bill says:

            In fairness, history shows that Julien has a very lenient definition of “hockey play”.

            I’m in favour of an automatic one-game suspension for any boarding infraction, because that is how guys get paralyzed. I have witnessed this in person and it is one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen.

            If that were the NHL’s policy and Pacioretty got suspended I would be fine with it.

            But the way league does business now? Pacioretty hit him on an angle, not from behind, and not all that hard. Boychuk fell awkwardly. It was not a vicious play, so no suspension under current (inadequate) standards of justice.

            Full Breezer 4 Life

  6. Loonie says:

    What James Neal did to Brad Marchand last night was absolutely disgusting.

    If there was anything that could have made Shawn Thornton’s actions look pedestrian, that was it.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Don’t agree, TN. No real measuring stick on intent-to-injure actions. Neal’s was a quasi-hockey play (like Emelin’s cross-check on Seguin), Shawn Thornton’s slew-foot was suspension worthy, followed by a forearm shiver and a gloved-fist punch, also suspension worthy. Vaclav Varada’s kneeing of Jose Theodore’s head was worse.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

      • Loonie says:

        A quasi hockey play?

        Say what you want about fighting. I’m not in favour of it and wish there was enough competence in place at the NHL league offices to eliminate it permanently. But in the case of a fight and in this situation specifically Orpik had an opportunity to defend himself. Not choosing to do so doesn’t justify what Thornton did, but Marchand had no opportunity to defend himself from what could have easily been a more consequential and certainly was an equally gutless display of criminal behaviour.

    • Bripro says:

      I agree. You would have to think that both Neal and Thorton will be facing looong suspensions. If not, this league is turning into a three-ring circus.
      I don’t get how players can be so disrespectful of their peers.
      Time to bring the hammer down.

      • Mike D says:

        Mornin, Bri.

        Neal’s punishment will be less than Thornton’s as he only has a phone hearing where Thornton has an in-person.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

        • Bripro says:

          Morning Mike.
          Given the incident, I’m surprised he hasn’t been called in.
          Let’s face it, in looking at the replays, it’s obvious that was his intent.
          In a Chara-like manoeuvre, he injured, didn’t look back, and made no effort to minimize his impact.
          That was every bit as gutless as Thorton’s.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I’ve been struggling with comparing the two. I’ve decided its not worth doing. Both are disturbing and embarrassing for a league and sport who claim legitimacy.

  7. 1010 says:

    My thoughts: Thorton 10 games; Neal 10 games; Orpik 10 games; Marchand 10 games.
    I haven`t seen any of this yet but before I do I thought I would offer some suggestions. I hate them all and this would certainly help my team. Marchand’s suspension might raise some eyebrows but this might help cover any past indescretions that the league missed.
    Have a nice day and GO HABS GO….

  8. mrhabby says:

    Zack Rinaldo is one piece of garbage….ughhh.

  9. Bill says:

    24 Cups: SUbban hasn’t been playing well lately, no.

    I do think that on an IIHF-size rink, his mobility, speed, and puck-handling are an even bigger asset.

    I feel that what many are not really considering is that Weber, Doughty, Seabrook, and Pietrangelo – the other RH candidates – have bad games too.

    Last night, Pietrangelo was dominated by the Ducks. He went -3 and was on the ice for four of Anaheim’s goals. With the score 4-0, the Blues got two goals to start the third and bring the game within reach: immediately after the second goal, Pietrangelo took a hooking penalty and stalled their momentum at a crucial time. It was his second minor penalty of the game. He had at least as bad a night as Subban … but no-one’s talking about it.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

    • RockinRey says:

      Dont agree. Pk has been logging big minutes. I think he is playing well. We have seen Markov ( who is considered all world) give away the puck when under pressure to make a play and he seems to be given slack. Couple of giveaways? So what! All eyes are on him…he would be a perfect fit with Olympic team where he can be insulated by a stay at home type and his skillset would be boon for a team. Who would you rather have on the PP or if your team is down a goal???

    • 24 Cups says:

      You make a good point, Bill. I still think Subban’s skating should be the tie-breaker. Canada hasn’t won on the large ice surface lately so that has to be a consideration. I can’t remember for sure but I thought Doughty moved over to the left last time around so that might help Subban’s chances.

      As for PK himself, we tend to glorify him right now. I was just pointing out that he has had trouble handling the puck on a few occasions this week. Those three occasions turned into goals. I could just as easily have said that when he has an off game the Habs are in struggle mode. He has that kind of impact on the team.

      Two months ago in mid October I stated that Subban was the most exciting Hab since Lafleur. People at the time thought I was a bit over the top but I still feel that way. But the guy’s not bulletproof.

      • Bripro says:

        Agreed on all points.
        Right now, this condensed schedule is having its effect.
        You can see the fatigue in most.
        Their one-week hiatus at Christmas can’t come soon enough.

      • Bill says:

        I, and probably many here, don’t get to see much of Doughty, Weber, Seabrook, or Pietrangelo, since they are Western teams.

        I remember Weber being outstanding in 2010, and he’s been good most of the games I’ve seen him play, so he’s a lock.

        I think Doughty is definitely going too, though to me he’s not as impressive as he seems to be to the media. He was okay in 2010, didn’t particularly impress me, but was good defensively. Anyway, I think as far as Yzerman/Babcock are concerned, Doughty is in like Flynn.

        Seabrook is a mystery to me. I’ve watched Chicago win two Cups and Seabrook has not been a standout to me. He was mediocre in the 2010 games. Honestly I think Keith makes him look better than he is. I would not consider Seabrook as good as Subban in any facet of the game. However, he’s a 2010 vet and Yzerman may well want him paired up with Keith, so …

        I don’t know much about Pietraneglo. I don’t watch the Blues and I really can’t comment. His reputation is stellar and his career numbers are great.

        If it’s me making the choice, I leave off Seabrook, and watch training camp to decide pairings. For me, Weber is the only guy who is automatic.

        Full Breezer 4 Life

    • JF says:

      You’re certainly right in saying that other top defencemen also have bad games, but no one talks about them. But that’s precisely the point. No one talks about bad games by Pietrangelo (or Doughty or Weber) because the consensus is that they should be on Team Canada. No one is questioning it, whereas there seem to be quite a few questioning whether P.K. Subban should be on the team and a widespread perception that he is a high-risk player. I hope the selection committee will not focus on his errors, but will look at everything he does so well – but it is by no means certain.

  10. JM says:

    If Thornton gets less than 10-Games it will differently prove the NHL is a joke!! That’s why some of these Guys are 4th liners. Very little skill and partially Brain Dead … Where can you get a job other than the NHL and get paid up to a Million dollars a year with no or very little skill. Lets base it on a Million Dollars. What a waste of 3-Mil per year. I would much rather bring in 3-players at 1.5-mil each with some skill whom could contribute much the same as the 3rd line.

  11. 24 Cups says:

    No reason the Habs can’t keep putting the peddle to the metal.

    They have ten games remaining in December with only two tough opponents – LA and St Louis.

    January features 13 games with four tough tilts against Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston and Detroit.

    Payback comes after the Olympic break when thing start to get ugly in terms of scheduling.

  12. Ian Cobb says:

    Link for the Thorton Orpik scrap and the Marchand knee job.???

    Anybody have it?

  13. dhenry1234 says:

    So do we keep Murray around for another couple of years?
    He is the Player that I want Tinordi to eventually turn into.

  14. montreal ace says:

    I did not see a fight between Thornton and Orpik last night, I seen an assault and battery. I also did not think Thornton was out of control, he tried to hurt Orpik with elbows to the head with better results then he wanted. Thornton’s actions preformed on the street, would result in arrest and rightly so. I don’t condone this type of behaviour in life why would I in a hockey game. There are rules to life that should not be broken, and assault and battery is one of them, its also not important where it happens. Hockey players should not be above the laws that most people live by.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Agree completely except for your concluding sentence which is inaccurate. As things stand, hockey players ARE above the law. Replace “are not” with “should not be”.

  15. Mike D says:

    Very happy this AM for another Habs win last night! It was definitely not a great performance by our team – seemed like they couldn’t complete a pass all night or generate any mo except for the back to back goals – and it was a lousy, boring game in general.

    BUT, with so many games in so few nights you had to expect the foot would come off the gas a little and Buffalo is probably the perfect opponent for that. I will credit the Sabres for having a good forecheck though. Hey, 2 points is 2 points and I’m not gonna complain if sometimes they come by way of an un-pretty game.

