Shawn Thornton’s Punch A Cause For Concern
Just about every hockey fan out there understands that fighting is part of the game. However, the sucker punch thrown by Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins over the weekend to knockoutPittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik is something that is extremely painful to watch, and crosses the line of right and wrong.
As the NHL deals with another brutal incident, people are asking what should be done about this type of play from NHL enforcers.
There are certainly a lot of unwritten rules in hockey, and some will point at Orpik messing things up by not fighting Thornton when initially given a chance. This prompted Thornton to take care of things with a sucker punch, and it landed Orpik in the hospital.
It appears as though he will be mostly fine after a minor concussion, but the fact that Thornton will only serve a relatively minor suspension is a bit troubling for a league that is already severely falling behind the other major sports in North America.
If the NHL is going to truly clean up the game, they need to start with incidents such as this one. Enforcers are going to continually step over their bounds if they know that they will not be forced to serve a lengthy suspension.
The matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins on a Saturday night was supposed to showcase two of the best teams in the game (and be a fantasy hockey bonanza). Unfortunately, just a minute into the contest, things got completely out of hand.
Fighting is only a minor part of hockey, and it should be clean. Dirty plays that can be best described, as borderline assault does absolutely no good. It is time to fix this issue as soon as possible, and it could start with a statement suspension for Thornton.
Here's a video of the incident, in case you missed it: