Directly following the game between the Pens and Bruins Saturday night, Bruins winger Shawn Thornton addressed the media to discuss the ugly incident he initiated by engaging Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik, which saw the 33-year-old leave the Garden on a stretcher and taken to Mass General Hospital.
Speaking to the media Thornton had this to say:
Obviously I made a mistake. I'm aware of it. I've been told that I'll be having a hearing, and its hard for me to say much more other than it was not my intention and I feel awful. I felt sick all game...Its always my job, I guess, to defend my teammates, but I've pride(ed) myself for a long time to stay within the lines...and I cant say I'm sorry enough, and I'm sure I'll be criticized for saying it, but its true. I hopes he's doing alright, and I heard that he was conscious and talking, and im happy to hear that.
Thornton and the Bruins deserves a lot of credit for facing the media immediately and not letting the matter spill over into tomorrow. As many know, Thornton has always been a stand-up and professional player in the NHL, so it comes as no surprise to see him face the music right away and apologize for his actions.
That being said, the incident will definitely see a suspension handed down to Thornton. By receiving the match penalty, he was already facing one; it is up to the NHL and the Department of Player Safety to determine the length of the ban.