    Super happy to see the fourth line contribute, and not just on the scoreboard, but also with their TOI. More minutes for them meant less minutes for our top line guys giving them the benefit of a more ‘restful’ game. Again, Buffalo is probably the perfect opponent to let your 4th liners get some extra time and work in on. Hopefully the results will give a confidence boost to Whitey, T-Mo, and Prusty and have them playing even better.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  16. JF says:

    A very pedestrian game last night, but we did more or less enough to win, although it could just as easily have gone the other way without that 23-second offensive outburst in the second period. The Sabres in recent years have been a team capable of grinding out tight games against us and getting the win with the help of their goaltender. I’m glad they didn’t quite manage it this time. If we can save our best efforts for the top teams, I’ll take this kind of ugly, just-get-it-done win over the cellar dwellers.

    P.K. Subban hasn’t done himself any favours with the Sochi committee this week. Two highlight reel goals for our opponents in which he turns over or mishandles the puck will certainly be taken as evidence for all those claims that he’s a high-risk player and not defensively responsible.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Small counterpoint, many gaffs by good players are not remembered because a teammate bailed him out, such as P.K. did with goal-line clearing plays. His happened to lead to goals in three instances in the games you mentioned. Last year, both P.K. and Gorges looked bad on goals by Fraser McLaren and Leo Komarov, but P.K. hadn’t won the Norris yet, and auditioning for Sochi was months away. Mornin’ Bud (Buddette?).

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      I believe the Team Canada management will not look at 1 specific play/period/game, yet will be looking at the whole body of work.

      I don’t believe Team Sweden will not choose Eric Karlsson who now easily leads the NHL in giveaways, nor will Team USA not choose Ryan Suter because of a brutal giveaway this week that turned into a goal

  17. D Man says:

    I really like “The Murray Effect” around the crease after the whistle. Players look up, turn around and skate away. No FN round. Crankshaft indeed.

    You can’t be both a Habs and a Leafs fan

  18. RockinRey says:

    Considering the source I know the item in question has to be taken with grain of salt… But HockeyBuzz ( Ek) is saying habs are intrigued by Ryan O’Reilly . … but the cost is too high in my opinion( young D man prospect and 2nd rounder). Any thoughts by commentariat on the upside and his game and fit??? He has size and has produced before

    • mrhabby says:

      Get him if it makes good sense..

    • Bill says:

      O’Reilly can’t be traded until February, for starters. Here’s another thing. When his current contract expires, his qualifying offer will have to be 6.5 million dollars, because of the way Calgary set up the offer sheet. That is a lot of scratch for a guy who is probably a 20-25 goal scorer (career high so far is 18) and average-sized.

      If there were no salary cap I’d be interested, but with an RFA salary like that one? Nope.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

  19. DipsyDoodler says:

    Sunday poll.

    1. Brooks Orpik, for his hit on Ericksson, should get:
    a) 2 games
    b) 3 games
    c) 5 games

    2. Shawn Thornton, for sucker punching Orpik, should get:
    a) 10 games
    b) 20 games
    c) 40 games

    3. James Neal, for kneeing Brad Marchand, should get:
    a) 2 games
    b) 3 games
    c) a trophy

  20. Lafleurguy says:

    @jrs10069 – That was really funny, about playing dead when a bear attacks you.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  21. Mike D says:

    Regarding Neal’s knee on Marchand: I saw the replay a few times on Sportscentre and it definitely looked intentional to me. Neal looks down and you see him stick his knee out a little in a manner that wasn’t part of a natural skating stride.

    Neal should face some punishment for that, and he does have a phone hearing so he’ll probably get something, but it won’t be much as Marchand finished the game and actually assisted on the gwg. I realize that shouldn’t matter, but it’s how the NHL does things.

    That said, Marchand is a POS rat and definitely deserves to be on the receiving end of the same type of crap he would likely have done himself had the situations been reversed. I hate saying that because I don’t condone violence, but, sometimes karma can be sweet.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  22. mrhabby says:

    I really could care less what happened in the pens bruins game but after watching neals hit I was thinking I wished Neal would have used both his knees on the rat. I find it funny that idiot thorton feels sorry for what he did and now wants some sympathy..i still think orpiks hit was borderline.

  23. Arnou Ruelle says:

    January 2014 is going to be an interesting month for the Habs:

    A game vs. Dallas,
    2 with Ottawa,
    1 with Chicago,
    1 on Philly,
    Last game with NJ,
    A date with Boston again,
    Another date with Toronto,
    3rd game with the Caps,
    A game with both Carolina and Florida.

    This will be another measuring stick for MT’s boys.

  24. Ian Cobb says:

    Ian’s Sunday weekly Hab’s report. For your viewing pleasure.

    League points–41. For 7th place. Last week 33 for 12th place.

    Conference—–41. For 1st. place. Tied with Pittsburgh.

    Division————41. For 1st. place.

    Goals for———-85. For 10th place. Last week 73 for 15th place.

    Goals against—-65. For 3rd place. Last week 57 for 3rd place.

    Goal differential +20 For 6th place. Last week +16 for 6th place.

  25. 416erHabsFan says:

    Did anybody else see Markov twist his knee last night? It looked really bad but he was on for the end of the game so I guess he is o.k. It got my heart racing to see that look on his face again when he fell on it.

  26. jeffhabfan says:

    I thought we did just enough to win a boring game against the Sabres we have to step up for our next game against the Kings.I also hope Markov is o.k. Just keep it going Boys.GO HABS GO.

  27. Mike D says:

    Mornin’ guys and gals.

    I see a lot of speculation on how long Thornton will be suspended for and just wanted to add this:

    Since it’s an in-person hearing it will be minimum 6 games (at least that’s my understanding of the difference between in-person hearings and phone hearings).

    Many in the media are speculating between 6-10 games. Personally, I’m hoping for more than that but suspect they will use the “never been suspended before” excuse to reduce the length of his punishment.

    – Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      hi Mike D

      Yes, those face to face ‘usually’ mean 5+ (Max Lapierre received 5)yet there is no rule stating that it MUST be so…..also remembering the organization he comes from

      • Mike D says:

        Hey there MR. Hope you’re doing well bud.

        I certainly could be mistaken, but I was under the impression that in-person hearings mean 6+. Reading some tweets from last night from guys like Bob McKenzie seem to align with that thinking.

        Either way, I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

        – Honestly yours
        Twitter: @de_benny

  28. Strummer says:

    Chris Stevenson of Sun Media this morning’s “10 Team Canada Questions”

    http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/07/10-team-canada-questions-that-need-answers-before-sochi-olympics-roster-is-finalized

    No. 1 ” Subban’s supposed defensive deficiencies are mostly a myth. Anybody continuing to harp on that hasn’t been watching the games. A guy of his talent should be on the team.”

    No. 6 “Price has been one of the hottest goaltenders in the league over the last month or so. Who knows how well he will be playing two months from now, but he’s earned the right to start in Sochi as of now.””

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • 24 Cups says:

      I’m not sure I’m being totally fair but Subban has directly or indirectly mishandled the puck three times this week that quickly turned into goals by the other team.

      We all love him but he’s in a tight competition for a spot on the team. The same goes for the guys up front. Seguin was a one man wrecking crew last night against Philly but he’s still a bit of a long shot.

      • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

        He’s playing a lot of minutes, and the schedule this week was brutal. I did not surprise me to see Subban and the team struggle the last night.

  29. montreal ace says:

    Its incredible that this team, has gotten 19 out of 20 points in the last 10 games. In my wildest dreams I would not have thought it possible, so this jump in the standings is incredibly satisfying. Last night during the last 5 minutes, I also thought we were going to win, so I was not on needles and pins. I just want to say I love hockey when this team wins, as it makes putting up with the thugs of the NHL a lot easier.

  30. Arnou Ruelle says:

    Just watched again the Orpik hit on Eriksson. I think Orpik should get a hearing from Shanahan. Orpik’s right shoulder did intentionally hit Eriksson’s head. The hit looks like a rule 48 violation.

  31. Habfan17 says:

    For those who think that Orpik should have fought Thornton when he challenged him and/or think that Thornton was justified in what he did, think about your son, nephew, family friend playing, they hit a player clean and some thug like Thornton takes exception and beats your child into a pulp, gives him a concussion or worse, would you still feel it should be part of the game?

