The NHL announced on Sunday that it has fined Boston forward Shawn Thornton $2,820.52 for unsportsmanlike conduct after he squirted water from the Bruins bench at Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban late during Game 5 Saturday night.
The fine – a half day’s pay – is the maximum allowed under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement. No penalty was called on the play during the game, which the Bruins won 4-2 to take a 3-2 lead in the series. The Canadiens will be facing elimination in Game 6 Monday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
“I don’t know if it was (Thornton), but someone had squirted water twice at the end of the game in my visor and I couldn’t even see for a minute and a half,” Subban told reporters in Boston after Saturday’s game. “I was pretty upset about that, but that is part of the game.
“I don’t know if it is part of the game,” he added, correcting himself. “I am sure if that was me (who) did it, it would be a different story. It would probably be on the news for the next three days. I don’t expect that to be a story but listen, whatever it takes to win.”
Subban added: “I don’t want to take away anything from their team. They played well today, they executed. We have to be better. Now it’s do or die for us going back home. We have played well in our barn all year and in this playoffs so we have to execute.”
Thornton told reporters in Boston on Sunday: “I’ll pay the fine. I obviously agree with what the league did there. I’ll pay the fine and move on.
“I’m sorry that the silly incident kind of overshadowed how my teammates played and the great win and how good the series has been. I think that there’s definitely more important things we can be focusing on. I got caught up in the moment and I probably shouldn’t have done that. I’ll move on, get ready for Game 6 and hopefully have a good showing.”
Canadiens captain Brian Gionta told reporters in Brossard Sunday that he thought the NHL’s punishment of Thornton was enough.
“I still haven’t seen what happened,” Gionta said. “But from what I’ve read or whatever I’ve heard, it seems fair enough.
“I’ve seen worse. I guess what they’re trying to do is get guys off their game.”
After the Game 5 loss, Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges told reporters in Boston that the Habs “had to step up and get the job done” Saturday night, but didn’t do it.
“We didn’t quit,” he added. “We kept pushing, we kept battling. There’s no quit in this team and we know what the stakes are now and we’ll go home and make sure we’re ready for Game 6.”
The Canadiens held an optional practice at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in Brossard. Alex Galchenyuk, sidelined with a lower-body injury, skated by himself Sunday morning.
Thirteen players took part in the practice: forwards Daniel Briere, Travis Moen, Ryan White, Brandon Prust, Michael Bournival and George Parros; defencemen Douglas Murray, Nathan Beaulieu, Mike Weaver, Francis Bouillon and Jarred Tinordi; and goaltenders Carey Price and Peter Budaj.
Speaking with the media on Sunday, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said: “This group has faced adversity all season long. They’ve always responded well. We’re aware of the challenge in front of us.” –
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Video by The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs)