Dec 7, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) is tended to by medical personnel after being injured during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Orpik leaves game after sucker punch from Shawn Thronton

On Saturday night in Boston, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman and alternate captain Brooks Orpik left the game on a stretcher after a confrontation with Bruins forward Shawn Thornton. Here it is:

Play had been stopped as a result of a delayed penalty, after Sidney Crosby slew-footed Brad Marchand. Once the whistle had been blown, a scrum ensued, during which Shawn Thornton and Brooks Orpik exchanged words before Thornton threw Orpik down to the ice and repeatedly punched him in the head while he was in a vulnerable position. Orpik stayed down on the ice, motionless for over a minute before the stretcher was brought out and carried off the ice. Neither Orpik or Thornton returned to the game, as Orpik was taken to a local hospital and Thornton was handed a game misconduct. Expect to hear more about this incident in the near future, particularly from Brendan Shanahan, director of player safety, who could very well be handing Thornton a lengthy suspension. Thornton has never been suspended during the 521 games he’s played in his career, despite his role as an enforcer.

Tags: Brooks Orpik Shawn Thornton Suspensions

  • Katrina Capp

    The game was stopped because James Neal took his knee to the head of Brad Marchand in one of the dirtiest plays I’ve ever seen. Orpik refused to fight Thornton after his hit on Eriksson. This is the kind of thing that happens when you take fighting out of the game.

    • PJ

      Thornton skated up to Orpik from behind, foot swiped him down, and then punched him in the head. Orpik didn’t have a chance to turn down a fight with Thronton because he was arguing a totally different player (Campbell) who was tied up with the refs. Orpik never saw him coming.

      • Katrina Capp

        The refusal to fight was earlier in the game and had he fought Thornton then the sucker punch probably wouldn’t have happened. I’m not saying what Thornton did was right I’m saying the Penguins aren’t squeaky clean in this scenario.