    The sport is played at high speeds, there are inherent risks of injury, but it should not be from getting punched out by a player who can’t control his emotions, hits from behind, or deliberate attempts to injure.
    Habfan17

    • adamkennelly says:

      your point is valid except for the “hit a player clean part” – Orpik has laid plenty of folks out during his career. In professional hockey – if you smear someone on the other team – fully legal, marginally legal or illegal – a lot of the time you have to deal with consequences. If you don’t man up and do so – better keep your guard up if the game gets out of hand – which it did.

      Orpiik doesn’t have to fight Thornton but he sure better ask his teammates to play nice the rest of the game cause this was coming. and he better be aware of who is on the ice and pay attention for the rest of the game.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Thanks for pointing that out, I should have mentioned I was not referring specifically to the Orpik hit, although that was borderline and still a player should not have to worry about a goon coming after him. I don’t believe that players should have to pay consequences for fully legal plays at all, or from any other kind of play from opposing players, only from the league!

        Habfan17

  32. Captain aHab says:

    I see that, as is usually the case in situations such as these, some folks are starting to say that an on-ice death is what would be needed for this issue to get really examined thoroughly.

    I don’t think it would, at least not with a single death. Let me explain:

    Player X dies on the ice….what would the league’s response be? Immediate lifetime ban on the player who killed the other? Immediate suppression of fighting league-wide?

    Nope…..the league politicians would take over and what do you do when there’s a situation, in politics, you don’t really want to deal with but kinda have to show that you at least seem to have a passing interest in doing something about it? You create a Commission to examine the issue from ALL angles. Actually as many angles as possible so that it takes as long as possible, so that people forget. Then once you’ve spent 1-2 years on it, you announce in the middle of Summer, when people don’t give a shiot, that well the guy didn’t do it on purpose, there was just a freakish set of conditions that led to it, that you’ll set up some empty program to tell players they should not kill one another, etc….and swoosh, under the carpet.

    What would REALLY derail that plan is if, a month before the Committee releases its reports, someone else died on ice. The league couldn’t then state that it wants to set up another committee and the public anger would be fresh so they would have to do something.

    Which is why you release the report mid-summer when there is no hockey going on and no chance of that happening.

    It would get totally swept under a carpet and little, if anything, would change. As I’ve said below, the work needs to start at lower levels to make kids expect to not have to deal with bullshiot like that so that when they get to the NHL, they demand that their Union does something about it.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • Maritime Ronn says:

      Interesting thoughts, yet there is some difficulty connecting the dots between some government inquiry into…let’s say some corruption vs. an on ice death that most likely could have been avoided with some proactive initiatives to clean up the game.

      Your example could transpire if that on ice death was from a heart attack-brain aneurism, or some other accident such as a player falling where no criminal issues appear.

      It would be quite different if it was a blatant event of premeditation such as what we have witnessed on numerous occasions.
      Then the Criminal Justice system would have no choice but to get involved.

      Outrage would follow, and quite possibly KEY advertisers may dictate to the NHL to clean up its act of they move on because the masses that purchase their products are in a boycott mood.

      With the threat of lost revenue, the NHL-NHLPA would react

    • Habfan17 says:

      Nice thought about having the kids learn young and push for change. What they really need to do is work in Management for NHL teams and push from both sides.

      I would think that the family of the player who died, would push criminal charges, especially if the player that was responsible had done similar things in the past or if it was from a fight and the player who died was not a fighter and the player who hit him was a “designated” fighter. The league would be charged as co-conspirator since they allow fighting! The opposing team as well since they employed a fighter.

      Habfan17

  33. theflower says:

    Let’s be clear on the details of the Bruins/Penguins fiasco last night
    1. Orpik hit on Erikson – clean
    2. Neal knee on Marchand – intentional, dirty and worthy of suspension
    3. Thornton attack on Orpik – intentional, dirty and worthy of suspension

    I know some of you disagree and some of you like me will agree with what I have to say. Gretzky was successful obviously because of his talent, but also his protection allowed him to play the game and do what he does best.

    I have been saying that the instigator rule was and is the worst thing to happen to hockey. We have lost so many talented players for so many games over the years and many of these injuries due to concussions and blatent attacks on the talented players in the league. I for one have had enough of this crap. You want to head hunt guys, you should get your head taken off. The code can’t survive if little twerps with a stick or an elbow can take out your best players with a few games consequence.

    I am sorry the fear of having to stand up and getting your face bashed in for going after another teams talent, is a great motivator for stopping guys going after the stars.

    If Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux played in today’s league, neither of them may set the records they had set as half their careers would be off ice fighting concussion effects, that’s the reality. Who really is ok with that? The first time Mario quit, he came out and said he was tired of getting smashed up every night and no protection late in his career.

    It’s a free for all out there and anyone can do anything.

    what should have happened last night?

    For one Thornton should have laid into Orpik and the ref should have given him two minutes for roughing after the initial hit on Ericson. Then Thornton is off the ice cooling off. As far as Neil goes the minute he got back on the ice another enforcer should have put the screws to him, so what he gets a game, the message needs to be sent you don’t hit a downed player in the head with your knee. If these thing existed, Orpik isn’t in the hospital and justice is served to 3 time offender Neil and maybe next time they think twice before getting stupid.

    I love hockey, I love the Habs and all the cups we won in the 70’s we won because of talent and enforcers to protect our superstars like the flower.

    In today’s game the flower would not have had and entire career, he would have had it cut short after numerous concussions. Could you imagine that scenario?

    Let’s get the instigator rule gone and get the cheap shots out of the game. then maybe we can actually watch the most talented players in hockey actually PLAY their hockey we want to watch!

    • Captain aHab says:

      How about if the little guy who swings his stick at someone’s head got 25-35 games without pay? Immediate 10 game suspension without pay for a staged fight? 25 for the next and then the season if you try it a third time? Think that would be a deterrent? Why is it that the only deterrent is to have your face bashed in? A chickenshiot player will just run away or turtle so what kind of punishment is that?

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • theflower says:

        All i can say is this, you can look at changing this a million different ways, but the fact remains, the fear of repercussions of actions taken on the ice by players was so powerful, it kept the nonsense in check for many years. We did not lose all of our best players in the 70’s and 80’s to ridiculous attacks by idiots or marginal players. Today they are dropping nightly so you tell me how suspensions can or are making a difference. You tell me why what worked for years cannot work today? Athletes for the most part know what they are doing when they swing a stick or punch a guy or dole out a headshot. I can tell you the fear alone of what could happen if they did back in the day made many players think twice!

        • Habfan17 says:

          I think if you go back and check your facts, you will see many good players did get hurt. That still does not justify vigilante justice! Hunter tried to take out Robinsons knee and end his career, he said so! The league needs to get rid of these players! Neely was probably the toughest player when he was hit dirty and his career was ended, How did Neely being a player viewed as the consequences you face when you mess with our guys, help him? Spin it anyway you want, vigilante justice needs to go.

          Habfan17

        • frontenac1 says:

          Instigator Rule is too dangerous for the skilled guys.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Therein lies the problem, the league should be doing everything in their power to eliminate the sneaky dirty players. Players should not need the protection if goons. The NHL needs to use the rule book properly, call charging, boarding and all other infractions by the book, regardless of who the player is, how much time is left in the game, or that it is a playoff game. None of that is relevant.

      This nonsense comment about how we want the players to influence the outcome of the game, not the referees is bogus. In not calling things as they should, the referees are directly affecting the outcome of the game. The players decide t break the rules and should be called, therefore they are affecting the outcome of the game!

      Habfan17

      • Captain aHab says:

        You never ever see an NFL referee not call a holding penalty on the team that is down by 4 and driving at their opponent’s 5 yard line with 2 minutes left because of the situation. And you’ll never hear an NFL coach say that he should have let the players decide. That is one of the most ridiculous aspects of NHL refereeing.

        —————-
        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • frontenac1 says:

      Agreed amigo! Instigator Rule has got to go!

    • Ton says:

      great post! keep in mind super stars always got roughed up! Perhaps Gretzy was the one that was most protected……..lafleur> bruins roughed him up……boutette took his knee out……….Orr> Pat Quin and Bill Barber took his knee out………Lemieux> well he got roughed up that’s for sure……..

  34. 24 Cups says:

    Nothing is going to change in the NHL after last night’s embarrassments in Boston and Philadelphia. That realization this morning is more depressing than the actions of Thornton or Rinaldo.

  35. Habitforming says:

    I have a real hard time feeling bad for any Bruin (aside from Bergeron because he is a clean excellent hockey player) and this case is no different.

    Thornton has always played on the thin line of dirty and clean and now losses it when Orpik did the very same thing. I didn’t see the hit as that bad and certainly not suspension worthy for Orpik.

