Saturday night in Boston, Brad Marchand took what looked like an intentional knee to the head from James Neal which resulted in a stoppage at 11:06 of the first period.
After the play was whistled, there was a scrum at the other end of the ice involving Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Gregory Campbell and three officials.
Shawn Thornton hurried to the scrum, grabbed Orpik by the collar and pulled him to the ice. Thornton then punched the defenseless Orpik in the head at least twice before being restrained by an official.
Immediately, medical staff were called over to tend to Orpik, who laid motionless on the ice for several minutes before being carted away on a stretcher. Watch the full incident below.
Here’s another angle:
The reaction on Twitter:
Once again, good thing the game has guys like Shawn Thornton around to protect everyone from guys like Shawn Thornton.
— Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) December 8, 2013
I trust Bruins fans and announcers will react with the same moral outrage at Shawn Thornton as they did at Matt Cooke. — Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) December 8, 2013
Fight fans, this is what you get. — Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) December 8, 2013
Thornton gets a match penalty for assaulting Orpik. Probably should figure on forwarding a few paychecks to NHL office, too.
— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) December 8, 2013
Totally out of character move for a guy like Shawn Thornton, who lives by the code. He’s definitely facing a suspension #BruinsTalk
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 8, 2013
Know this, fight fans. Shawn Thornton is a smart and decent man off the ice and a supposed “code” guy. And yet he lost his mind. — Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) December 8, 2013
Guess is Thornton and Neal will both get suspended. Thornton somewhere between 6 and double digits; Neal’s # may hinge on Marchand’s status. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) December 8, 2013
ORPIK UPDATE: Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he is alert and conscious.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 8, 2013
Brooks Orpik taken to hospital and pronounced “conscious” and “alert”. Sadly, the same could not be said for Shawn Thornton during the game.
— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) December 8, 2013
James Neal knee on Marchand was dirtiest play of night, not Thornton stuff
— adater (@adater) December 8, 2013
Following the game, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced Thornton will have an in-person hearing, while Neal will have a phone hearing Monday, meaning Neal can be suspended a maximum of five games. Here’s Thornton speaking with the media about the incident.