- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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Heading into the Bruins-Flyers thrilling see-saw affair Thursday night that the Bruins won 7-5, there was some speculation that the Bruins might issue some payback on Flyers enforcer Jody Shelley. In the teams' game on Dec. 11, Shelley hit Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid from behind, sending him flying head-first into the boards.
McQuaid, thankfully, came away with only a stiff neck, and Shelley was suspended. But still the chance of retribution was there.
With McQuaid still feeling the effects of an unrelated injury and very possibly being urged not to fight, Bruins forward Shawn Thornton decided he would do the job. Just 2:35 into regulation, Thornton went toe-to-toe with Shelley -- and while it wasn’t Thornton’s best fight, as Shelley beat him, the effort did not go unnoticed by McQuaid and his teammates.
“Well, he never exactly said that but it’s pretty obvious that he was sticking up for me and that means a lot,” McQuaid said of Thornton's fight. “It definitely does. I went to the box and said thanks to him and he said, 'No problem.'"
This was just another example of this Bruins squad forming chemistry both on and off the ice.
“It’s things like that that brings teams closer and people closer, to know that we have each others backs," McQuaid said.