    The knee on Marchand was dirty, but also one of poetic justice to a dirty rat that has done worse to other players. Marchand plays the way he does because of where and who he plays with. Without the back up of the dirtiest team in the NHL we would never know he existed.

    With any luck he is out for a while and thinks about the times he has done things to other players that has cost them some injury time away from the game.

  36. Arnou Ruelle says:

    2nd MTL vs. BOS game is Jan. 30.

    The next time the Bruins play the Habs, I like for MT to have Parros fight Thornton.

  37. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Hey Timo!

    Thanks a bunch – you jinxed “You Might Also Like” by celebrating its relevance yesterday!

    Today mine says, “Habs’s training camp kicks off in Brossard.”

    (so I clicked and there was a nice story about the new players,
    Lambert, Tremblay and Risebrough).

  38. habs-hampton says:

    I respect Shawn Thornton every bit as much as I respect Todd Bertuzzi.

  39. Psycho29 says:

    “That would never have happened if Orpik would have just fought Thornton”

    “Neal’s knee to Marchand was much worse that the Thornton incident”

    After watching Cherry and PJ Stock last night, I really really hope Rogers cleans house at HNIC…

    • habsgod says:

      i was watching our game and missed the intermission with cherry and stock what did those 2 buffoons have to say ? about what happened in the pitts bos game?

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Hi Psycho, I agree with your last sentence but your first quotation in fact reflects the unfortunate, unethical truth in present NHL culture (which I argue ad nauseam below).

      • Psycho29 says:

        Quite honestly, it’s sad. I like a good fight (not a staged one, but one that happens in the heat of battle), but they have to get the crap we saw last night out of the game.
        For the HNIC knuckle-draggers to try and justify it was a disgrace.
        Thank goodness for the TV remote and RDS..

    • Habfan17 says:

      Why should he have to fight? Don’t try to answer, there is no real justification!

      Habfan17

    • stephen says:

      I only caught a short portion of the CBC broadcast, but I thought the presence of Cassie Campbell on the panel was a breath of (much needed) fresh air.

      I imagine she was only there as a fill-in for Healy, but I hope she is given further opportunities beyond her ‘rinkside reporting’.

  40. Bash says:

    Erikkson was in a dangerous position and had not played the puck. He did not have possession of the puck and the hit was therefore very dirty with a strong possibility of injury. Orpik has done this before. These hits do not belong in the game.

    Neal’s knee on the rat was deliberate and very dirty. These deliberate attempts to injure do not belong in the game.

    Thornton mugged Orpik and punched an unwilling player. Nuff said.

    Orpik, Marchand, Thornton are well known for that style of play. No sympathy from me at all.

    Neal I am not so sure of but in this case his actions were at least disgusting and he should get at least 2, possibly 5 games

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  41. Strummer says:

    Was James Neal’s knee on Marchand intentional?

    I’m not so sure. When a player is down on the ice the potential is there for contact. It happens frequently. Neal appeared to be watching the puck/play which by that time was on the opposite side. He then went to the bench which was on his side of the ice.

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  42. Alex_425 says:

    So, who has come up with the best “embellishment” joke so far about last night’s incident by the darling of the NHL, DUH BOOINS?

    Either that, or the best “I was just trying to protect myself” offshoot.

    But I’m no expert….

  43. frankcasting says:

    The Ruins game was the best example of why that old myth : “let them settle it on the ice ” is such a steaming turd. Settle it, until someone’s on a stretcher, or someone’s dead.

    Meanwhile, our heroes are in 1st place, baby.

    Loving the Habs since 1965

    • JUST ME says:

      Without taking sides we can certainly say that if they (the NHL) would want to solve the problem, they could do it by throwing the book at players that act like jerks. It would not take long that key players would be missing and that it would hurt their team and thus, change behaviours.

      Unfortunately, the G.Ms put pressure on the league to prevent them from being to harsh and removing the so called stars from their roster. And furthermore the players have no respect for their fellow members of the NHLPA.

      Until the day one dies in front of us…
      Sigh…

    • Habfan17 says:

      Well said!!

      Habfan17

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good imagery, frank. But it’s a steaming turd that a certain kind of fan looks at and sees Mom’s apple pie.

  44. Alex_425 says:

    Morning, dear Commentariat.

    I distinctly remember saying that last night would end up being a good night for us, because these things come in threes, before my heavy work week caught up with me and I passed out at 8:30, for TWELVE hours of crazy good sleep.

    Also… karma, Thornton. Karma. Might not even necessarily come from on the ice. You do bad ****, it comes back to bite you, one way or another.

    But I’m no expert….

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Glad you got some rest. I was fortunate to take an afternoon nap so I was able to watch the game in its entirety. The team did just enough to win. Good teams win even when they don’t play their best. CHeers.

  45. Old Bald Bird says:

    Orpik’s hit was the kind that the NHL tolerates and is the kind that should be eliminated form the game. However, it wasn’t *that* bad. He timed it expecting the pass to be completed, and he did not target the head. It should have been penalized but did not warrant Thornton’s later reaction. The two incidents are at way different positions on the “Egregious” scale. In fact, Thornton was off the chart — way over the top.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Yep. I can’t compare the Neal’s knee with Thorton’s mugging. Those are both plays that should never happen in a game. Like I said below in response to Ronn, you have to start thinking there is something mentally wrong with some of these guys. I can’t come up with any other logical explanation.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Very well said. I was rather long winded earlier trying to say the same thing!

      Habfan17

  46. JUST ME says:

    We do not owe anything to the Sabres not dressing John Scott au contraire mister Boone. This would have waken up a few guys and would have been for the Habs a more decisive win. Buffalo is really not a good team. It`s like playing against zombies.

    We could see that type of game coming and fortunately so did coach Therrien. He mixed the lines all night long until he got results. This cannot be done against any team in the middle of the action but against the Sabres it can.
    Big salute to our 4 th line who took control of the game. This is another sign of depth. Some names that were so important against the Bruins were never mentionned yesterday. So be it ! Someone else took over !

  47. Maritime Ronn says:

    Watching the replay of the Shawn Thornton ugliness – then watching his reaction, the first thing that came to mind was…SUDAFED, or anything else by that name that contains pseudoephedrine, or any of its drug cousins and masking agents.

    If anyone noticed Thornton’s post game reaction, he realized he was very wrong…yet it was as if it was not him that did it, but some demon possessed other person.

    The real question becomes, WHY was he so out of control???

    Depending on whom you wish to believe, there may or may not be a problem here, yet the ever present incidences of the garbage displayed by Thornton last night certainly raises a red flag concerning PEDs.

    WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) – that produced a Bannned and Watch list for all types of drug related issues, will never have to test the “Shawn Thornton and Friends” of the NHL hockey world…

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning Ronn: That’s quite a theory you have. First thing I thought of was Betuzzi. I’m becoming more and more convinced that some players in this league have some mental health issues. The stuff we’re seeing on the ice is insane.

      • Habfan17 says:

        I agree with you. Some of these guys don’t seem to have any concept of what the consequences of their actions can lead to and are unable to exercise any control. I get being upset when your team mates are getting hurt and are on the wrong end of a hard check, but what Thornton did was akin to taking a wreaking ball to kill and ant!

        Habfan17

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Hi Jim

        It goes back a long way.
        Those Philly goon teams back in the 1970s (Schultz-Kelly and the others…) were allegedly greenie pumpers to get their craziness going.

        Back in the late 1990s, Michael Farber wrote an article that interviewed 2 different NHL trainers that claimed 20% of the guys were buzzed up with Sudafed.

        http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/1998/weekly/980202/nhlstory.html

        You may also be right about mental health issues as the blatant ‘attempts to injure’ are increasing with little consequence to the offending player.

        Please know I do not enjoy saying this, but it will take an on ice death for change to ever happen – kind of like the same philosophy of a homeowner installing an alarm system after being robbed

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good morning in Nova Scotia from the early afternoon in Ireland.

      Just knew you were cooking something up when you posted on Markov’s knee and then disappeared.

      Was going to challenge your drug hypothesis (with something about how many of us, self included, have lost our reason temporarily in the context of sport) until you cited the Farber and, unlike the majority here, self included, produced data. Now I have to take you more seriously.

      I will disagree about what will bring about change. Death of a player? No way — that is only a logical extension of what the league endorses, not what it wishes to inhibit.

      IMHO, the only thing that will precipitate change is loss of revenue or the threat of it. A death wouldn’t do it.

      Probably the opposite.

