**Note** This blog was originally posted on December 8, 2013. Due to site upgrades, we had to repost this on December 23.
Eriksson second concussion of the year, James Neal kneed Marchand (should get a suspension of at least 3 games for that, I say 5. There was literally nothing to be gained from doing it, so there’s no excuse, as a player who usually makes a bad hit can at least claim.), Chris Kelly not being able to travel to Western Canada because of a slash apparently, Boychuk and McQuaid already being out, and… oh yeah, Shawn Thornton with one of the ugliest suckerpunches that you’ll see within a few years. It’s also a shame (not as much of a shame as the injuries, of course) that an absolutely great hockey game was overshadowed. On that note, how awesome is Reilly Smith?
As for the number of games that Thornton will get, I can’t decide between 15 and 20. I say 15 just because he barely has a history, luckily. I think it should be 10, because punches like that, while they are terrible and should be removed from the game, do happen a lot, they just don’t have the results that Thornton’s did. I can’t say enough that I’m not excusing the suckerpunch, though. And if the league wants to give a lot more games than 10 in order to send a message, I won’t complain.
I do hope, however, that the Pensblog doesn’t get on its high horse about this. Anyone remember them writing this about Gregory Campbell after he broke his leg killing a penalty?:
“He looked pathetic, and it was hilarious. What wasn’t hilarious was Malkin not shooting it at his face. Pens couldn’t capitalize, and the Bruins fans cheered Campbell for some reason. Turns out Campbell broke his leg, which lolololol. He sucks.”
Thornton and anyone defending him should be criticized heavily, but, just because these guys are heaping criticism on him in this case doesn’t give them any credibility.