Penguins captain Sidney Crosby held court with the media following his morning skate. The attack by Bruins forward Shawn Thornton (right, with Crosby) on Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was naturally a point of discussions. Crosby offered a few thoughts on both players an even offered a partial defense of Thornton's actions:
Should Orpik have fought Thornton after his hit on Loui Eriksson:
"I think that we all know that when a guy gets hit like that, some teams have that response and try to get the guy to fight. Some guys accept that challenge. For [Orpik], he’s got to play 25 minutes a night against the other team’s players. For him to fight, probably isn’t going help us. I don’t think he has to punish our team because he’s made a big hit on some guy. It don’t think make sense for him to fight there. But that happens. Every team responds like that for the most part. Sometimes guys go, sometimes they don’t. There are other ways to respond."
Is it necessary for a player to start a fight after a teammate is hit legally?
"That’s been around for years. I don’t see a problem with that. I don’t see a problem with Thornton going over to [Orpik] and asking him to fight. That’s the response. But to do what he did was totally unnecessary. It’s terrible. I’m sure he knows that more than everybody. He’s made a living at protecting his teammate and sticking up for them. But to confront [Orpik] and ask him to fight, I think every team wants a player like that. There’s nothing wrong with that. But to do what he did to him is not acceptable. He could have done the exact same thing and gotten a two-minute minor for five shifts in a row. There’s nothing wrong with it. … there’s nothing with [Orpik] saying no either. He’s got to play 25 minutes a night against top guys."
"It doesn’t make a lot of sense for him to pay the price for doing a great job and finishing a hit. It’s a clean hit. He didn’t hit him in the head. There’s nothing there to really respond to there. There are times when guys make a big hit and they want to back it up with responding to that challenge to fight. That’s okay too. To try to get him into a fighting scenario, there’s a penalty. But to do what he did there, that’s terrible…. That’s not really the way you do it. Like I said, of anybody, I’m sure Thornton knows that. He’s been sticking up for guys for a long time."
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