      • Maritime Ronn says:

        Good afternoon, Ireland Mike.

        Your ‘loss of revenue’ threat is a good one, yet the NHLPA doesn’t agree.

        Larry Brooks from the NY Post, documented how the NHLPA refused to sign off on what was deemed ” Super-suspensions ( 5+ games) for the Head Shot rule unless it was for repeat offenders or some horrific incident.

        http://nypost.com/2011/02/06/nhl-players-union-against-head-hit-punishments/

        Players do not care about preseason or playoff suspensions because they are only paid their contracted salary during the year.

        A 5 game suspension means lost earnings of 6.1%.
        A 10 games suspension? 12.2%
        The NHLPA would be hesitant to agree to hurting one of the brotherhood that way…

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I still think only money could do it. What would it take? Pies in the sky such as a massively expensive class action; a massive fan boycott; government intervention. If league revenues were chopped, everyone would come willingly and open-mindedly to the negotiating table.

          Nor do I think a death would prompt much from the NHLPA bar a little window-dressing.

          God forbid, btw, God forbid.

  48. Habfan10912 says:

    Good morning friends. Last night we witnessed two of the most ridiculous and dangerous hits of the season. Neals knee and Thorton’s behind the back mugging are everything that’s wrong with the game today. Not a coincidence that they involved a Boston Bruin game. They are coached by a coach who teaches that style, have a broadcast team who encourages that style and have a fan base who now demands that style. What we saw last night in Boston was just plain disgusting.

    Some thoughts on last nights Hab game:

    Perhaps Ryan Whites best game as a Hab?

    Best game of the year for Prust.

    Tell the truth but didn’t Galchenyuk look a little like Lafleur on his goal? A little?

    Glad the boys have a couple days off. They looked like a tired team.

    A team that wins without playing its best is a team that’s pretty good.

    • Cal says:

      Ok, Chucky looked a wee bit like The Flower.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      If only those 4th-liners knew someone was paying such affectionate close attention!

      Totally agree that Prust and White were great. White must have assumed he would lose out to Parros because of the Scott factor, and then exploded into the game (in his newly acquired controlled-explosion style) to make the most of the opportunity. I never wanted to trade him — would just hate to see him doing what he does for another team.

      As for Prust, every game he contributes WITHOUT recklessly endangering his own body is a huge relief to me.

      I have to work today, so don’t be distracting me with Galchenyuk-Lafleur analogies!

      Cheers Jim.

  49. Cal says:

    After watching that stuff from the Gooins-Pens game, what can I say? You reap what you sow. Marchand getting kneed in the head after all the shit he’s dished out in his ratty career? Karma, baby.
    Orpik getting it, too after wiping out Eriksson? More Karma. Thornton probably getting suspended for slewfooting and then sucker punching Orpik? Looks good on ya, Thorny!
    Looks like the thugs are finally becoming victims of thuggery. Quel dommage!
    http://calshabsongparodies.weebly.com

  50. Danno says:

    It was The Fourth Line’s Turn. Game report and commentary.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  51. jrs10069 says:

    Neal knee was the dirtiest play Orpik hit wasn’t that bad, neither was what Thornton did. Just bad luck, orpik obviously has a glass jaw. Went out like a light.

    Hate to say it but pens should be smarter about things, understand who is one the ice and pay attention.

    jrs10069

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      Silly.

    • adamkennelly says:

      Orpik has doled out plenty of punishment over the years. He smeared Erikson – refused to fight Thornton and then stuff escalated with the Neal hit etc. Thornton was “doing his job” which is to remind opponents not to fak with his team-mates…message sent…it’ll cost him dearly – prolly 10 games.

      • Phil C says:

        I guess the Pens need to respond now, something worth at least 10 games, cause they need to send a message too. Maybe a two-hander or something. What does the code say about responding to a sucker punch? I bet it’s bad, oh yes.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Thornton was not doing his job! He was acting like a senseless thug. The league needs to remind players these plays aren’t tolerated. Using your logic, next game, the Pens should slew foot Chara from behind then pile drive his head into the ice to remind the bruins they can’t fak with their players and remind them attacking one of their players from behind is not tolerated!

        Habfan17

        • jrs10069 says:

          My point is that Orpik should have known Thornton was on the ice and prepared accordingly. He basically forced Thornton to jump him…I think he may have faked going out, like what you’re supposed to do when a bear attacks you.

          jrs10069

    • kairos66 says:

      What Thornton did to Orpik is bad and regulates the NHL to the WWE! You sound just like an apologetic Boston fan. Perhaps what Thornton did was a “hockey play”?

      Kairos66

  52. HabsLifer says:

    About last night (pretty catchy eh!), Habs Win! Markov? Hope his knee isn’t frozen and swollen like mine was in a similar hockey accident.
    My view on Thornton: I hope one of our guys do the same as he did to establish the fact that the smaller players must not be abused by the likes of a predator like Orpik. And as much as I despise Orpik for his dirty play, I do hope he recovers and has learned a lesson (I doubt he will though).
    Hockey is a game of skill and emotion. Fighting will never leave the game. The only thing that will change is the lenght of suspensions for such incidences.
    I dislike the Brooins as a whole but I happen to like Thornton. He’s is a tough competitor who leaves everything on the ice. You sheldom see him him attacking smaller players. That is my view for today. Have a good one folks. The team is looking good and they will go far if they stay healthy.
    ———————————
    Claude Provost Rocked!

    • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

      Say what you want, Orpik is not Ulf Samuelsson, the standard for “players who deserve to be sucker punched” if there is such a standard. Thornton slew-footed him, made him fall backwards then repeatedly punched him in the face when he was not fighting back. BTW, the hit on Eriksson looked clean to me. Neal deserves a suspension too.

      Edit: Boy I should have read down, before I posted. Very good discussion, Twi almost had me convinvced too.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      I would normally agree about Thornton. Although I don’t share the Cherry boner, I admired Thornton for many of the things Cherry loves about him. Unlike Chara, Marchand and Lucic, Thornton was a Bruin who gave me pause when it came to those discussions “You’d love X is he was a Hab.”

      Not any more. Attacked from behind, slugged a guy who was already flat on his back! If that’s part of the game, then why not just swing your stick at a guy’s face? Or keep a firearm concealed in your equipment?

  53. Sean Bonjovi says:

    Orpik deserved to be attacked because he delivered a dirty hit on somebody, but… I no way was that hit on Lars Eller even deserving of a penalty last year in the playoffs. OK, got it? Lars Eller got hurt on a clean play, but that hit Orpik laid on whomever was totally worth the assault on him by whathisname.

    I’d love for the clowns on Antichambre to make PJ Stock watch video of those two hits and explain how one was clean and the other so dirty that Orpik deserved to leave the game on a stretcher.

  54. Captain aHab says:

    Last year, I took my kid to see some QJMHL games in Gatineau…..even he commented on how ridiculous the crowd was behaving.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  55. Maritime Ronn says:

    The big item from last night is….how is Andrei Markov’s knee this AM.

    He did not look very good after the collision with Tyler Ennis, and on 1 shift had some trouble getting back to the bench.

    This pic shows how the knee was really twisted.

    http://files.gestionradioqc.com/news/picture/tiny_mce/markov.jpg

    Even though Coach Therrien mentioned right after the game “that it wasn’t serious…”, these knee issues have a life of their own – especially reconstructed knees. ( remember Dr. Gauthier the last time?)

    Here’s hoping we don’t lose the General for any length of time, because just think of the D pairings/Specialty Teams without Markov’s 25 minutes a night.

    • Captain aHab says:

      He went back in and played out the game so my guess is that it wasn’t so bad but yes, here’s hoping he’s OK.

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  56. Dunboyne Mike says:

    I can’t remember whether it was here or elsewhere, but reference was made to Neal not looking back after feeling his knee clunk against something hard (the hardest part of everyone’s body, not just Marchand’s).

    Exactly like Chara after the stanchion.

    It’s as strong an indicator as WHISTLING as you walk away from the window you just broke.

    • Captain aHab says:

      I think it’s quite possible, even probable, that this was payback for the boarding during the playoffs. I wonder if the Neanderthal crew, that is saying that if Orpik had fought he would not have been injured, would be willing to say that if Marchand had been given 10 games, he would not have received the knee to the haid?

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        So that it comes down to a question of hockey culture. There are many players beside Neal who would be thrust into a moral quandary at the sight of the prone Marchand’s head at knee-level above the ice.

        Current hockey culture says: “Marchand is a POS, he boarded/cross-checked/face-washed/submarined/punched me/my team-mate (seven times) in 2009/2010/2011/2012, and here’s his head right in front of me.

        “Not only will I get payback, but there are many players and fans who will thank me for it. Worst-case scenario (if I can’t make it look accidental) is a brief suspension.”

        Of course Marchand is overdue for numerous sanctions, but in an ideal world they would be meted out by the league rather than by other players who then attract their own sanctions.

  57. Captain aHab says:

    If Orpik wasn’t so tall, he would not have injured himself as much when falling and his lower centre of gravity would have prevented Thornton from bringing him down with the slew foot.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  58. Captain aHab says:

    A word of caution to Orpik: if you have a concussion and are out a few games, don’t be seen going out to the movies in a day or two or you’ll never hear the end of it.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  59. Captain aHab says:

    Orpik turned his head into the punch thereby making it worse than Thornton wanted.

    Orpik put himself out of balance by taking part in a scrum….he should have known better and expected that Thornton was going to slew foot him from behind.

    Thornton said he was sorry and didn’t want to hurt him.

    We were going to assess a 3 game suspension to Orpik for his hit on Eriksson but since Orpik is injured, we’ll deduct those 3 games from Thornton’s suspension.

    Come on…help Shanny justify why Thornton will only get 3 and Neal 1.

    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  60. Captain aHab says:

    [sarcasm]Boy oh boy, I can’t wait to hear the Players Union come out and strongly state that this has to stop.[\sarcasm]

    If the players themselves don’t care enough to put an end to this, then why are we spending so much time discussing it? Let them kill one another if that’s what they want.

    People are saying 10 games for Thornton? I’m gonna be shocked if he gets more than 7. Look…he said he was sorry and didn’t mean to do it. If he had done this to Subban, PK would get suspended for goading Thornton into doing it. Hell, some folks are saying Orpik was faking? That’s all you need to hear to know some fans of this game should watch the WWE instead.
    —————-
    Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      aye aye, captain.

      In my opinion, the reason we spend so much time discussing it is because it goes very deep. Somehow, while we’re watching a hockey game for entertainment, moral questions — which are essential to what it means to be human — intrude on our viewing and demand attention.

      More specifically, when we’re not caught up in the passion of the moment, we hear reason whispering that men inflicting brain injury on each other, men giving in to their tempers and losing their self-control, men doing for entertainment what in any other context would see them in court — none of these things should really be endorsed by society and should not be broadcast where children or indeed anyone can see them.

      Your reference to WWE is entirely apt imo. The NHL looks at WWE’s profits with their tongues hanging to the floor.

      • Captain aHab says:

        They should look at the NFL, not the WWE. Not to many staged fights, no glowing footballs, and they seem to be doing fine.

        —————-
        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Good point. If only.

          I think the difference is this: the NFL has 100% confidence in the power to pull and sustain viewers of its product: football.

          Bettman and the current NHL leadership do not. They are therefore prepared to dilute the product with other ingredients, mostly borrowed from WWE.

      • Habfan17 says:

        It was ridiculous listening to P.J. Stock try to justify what Thornton did. It goes to show what a complete moron he is.

        The Orpik hit on Erickson was borderline and he had nothing to do with what happened to Marchand. Neal seems to have taken advantage of Marchand being down and should get 3 games. This is a bot of the live by the sword, die by the sword for Marchand.

        Thornton should get at least 20 games but will probably get 5. Orpik should not have had to fight for throwing a hit that at best was a minor penalty. The fact Chara charged at him and Thornton tried to get him to fight shows that the Bruins are a dirty classless team.

        Sid the kid should have been called for tripping Marchand, this “different rules for different players” has to stop. Still, Thornton may not have been suspended before as Bob McKenzie mentioned, but he should have been at least on a few occasions. Time to do the right thing NHL!

        Habfan17

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Good morning hf17.

          I agree Neal’s knee to Marchand’s head was almost certainly live by/die by sword as you say. I would just prefer the NHL to be more “live by the rules or be punished by the league”.

          I disagree with you (further below) that the Orpik hit was ok, but I probably can’t argue with you because the video is not conclusive and we both end up speculating about something we’ll never, ever know: Orpik’s intent.

          He’s a really good D-man, but no wilting flower when it comes to questionable hits imo.

          Oh, and I also agree that Sid should have been called for tripping.

          • Habfan17 says:

            Hey DM,

            I agree, the Orpik hit can be viewed a couple of different ways, I watched the reply a few time and felt, although a hard hit, was a good one. We are taught to watch the player not the puck and it looked like Orpik reacted to the body language of Erickson who looked like he was taking off with the puck coming off the boards. It was more a timing issue at high speed than anything else to me.

            We are in agreement, Orpiks is no shrinking flower! Marchand on the other hand…. We both agree that the league needs to be the justice department too! Nice chatting with you. I do see your side about the Orpik hit as well

            Habfan17

        • monmick says:

          Someone on the panel should have sucker punched PJ for being such a moron. Wouldn’t it be great if there was such a “code” in the media?

          ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

    • twilighthours says:

      I care because I imagine, when he’s old enough, my son will play this sport. It would be nice that, when he’s finished playing it, he not be concussed, injured, etc.

      • Captain aHab says:

        Hate to say this…I really do…but Bettman and the Players Union don’t give a rats ass about your kid. Don’t expect the NHL to resolve that one for you…get involved to get changes at your kid’s level so that when his generation gets to the NHL, they will tell their players reps to do something about violence in the game.

        But I have to say that watching how lots of parents behave at minor hockey games, I don’t hold out much hope.

        —————-
        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          Agreed. Now I want to dig out that Star article.

          Btw, parents no better on this side of the Atlantic (gaelic sports in particular, but also soccer/football and basketball, less so in rugby oddly enough).

        • twilighthours says:

          Of course. And I will be heavily involved. But change should happen at all levels. I hope my son doesn’t ever see something like that on tv, and so might not duplicate it or experience it himself as a result.

          • Captain aHab says:

            It should but, as long as the NHL perceives that the Neanderthals want fighting, it won’t.

            —————-
            Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        I hope he plays and stays safe.
        Living over here, whether or not to play hockey was never an issue, and so no dilemma there.
        However, my brother is in Toronto and has two little boys, neither of whom I ever see playing hockey.
        That said, I did send a link to an excellent Star story about no-check leagues in Toronto. But you probably know that scene full well.
        Cheers

  61. DipsyDoodler says:

    Boston and Pittsburgh should each be docked 10 pts this season and their first draft pick next summer.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Good morning, Dipsy. But may I (affably) suggest that you’re living in the Matrix? In the real world, the NHL will wish to do nothing that jeopardises the presence of these two headline-grabbing teams in the playoffs.

  62. twilighthours says:

    I hate to belabour this point, but I think it’s worth discussion:

    Orpik’s hit was dirty.

    The puck never touched Eriksson’s stick, and so – by definition – it’s interference. Worse, it’s one of those sneaky the-guy-isn’t-expecting-it hits that players try to get away with. 20 years ago, we’d be loving this hit as textbook checking, but the game has changed. The onus is now on the hitter to safely separate his man from the puck, and Orpik crossed the line.

    Had he done that to a Hab, maybe someone who’s had a recent concussion (Eller/Bourque/Briere), we would all be furious. Indeed, we were furious when Gryba nailed Eller. A lot of people thought that hit was clean, too. He even had the puck. Yes, I know Eller’s head was contacted. Ericksson’s might have been too. These two hits, to me, are in the same vein. And that is another reason why I think Orpik’s hit was dirty. Not borderline at all, in fact, but over the line.

    Try to take your hatred of the Bruins out of it for a second. I get that a lot of us just want to see the Bruins on the ice and hurt, because that team has shown no honor for so long. I want to validate your feelings, if these are yours. I get it. But objectively, Orpik’s hit wasn’t good.

    If you want to discuss, here are some other things you should know about my position:

    -if that had been Orpik on Eller, we would have wanted Parros to try to fight him.
    -most of us would have been appalled if Parros had suckered Orpik on the ice like that, but a decent chunk of us would have been happy, too
    -Neal is a sneaky, cheap player too. That knee was bad
    -Yes, Marchand is as dirty as they come, so Karma is a b!tch
    -my desired outcomes after last night’s games: Orpik with 2 games, Neal with 5, Thornton with 25, Chara with 20 (for Patches, back then), and Marchand with a lifetime ban for being the sneakiest, dirtiest player out there.

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      We’re obviously on the same page. Good thoughts, Twi.

