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Thornton not embarrassed by Lucic’s fight

In last night’s Toronto and Boston game, a couple of heavy hitters took part is what I considered a fairly spirited fight. The Bruins’ Milan Lucic and the Leafs’ Colton Orr squared off, in about as equal a fight as you could hope for, size-wise.

The fight was a lengthy and if you would choose a winner, it would obviously be Orr. He landed a number of big shots, but Lucic stayed with it for a long time. He took some hard shots early but fought back; there was nothing about the fight that screamed ‘turtle!’ or anything like that, just the fact that Orr is clearly a better fighter.

On the very next faceoff, the Bruins’ big fighter took on Wayne Primeau. It’s just the nature of the game, it was exciting at that. I saw absolutely nothing wrong with anything that happened between the two fights.

Well, Don Cherry did.

“Thornton was embarrassed by this fight coming up. He was embarrassed. If you don’t want to fight then don’t fight, but you can’t quit,” said Cherry. “And that’s exactly what [Lucic] did. That’s the trouble with the Bruins. You don’t hit. You don’t win fights. If you’re gonna get in a fight then you go.

“Lucic is a good hockey player, but if you’re going to fight - you don’t quit. Look at him he’s looking at the linesman to come on in. You don’t tell him to come on in [and break up the fight]. You go out on your shield. If you’re going to get in a fight and then you hide behind a linesman. That’s a disgrace if you’re the Boston Bruins as far as I’m concerned.”

Well, that’s certainly his opinion. If you watch the fight you can certainly see Lucic back off a bit towards the end as if signaling the fight was over. But this wasn’t an example of him taking a few shots and then backing off; it was a lengthy fight and both he and Orr got some good shots in before the linesmen stepped in.

Of course, Thornton doesn’t feel it was a bad fight and he’s certainly not embarrassed.

“I thought it was necessary after their tough guy went with Looch.” said Thornton. “I figured I’d answer the bell. It was a good fight. I don’t know if it was necessary or not, but I just wanted to show that we wouldn’t be pushed around.

"[Lucic/Orr] was a good fight. If they wanted to stop it they would have. They were still swinging and there wasn’t any real damage being done. It was a good fight. Punched each other in the head a couple of times and when they came apart I think the refs did a good job of getting in there.”
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