This fight left Shawn Thornton with a concussion
Shawn Thornton is out for awhile with a concussion. It was shocking given the state of hockey, where concussions are recorded in the injury report as the mysterious “upper body injury”. Is it a bum shoulder or perhaps a hurt psyche? The fans will never know, only that it is in the upper half of the human body. Shawn Thornton is beloved in Boston and news of his injury only set the fan-base into a state of mourning.
I’ve had an upper body injury since the Thornton news. Day-to-day with a broken heart. :(
— Jon Days of Y’Orr (@JonFDOY) February 1, 2013
Jon speaks for all of us when it comes to the status of the Bruins faithful, and the fact that it came in a fight is all the more hurtful. Face it, the reason that Boston Bruins fans love Shawn Thornton is that he is one of the toughest mofo’s in the sport of hockey. Compared to a lot of fourth line wings, he has some semblance of skill, but at the end of the day he is the teams bruiser and fighter. If someone wants to fight him or someone needs to be fought, Thornton will drop the gloves, even if the guy is bigger than him. This happened on Thursday night.
It was an expected fight. After the physicality of the Sabers vs. Bruins series last year, Buffalo wanted to set an “edge” to the festivities of 2013. They decided to bring in John Scott, a 6’8″, 258 pound “hockey player” who may have played the role of victim #3 in the movie “Goon”. Seriously, Scott plays three minutes a game, gets into a fight and then has his day finished. Look up the word goon in the dictionary and there probably is a smiley picture of John Scott there.
Thornton’s dance partners have been a subject of the blogosphere since last years interview with a columnist from a Vancouver newspaper. In that interview, Thornton was attacked for allegedly only fighting people smaller than him and for being a bully, for which Thornton promptly told him to go screw himself and pointed out numerous times where he fought those that were bigger than him.
Fighting in hockey has always been a part of the game, which is something that I have recently been trying to explain to my hockey ignorant house. Now that the season is back, I have been watching more hockey and have been trying to get them further into the sport to little success. I have two roommates from southern Virginia (not exactly a hockey hot-bed) a baseball and football fan from Maryland, and two local D.C boys who never really followed sports. The hockey adoption has been tough, but one (one of the D.C guys) was fascinated by why fighting was allowed in hockey. It’s part of what makes it the ultimate tough-guy sport. Sometimes it is used to win position on the ice. Punch an opponent in the mouth and maybe they aren’t so keen to go to the dirty areas of the ice. The referees let it happen because they know if they stop it something worse will happen later. Other times, as was the case Thursday night, it is used to settle a score from an earlier match-up and the referees let it happen because they know the situation of the fight and realize it to be healthiest way for grown men to settle the differences.
The Shawn Thornton vs. John Scott bout was preordained which is fascinating because a lot of times in these situations teams try and set up similar size men for the bout. Not in this case as Scott had reach and size on him. Honestly, had Thornton won the fight, it would have been a miracle in the same vein as Ray Lewis recovering from a torn tricep in two months with only god by his side and certainly not PED’s.
(Whoops, I forgot we aren’t allowed to talk about that or else Ray Lewis will just paint us in with the other media members who are out to get him)
To Sabers fan, that fight win was akin to the Allied forces taking down the Nazi’s in Bastonge. Fighting against all odds, the scrappy Sabers beat the mean, bully Bruins on their own ice and took down their big fighter and gave him a concussion to boot. Serves them right after what happened last year between Milan Lucic and Ryan Miller!
But again, John Scott is 6’8″. Shawn Thornton is maybe 6’1″. There is a big reach difference there. Scott winning the fight was a Hoosiers miracle. It was the favored outcome in Las Vegas and the books were just collecting on anyone betting for Thornton. Sure, Thornton lost the fight, but he wasn’t afraid to stand up to the Sabers biggest guy, something few other guys in the league would have the balls to do.
The Boston Bruins have problems right now. Despite having only one regulation loss, they consistently look lost on defense, have an anemic third line and their best scorer can’t seem to find the back of the net despite is great efforts to do so. One thing that this Bruins team does not lack is toughness and the fight between Thornton and Scott only strengthened that. Sure, the Bruins lost the battle on Thursday night, but the war for success in May is sown know in these bouts where the Bruins stand against the bigger man and go down swinging.