      I of course agree that the Orpik hit was dirty (not “questionable” as I wrote for the sake of argument). Gryba’s hit on Eller was for me, too, an obvious comparison.

      Good point about how hockey used to welcome that big, devastating blind-side, Scott Stevenson-style hit. Nearly as good as a goal, sometimes better than, depending on the victim.

      Part of the hockey world has now evolved or matured to the point where, perhaps because of increasingly widespread knowledge about the dangers and long-term effects of brain injury, it no longer endorses such hits. Another part of the hockey world has not evolved, and sees any changes in this area as “pussification”, as a betrayal of the traditions of our fathers and their fathers before them [deliberate use of patriarchal language].

      Only thing I disagree with you on is the sanction for Chara. He should have seen jail time imo.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I disagree, Orpik did his job and stepped up, yes it was probably harder than it needed to be, but he could not have known that Erickson would not hold onto the puck. In the case of Gryba on Eller, totally different. Eller did not have the puck and Gryba could see that Eller was completely vulnerable and all Gryba had to do was step into his path and keep him from being able to
      mount an attack. Gryba did put everything into the hit and it was evident his intention was to annihilate Eller.

      Either way, Thornton still should be suspended at least 20 games and the refs need to do their jobs better and call sh*t. This let the players go nonsense is what causes many of these incidents!

      Habfan17

  63. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Watch Boston trade for Neal at the deadline.

    “It was of course a tough play for our player [Brad Marchand], but in Neal’s knee-to-the-head play we recognized certain qualities that we felt would fit in well with the overall vision of the Boston Bruins organization.”

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      8-minute package of the various incidents in the Pens-Bruins game:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VEz9p8-L3s

      The (NESN?) panel concludes that the Orpik injury would not have happened had he fought Thornton when invited, in other words had he paid his dues for his at best questionable hit on Eriksson.

      The unfortunate reality is that they are probably right. The NHL cedes a significant portion of control over discipline and player safety to the players themselves.

      It’s an ethical outrage, but it also makes commercial sense and adheres to the internal logic of the NHL’s business plan. Among viewers, there are neutrals and uncommitted general sports fans who are drawn by dirty plays like the ones from last night’s Pens-Bruins games, viewers who will go look up when those two teams next meet. The NHL is committed to attracting and holding those viewers, believing that they bring revenue.

      The NHL can afford to be complacent about viewers who object to dirty play and who watch because they enjoy an exciting sport. The NHL believes those viewers — although they may grumble — will keep viewing despite dirty play because they love hockey and are committed to a particular team or simply to the sport itself. Their impact on annual profits is a given. The profit generated by those who enjoy knees to the head would be lost were the NHL ever to clamp down properly.

      • Habfan17 says:

        Sorry, the panel is wrong. P.J. Stock said also tried to justify this archaic nonsense. The NHL needs to dole out the justice and they don’t, that is the problem. Players should not have to fight especially when the majority of times, the player forced to fight has thrown a clean hit and the other team goes to fight him because they take exception to who he hit.

        Players like Marchand need to be called for their dirty ” rat” actions and get hefty suspensions and the teams fined each time they do something, same thing for intentional hits from behind, to the head and for fighting. Stock says”big deal, I get suspended for a few games and lose a few thousand, I am still in one piece. It is better that I am scared about what might happen to me” He is an example of what is wrong. The league is a farce when it comes to the rules and doling out justice. That is the real problem in my mind.

        Habfan17

        • Dunboyne Mike says:

          I think we actually agree, Hf17, at least on how we both believe the league SHOULD be (sorry, don’t know how to engage italics! I’m not shouting).

          The said the panel was correct because they were commenting on how things currently really are rather than how they should be. And that reality is this: for its own reasons, the league leaves a certain amount of the policing duties to the players themselves.

          If the league took full rather than partial responsibility, it would have penalised Orpik, and/or penalised or ejected Thornton for trying to start a fight.

          Since they did neither, Thornton continued to believe that it was his responsibility to mete out justice. If that had happened at his first attempt, and Orpik had fought him, it would have been over and the second incident would not have happened.

          So it’s only in that sense that I believe the panel were right. I believe YOU (italics!) are right in everything else you say in your post.

          Sorry I’m so long-winded!

          • Habfan17 says:

            DM,
            I get what you are saying and you are not long winded! Yes, the way things have been in the past, I see what they are saying. We do both agree, punishing offenders should be the sole responsibility of the league and that should have changed many years ago, like the other pro sports!

            Habfan17

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      Neal no doubt remembers Marchand cross-checking him into the boards during the conference finals last summer (and there was no call):

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI2l-MULEvE

      This memory and doubtless others will have influenced the degree to which Neal attempted to avoid kneeing the prone Marchand’s vulnerable head last night.

      The league will of course take retrospective action and suspend Neal (and Thornton), a response that acknowledges the infraction but doesn’t attempt to prevent similar in future. Prevention would jeopardise revenue.

      [footnote to ffenliv -- further to discussion last night: can you find a clip similar to this one that supports your contention that Marchand and Gallagher are the same kind of player?]

    • twilighthours says:

      Good thoughts, Mikey.

  64. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Boring game, but an excellent win given the intensity of our recent schedule. We could so easily have lost and this morning be chalking it up to fatigue. Instead, two points, streak intact.

    [Edit: savethepuck sums it up perfectly below -- I'm a dopey eejit]

    Is Markov ok?

  65. Komihater says:

    Are the Sens fans and media blaming the suicide pass yet

  66. third generation haber says:

    Is the fact that we seemed to have trouble dealing with Buffalo today indicative of our playoff potential???

    I consider the fact that our 4th line looked so good out there, as potentially a plus and a minus in terms of our playoff suitability.

    Where Price is concerned, I’m very happy with his playoff readiness.

    j.p. murray

    • savethepuck says:

      A mediocre effort against Buffalo was expected and even understandable. After 4 games in 6 nights, 3 games in 4 nights per, and beating the rival Bruins on the 2nd game of a back to back, it is obviously harder for a team to come out and play with the same intensity against a basement dweller as in their past games. I am just happy for the 2 pts because I was expecting a lackluster effort.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

  67. Peter Young says:

    Yea and yay to the fourth line guys. There are bound to be games that don’t thrill any of us when the team has to play so many matches in such a short time. At least the team has a three-day break before the next match. It’ll be interesting to see how it stands up against one of the western powerhouses.

    • savethepuck says:

      Habs have more pointsthan the Western powerhouse they play Tuesday, but I agree that it will be a good test.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • third generation haber says:

      I agree, these are actual tests for us. The western teams have dominated the eastern conference this year and look much more built for the playoffs than most eastern teams.

      j.p. murray

      • HabinNorth says:

        The playoff teams in east are 42-34-10 vs the west. The non play off teams are 27-50-11 so your comment although correct does not carry same weight when only teams in playoffs are used. The only team that has to stack up physically with the west is the eastern winner. The winner of the west last year was not the physical team but the skilled team. In th east it was the physical team that advanced.

        We all know the result. Physicality will win but only when it is combined with skill.

        • third generation haber says:

          Thanks for the analysis! But, I do believe Chicago, although not large, is a very tough team. Despite their lack of size, I don’t feel they carry a bunch of softies like we do. I’m not sure if they have any softies. I believe Diaz, DD, and Briere will disappear come play-off time. Two tough teams made it to the final last year, and all cup winners in recent memory have been tough, including the highly skilled Detroit team. It’s not a size issue, as u will never see a hab fan complaining about Gallagher’s size.

          j.p. murray

        • athanor says:

          Great stats to pull up.

  68. rogieshan says:

    Briere played under seven minutes tonight. It’s been a pattern of late, even though his game has improved since he returned from his concussion. Is Therrien sheltering his minutes or will he ever trust the player enough to fit into his system? Why isn’t Briere utilized more on the power play, which – if anything – should be his specialty? Briere isn’t complaining yet but it must only be a matter of time. I fear another Sergei Samsanov situation brewing here. If the coach is demanding strong, two-way play from his forwards, then I wonder who the odd man will be when Bourque returns.

    • chanchilla says:

      i think bournival works harder and should deserve the minutes, i may be really hammered getting back from the bar, but one of my friends dad; who coached players like ryan ellis, and kyle clifford. Players who have thw work ethic like a horse, believe that going forward, players like bournival and gallagher are the keys to this team.

      Honestly, when the rumours about aquiring kyle clifford were around. i really wish they were true, he has the same work ethic, and although he may not have the hockey IQ as gallagher, he works hard every shift. This team is built around players that work hard every shift, and that is why i think we are successful

      *this sentence took me way longer to construct than it should have because of alcohol.

