BOSTON -- In an emotionally charged game that featured a whopping 30 penalties
and 107 total penalty minutes, it came as no surprise that Shawn Thornton was
one of the first to get involved.
At just the 3:54 mark of the first period, the Bruins enforcer took offense to some
extracurriculars from the Canucks players near the Boston bench at the end of a
After the game, Thornton insisted it was Vancouver instigator Maxim Lapierre who
started the commotion by whacking Daniel Paille with his stick.
“He slashed Paisey on the way off, so I let him know I was there. And
then he turned around and speared me in the throat, so I dropped my gloves,”
Vancouver head coach Alaine Vigneault offered a different interpretation, claiming
it was Alexandre Burrows who was the victim of Thornton’s wrath. “I just saw
Thornton slash Burrows and then come after him,” remarked Vigneault.
All details aside, the altercation quickly escalated as a host of Canucks and Bruins
swarmed in to protect their teammates. Vancouver’s focus, not surprisingly, was
on the 6’2,” 217-pound Thornton. Several Canucks jumped on the Bruins
winger to pry him away from the scrum, but Thornton felt as though he held his
own amid the fracas.
“I knew there were a lot of bodies. I saw the replay between periods. I was just
surprised I could stand up that long with six guys on the attack,” Thornton said
with a laugh.
The scrum stopped play for several minutes, as Nathan Horton broke away from
misconduct for leaving the bench during the altercation.
“I feel bad that they had seven guys on the ice and Looch [Milan Lucic] was on a
change and he gets ejected for coming in to my defense,” said Thornton in
response to Lucic’s ejection. “So, I feel bad that we lose one of our best players
after all that, but I guess that’s the end of it.”
When the dust finally settled, the Bruins were assessed with five penalties to the
Canucks’ four. Thornton was given two-minute minor penalties for roughing and
slashing, while Burrows and Lapierre each received ten-minute game misconducts
for their roles in the skirmish.
Vancouver emerged from the scrum with a 5-on-3 man-advantage and capitalized
with the game’s first goal off the stick of Ryan Kesler.