Thornton 'knocks the rust off' in first fight since Scott

Thornton 'knocks the rust off' in first fight since Scott
March 6, 2013, 2:30 am
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WASHINGTON DC – Shawn Thornton had heard all of the questions about the absence of any five minute fighting majors on his ledger over the last nine games.

Those also happened to be the first nine games back in the lineup since the Bruins enforcer had suffered a concussion at the hands of 6-foot-8 inch John Scott. Thornton missed a handful of games with his first diagnosed concussion as a member of the Bruins organization before jumping back into Boston’s lineup.

It just so happened that Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine, a tough customer by any definition of the phrase, came looking for a fight after the Capitals had fallen down by a 2-0 score in the first period.

Washington did eventually capture the game by a 4-3 final score by potting four unanswered goals in an overtime victory at the Verizon Center, but the fight had nothing to do with it. Instead Thornton and Erskine traded a few big punches before the Boston tough guy dropped the Caps blueliner to the ice with an overhand right that wobbled him.

“It was probably a good thing for me to shake the rust off,” said Thornton.

It was all part of a pretty good day for Thornton, who was back up to 8:21 of ice time and finished with three shots on net and another five shot attempts that were either blocked or missed the target.

Thornton knew his head was perfectly fine after giving himself enough time to recover, but was glad to take a few shots in the kind of fight he’s undertaken nearly 100 times with the B’s over the last six years.

“He caught me with a couple off the start, and that was probably a good thing,” said a laughing Thornton. “It wasn’t for lack of trying. I know there was a lot of talk about me not [fighting] since Scott, but we’ve been in a lot of close games.

“You could obviously tell against Montreal that I had a bit of a snarl going. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. With a 2-0 lead for us it probably wasn’t the best time to go, but he’s done that for me a few times in the past. So I returned the favor.”

The scrap makes it four hockey fights for Thornton on the season, and many more to come as No. 22 has passed the ultimate stress test for an enforcer merging back into the everyday business of punching somebody else for a living.