  69. Timo says:

    Holy molly… for the first time ever I think You Might Also Like has a relevant, timely link (to the previous thread). THAT’s evolution.

  70. ClutchNGrab says:

    The following article was laughable enough when it was posted a few days ago. With what happened last night, it’s just plain stupid.

    From it:
    DOES THE CODE STILL EXIST? IS THAT SOMETHING YOU TAKE PRIDE IN/ABIDE BY?

    [Thornton] I take a lot of pride in that. I do. People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable, I suppose, in some instances. I’ve been a firm believer my whole life that what goes around comes around. If you’re one of those guys that suckers someone when they’re down or you go after somebody that doesn’t deserve it or isn’t the same category as you, that will come back and bite you at some point, too. I also take a lot of pride in the fact that I can play 8-12 minutes a night. I’ve had to work extremely hard on that part of my game to bring more to the table than just fighting. That’s part of my game, but I can do a lot more.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/27947/bruins-shawn-thornton-on-fighting

  71. WindsorHab-10 says:

    Hey Bruins, I mean Gooins, how do you like Karma? Could not have happened to a better team you low life scumbags. Anything less than 20 games for Thornton will be a disgrace.

    • Timo says:

      Thornton will get 5 games… watch.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Do I hear three? He’s a Don Cherry favourite after all, a good old boy who plays the right way. Never been suspended, so he`s not a repeat offender. And sure, he yanked him down from behind and punched him when he was on the ground, but they were no more than love taps, he was just sending a message. He didn’t mean to injure him, he’s not that kind of guy, he doesn’t play that way.

        Plus, what was he supposed to do, he tried to goad Mr. Orpik into a fight, but he wouldn’t go for it. What other options did he have? Sean Thornton needed to protect his teammates from unprovoked attacks, that’s why he attacked Brooks Orpik.

        He wasn’t really thinking clearly, there was a lot of emotion there, it’s just an unfortunate, unforeseeable result that stemmed from a hockey play. I’m sure he wished him no harm, and he hopes he recovers quickly, he probably hated to see him injured and taken away on a stretcher. If you watch the video, he was trying to cradle his head with his left hand, to protect him, as he was feeding him rights. Just honouring the code between noble warriors.

        • Da Hema says:

          What “unprovoked attack” did Brooks Orpik instigate? His hit on Eriksson? Sorry, I am not buying your goods on this one Mr. UCE.

          Edit: oh oh. Was your entire post facetious?

          Edit again: ok. everyone ignore what I wrote. UCE caught me off guard!

          • savethepuck says:

            Yes it was. 100% sarcasm but he doesn’t believing using these ;)

            “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
            Carey Price

          • Timo says:

            A woosh if there ever was one.

          • Da Hema says:

            No kidding Timo. I should delete it, but dammit UCE is usually so sober and solemn in his posts!

        • VancouverHab says:

          Cheap shot invoking Don Cherry in this context, UCE: Grapes was unambiguous in his condemnation.

          Nobody, not even Thornton himself, is defending the actions.

          PJ Stock–who proves himself more humane and rational than his detractors–is contextualising the events, but that is a very different thing from defending them.

          So, it needs to be a given in discussions here on the matter that NO-ONE IS DEFENDING THORNTON’s PULL-DOWN OF & PUNCHES ON A DEFENSELESS ORPIK.

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            Well-deserved shot at Don Cherry, he’s repeatedly, consistently held up Sean Thornton as an exemplary player, one of the good guys, who plays the game the right way, energizes his team, makes the opposition nervous, etc. In the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Bruins benched him for a couple of games, and Don Cherry loudly squawked that he should be in the lineup. When he was re-inserted and the Bruins’ fortunes turned for the better, he basked in his foresight and wisdom and snapped his suspenders with gusto.

            Generally, Don Cherry champions rough and tough play, and practitioners of these dark arts. He sets the tone in no small way for the sport, generations of players have grown up ingesting his facile bromides, and now parrot them reflexively. Crosschecks and slew-foots and spears are overlooked by referees, because Don Cherry thunders that the refs should “let them play”. Players need to be accountable for their transgressions not through tough, enlightened progressive discipline, but rather by getting punched in the face.

            The Bruins have Greg Campbell, Adam McQuaid, Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, and Sean Thornton and feel impervious to any consequences for their thuggery. Milan Lucic runs Ryan Miller. They and Brian Burke’s truculent Leafs, who are also Don Cherry favourites, begat the lunkheads on the Sens’ blueline and Matt Kassian, and the Sabres’ John Scott, and the Canadiens’ George Parros.

            So it’s dishonest for Don Cherry to now condemn the act from the actor he has lauded for years. He’s like the pitbull owner whose dog has been a headache and nightmare for the neighbourhood for years, and now that someone finally got bit bad, says that it’s out of character for his dog, since he never bit anybody, and it’s too bad. Yet whenever anyone brought up the risk before, the owner would bully and intimidate and shout them down.

            Having lineups littered with Matt Cookes and Patrick Kaletas and Colton Orrs and Sean Thorntons and hoping these disgraceful events don’t occur is like creating the proverbial room awash with gasoline, and then trusting the smokers to not light up.

            And since hockey insists on having Mike Mibury and P.J. Stock and Don Cherry as its mouthpieces instead of thoughtful people like Ken Dryden and Igor Larionov, it reaps what it sows.

          • athanor says:

            Sorry, HCE, but I have to disagree on a couple of points, though I understand why you make them.
            First, Parros. While he may perform a lunkhead’s role, he is no lunkhead. If you read the recent SI piece on him, you will see that he is actually quite thoughtful, owner of an economics degree from Princeton….

            Second, Matt Cooke. Yes, Cooke for years deserved the reputation that led to his inclusion on your list, but he had his Stan Mikita moment a couple of years ago after the long suspension for whichever brutal hit he doled out.
            He is now practically a model citizen.
            He has played in every Minnesota game and has accumulated eight minor penalties (same as Travis Moen), 12 points, including two game-winning goals, and averages about 15 minutes per game.
            Other than those two points, I quite enjoyed your argument.

        • Habfan17 says:

          What he should have done was nothing but play hard within the rules and let the league deal with it, even though they don’t. If Thornton has a brain cell, he knows what can happen when you slew foot someone from behind and hit him with your gloves on when he can’t defend himself. I don’t by the emotion thing, it is just like the drunk driving excuse, it does not hold water.

          Thornton does not need to protect his team mates, the league does and if he were really looking for justice, he should have gone after Neal.

          Habfan17

    • monmick says:

      Am I missing something? It looked like a nothing play. How did Orpik get hurt.

      ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

      • Timo says:

        It depends on an angle. If you get the angle that was sort of behind Thornton you can see that he used his elbow. Although it is still hard to see where and how hard it connected. It still doesn’t look like much so I don’t know. Was Orpik faking?

        • monmick says:

          Thornton’s actions are totally unacceptable and he should be suspended. But I just don’t see an impact to the head that would explain how he got knocked out. His teamates who were close by obviously saw something as they were very quick in signaling to the trainers… Strange stuff.

          ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

        • monmick says:

          Neal’s knee to the head of Marchand is one nasty play. Players just don’t respect each other anymore… At all.

          That should earn him a substantial suspension.

          ~~~> Mathematically eliminated…

  72. JM says:

    I don’t credit shawn thornton for nothing. He’s a dirty SOB to do what he did tonight …

    • Timo says:

      Thornton, Marchand, Neil, Orpik… all dirty scumbags who deserve what they got / will get. No sympathy for any of them.

      • Da Hema says:

        You are right Timo. I posted earlier tonight that the Bruins and the Penguins are the two dirtiest teams in the NHL. I hope both teams play each other again soon so a few more of them are carted off on a stretcher.

        • Steve C. says:

          Really? Because you actually want to see more players, even those you highly dislike, carted off the ice? And we accuse the players of disrespecting each other.

          • Da Hema says:

            Live by the sword….

            And I doubt my comment will have one iota of influence on anything — short of activating your overdeveloped sense of self-righteousness.

    • Habfan17 says:

      I agree, just like Marchand, he is sneaky dirty and does not get called for it. The league is terrible when it comes to punishing the rats in the league.

      Habfan17

  73. montreal ace says:

    I am really happy White played well, earlier today I wanted more offence from him. Prust getting first star and the 3 puck throw was a pleasure. ALN is always a great read after the game, or with my morning coffee.


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