BOSTON — Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban played 3:16 of the final four minutes on Saturday night in Game 5 against the Bruins. Apparently, that was enough for Boston forward Shawn Thornton to think Subban needed a quick drink of water.
Thornton was caught on camera squirting the Montreal defenseman from the bench with a water bottle in the final seconds of the Bruins’ 4-2 win in Game 5 on Saturday night, a win that gives Boston a 3-2 series lead. The NHL announced on Sunday that Thornton was fined for his actions.
Subban was clearly upset with the act as soon as it happened. Immediately after the next whistle, Subban went over to Thornton and started yelling at the Bruins enforcer. Subban pleaded his case with the referee for a penalty, but the act apparently went unnoticed as no infraction was called.
Subban insisted after the game that he didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. However, he was more than willing to answer any questions lobbed his way about the incident.
“I don’t know if it’s part of the game, but if that was me that did it, it would be a different story, ya know? It would probably be on the news for the next three days. I don’t expect that to be a story, but listen, whatever it takes to win, right?
“I don’t think you guys need to make a big deal out of it. But it’s one of those irritating things when you’re down 4-2 — listen, they beat us. That’s not the reason why we lost today. It’s just one of those things that frustrates you even more toward the end of the game.”
Thornton was not available for comment after the game.
Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said he had seen the play, but he declined any further comment. Bruins head coach Claude Julien said he didn’t see what happened, but he did say that he wouldn’t support such an act.
Thornton and Subban do have some recent history. Subban ducked under a Thornton hit in Game 2 as the Boston winger spilled into the boards and appeared to suffer a leg injury. He left the game for a while, but he did eventually return. Thornton said after that game that he didn’t like players ducking like that, but he did say that Subban apologized when Thornton returned to the game.
See more of Subban’s postgame media scrum in the video below via the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs.