At 5:03 in the third period, the Boston Bruins led the Calgary Flames by the score of 4-0 at the TD Garden, and were well on their way to the 34th victory on the season.
Bruins’ fourth-line enforcer Shawn Thornton was rushing the puck out of the defensive zone into the neutral zone for a routine dump-in for a line change. That’s when the 6’2″ 217 lb. Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, native was forced to drop the gloves for the 21st time in 69 games this season after being checked by Flames’ Robyn Regehr.
“I just dumped the puck in, and I thought he tried to take a run at me.” said Thornton
Regehr, a former first-round draft pick in 1998 listed at 6’3″ 225 lb., followed the aggressive hit with an opened-glove pie-face to Thornton’s kisser. Within the brief moment from when Thornton bounced back up from the ice, he realized that he better take matters into his own hands before the lopsided game escalated out of control.
“It’s four nothing in our building. I’m not a big fan of people trying to take a run on anybody.” added Thornton in the locker room, post game to the media. “I thought I’d try to squash it before that started, I guess, being the habit around the ice everywhere. That was it; I thought he was trying to take a run at me and I wasn’t a fan of that.”
The Bruins stomped on the Flames in 60 minutes, 5-0, while outshooting Calgary 35-31. The game had 35 registered hits in all, but was a lot more physical than that. Reminiscent to last season, the Bruins looked like a team; standing up for each other at the right times.
“There was a lot of hard work from everyone.” said Thornton. “We have four full lines working and got our six D going, and Timmy (Thomas) stood on his head, again. I think it was a combination of a lot of things but there was no real breakdowns and everyone played the way they needed to play.
Thornton’s season totals: 1-9–10, 139 PIM, minus-7 and 110 shots on goal. Here’s the fight video from hockey-fights.com