It was one of the more hyped regular-season games that I can remember (outside of the Winter Classics), it actually lived up to that billing while it was played and the battle has continued to be played out through the media since, even with the teams moving on.
A lot of the postgame chatter has circled around Brad Marchand and the five-game suspension he received for clipping Sami Salo of the Canucks. Needless to say, the Canucks supported the decision and the Bruins didn't. That's just further fueled a fire that has been burning intensely since last June's Stanley Cup Final matchup.
But it hasn't all been about Marchand. Shawn Thornton got into a little back and forth with Vancouver columnist Tony Gallagher of the Province on a CSN New England show Sticks and Stones regarding Thornton's challenging Dale Weise to a fight, something Gallagher clearly objected to. Well the conversation actually began between Gallagher and the show's host Michael Felger, it just so happened that Thornton was in studio.
It has a certain WWE feel to it, doesn't it, one of those between-matches talking segments?
Once you're able to get past Thornton's awesome velvet blazer, it's an interesting conversation. I'm not going to be tough on Gallagher for getting tripped up a little and having the size of the players wrong (he first says Thornton outweighs Weise by 40 pounds, gets it down to 20 but per NHL.com it's only seven pounds), he was essentially ambushed in this segment. (UPDATE: Turns out, Gallagher was informed Thornton might be on. If so, ambush statement retracted.)
Plus, I'll just put it out there, according to Hockeyfights.com, Thornton has not been in three fights in the same period in his NHL career, nor even two. That doesn't mean he's never done it at some point in his hockey playing days, just not in the NHL against presumably the best of the best.
But I can't get past the WWE aspect of it. Thornton seems like that guy who is supposed to be a heel that everybody actually likes.
Maybe as interesting is Felger playing the part of Mean Gene Okerlund and getting a little combative with Gallagher at the end when asking why the Canucks are so hated. Gallagher's response was well put, I thought, and Felger agreed before calling the Canucks "weasely." It ended with a little "we have the Cup" jab.
Can we find a way in the next realignment to put these teams in the same conference?