When you score on your first-ever penalty shot and engage in yet another spirited bout in front of the home crowd, the best way to cap off your night is to engage in a verbal beatdown of a writer who doesn’t really know what he’s talking about.
Just your standard Tuesday night for Shawn Thornton.
The Bruins’ tough guy was on the Comcast SportsNet New England set after the Bruins beat the Jets, while host Michael Felger was talking with The Province columnist Tony Gallagher from Vancouver. The writer was explaining to the host some of the finer points of fighting, and he claimed that to try to fight a player in the same period he’s already fought is not OK, that it crosses some sort of line. In this case, the player was Dale Weise, who had already fought Nathan Horton but looked ready to dance with Thornton later that period. Once Thornton dropped his gloves, though, Weise backed out.
Little did Gallagher know that Thornton was waiting in the wings, ready to be the third man in, so to speak.
“You think it was easier fighting seven guys for a minute than fighting one guy?” Thornton said with his opening jab.
He was, of course, referrering to the pile of Canucks players that toppled him in the first period on Saturday, including one player getting in on the action from the bench. One of the players in that 5- or 6-on-1 was Weise, and once Thornton had the chance to square off with him face-to-face, the B’s tough guy was ready and willing. Weise? Not so much. He backed away and offered a wry smile as Thornton was escorted to the penalty box. That smirk quickly disappeared, though, when Weise himself was ushered to the sin bin for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Thornton clearly wasn’t buying Gallagher’s claim that it crosses the line to make a guy fight twice in the same period.
“My thing is, I fought seven guys for a minute, and got out of there, and I’ve fought three times in a period before,” Thornton explained to Gallagher.
Seemingly conceding that point, Gallagher moved on to a new false claim.
“There is also the small ‘fact’ that you outweigh Weise by about 40 pounds,” Gallagher told Thornton (the quotes around “fact” are my doing, though).
Forty pounds? Well, this can be cleared up quickly, can’t it?
Thornton weighs 217, according to the official roster, and Weise weighs 210. Gallagher originally said Weise weighed 180, but after Thornton contested such a claim, Gallagher said Weise weighs 190. Cue the fail horn! It certainly wasn’t the first time that Gallagher’s let facts get in the way of a good argument.
Oh, and there was this.
“I fought Derek Boogard,” Thornton said, “and he was 6-foot-7, 270 [pounds], so there goes that argument.”
Gallagher fired back with four seconds of uninterrupted silence, before answering with, “Well … in the same period? Did ya?”
The B’s enforcer then delivered his closing argument.
“All I’m saying is if you’re gonna act like that, you should be a man and step up,” Thornton said. “He was really tough when he was one of the seven guys punching me in the back of the head, but when he had to answer me face-to-face, it wasn’t the same thing.
“If I’m gonna punch somebody in the back of the head in a pile of seven people, I know I am man enough to back it up. I’ll take a beating.”
You’ll also deliver one, Shawn, because you just did. On the ice or in a television studio, there was just no messing with Thornton on Tuesday night.
Voters on HockeyFights.com ruled 98 percent in favor of Thornton for his bout with Mark Stuart. In his one-on-one with Gallagher, Thornton no doubt won by unanimous decision.
Watch the video from CSNNE below.