The Brutal Bruins and the Pesky Pens

This is something out of the ordinary but I feel like it needs to be done, an analysis of the game in Boston against Pittsburgh on Saturday, December 7. This is not an analysis of the game it self, rather an analysis of the actions that occurred that resulted in one player going to the hospital and two others facing possible suspension.

As you can see, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby trips Brand Marchand while attempting to make a play on the puck. As stated in Rule 57, accidental trips may occur throughout play which will not be penalized, this is the reason why Crosby did not receive a tripping minor. However, as Marchand tries to get up, Penguins forward, James Neal, skates by and deliberately targets Marchand's head with his knee, this in fact is a penalty as stated in Rule 50

This kneeing resulted in a scrum at the other end of the ice. As it's stated in the video, Penguins defender, Brooks Orpik, had previously hit Bruins forward Loui Eriksson. This scrum seemed like the right time and place to retaliate. Bruins forward, Shawn Thornton decided to take matters into his own hands; pulling Orpik down onto the ice and landing a few hard hits to Orpik's head resulting in his head to hit the ice, knocking him out. It was reported earlier that night that Orpik was conscience and alert at the hospital.

Now the real questions are, who should get suspended, who should get fined, and who is out due to injury? It's clear that Orpik will be out with a possible concussion. James Neal had his hearing with the Department of Player Safety and has been suspended for five games without pay. The full explanation can be found here. Shawn Thornton is having an in-person hearing sometime this week regarding his alteration with Orpik.

Personally, I believe that the suspension on Neal was fair. I also believe that Thornton should be suspended for 5-7 games since Orpik was down and the alteration resulted in an injury.