Did Lucic quit in fight? Thornton doesn't think so
By Joe HaggertyA lot of chatter Friday morning about whether rugged B's power forward Milan Lucic quit in his fight against NHL heavyweight Colton Orr during the first period of Thursday night's win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The big 6-foot-4, 220-pound left winger dropped the gloves with the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Orr and both combatants started the fight with a pair of thunderous right hands before Orr caught Lucic stiff with an over-hand right. The blow stunned the normally aggressive Lucic and he looked as if he attempted to hug Orr and cover up waiting for the officials to break the fight up.
But Orr continued to pursue the violence.
Orr slammed Lucic with a few more rights and upper-cuts, and not once did Lucic throw a punch with a left hand that includes a surgically-repaired index finger. Eventually the linesmen stepped in between the two combatants with Orr continuing to chase after Lucic before order was restored.
The fight was only Lucic's third brawl since getting his finger injured earlier this season, and it's clear that the left winger isn't going to be 100 percent for the rest of the year. It's unknown how much the repaired finger is hindering Lucic, but a left high ankle sprain has sapped much of the big forward's power since he returned to the lineup in early January.
So that leads us to CBC Hockey Night in Canada analyst Don Cherry, who had this to say in between periods while guest-starring in the NESN booth with Kathryn Tappen and Mike Milbury.
"[Shawn] Thornton was embarrassed by this [Lucic] fight coming up." (Thornton fought immediately with Wayne Primeau on the next faceoff in a pretty clear admission that Lucic lost that fight.) "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."
Thornton, however, said he didn't think there was any way that his teammate "quit the fight."
"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."
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HackswithHaggs
, Maple Leafs
, Milan Lucic
, Joe Haggerty
, Shawn Thornton
, Colton Orr
, Don Cherry