Former Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton opened up with both barrels on Montreal Canadiens forward Alexei Emelin after their most recent game.
Even though he’s left the Boston Bruins, Shawn Thornton isn’t a fan of the Montreal Canadiens. In their most recent game, the Florida Panthers (who were recently removed from postseason play) played for pride against the bleu, blance, and rouge.
After the 6-2 loss, an agitated Shawn Thornton commented on the actions of Emelin (who has a serious history of cheap shots followed up hiding or curling up in a ball to avoid repercussions for his actions.
Here is a brief history of Alexei Emelin‘s hits. If he isn’t the dirtiest player currently playing in the game, he’s certainly among the top ten.
Emelin isn’t liked by the Avalanche for this dirty hit. He pulls the ‘full Emelin’ hiding not only behind the refs but his goaltender, Carey Price.
Here we have Emelin playing dirty against the Chicago Blackhawks. Here Emelin overreached himself by attacking a genuine NHL star in Jonathan Toews. Once again, he quickly disengages instead of manning up and hides behind the refs.
Here’s another dirty hit. This time it was applied to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Once again, a player attempts (in this case Ryan Malone) to hold him accountable. Once again, he runs for the hills rather than take responsibility for his stupidity.
Here we go again. This time it’s the Winnipeg Jets. This time he’s held accountable by Evander Kane.
Let’s keep the good times rolling. This time another dirty hit (this time applied to Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin) sends a player to the locker room due to injury and another to the locker room (Justin Abdelkader) for hitting the notorious cheap shot artist.
To finish it off, here is Mr. Cheapshot trying to run over Milan Lucic. Sadly for him Lucic intercepted the hit and put him on his backside. Once again, Emelin had to be ‘helped’ off the ice.
Alexei Emelin is not held accountable for his dirty play. When players attempt to adjust his thinking, the refs universally attempt to intervene. Why? Emelin has a plate in his head after having reconstructive surgery back in 2009. Not many players are universally loathed in the NHL and the KHL, but somehow Emelin has earned that rare distinction.
Here’s how he ended up getting the plate in the head.
Shawn Thornton voiced his frustration over the repeated lack of punishment dealt to a player of his caliber.
Shawn Thornton has seen a lot in his career. It’s rare to see a player put up 600+ AHL games followed by a 700+ NHL games. He’s a two-time Cup winner who knows dirty hits when they see him. (Most people who hate Thornton happily remind him of his hit on Brooks Orpik [which earned him a 15 game suspension].)
Shawn Thornton is likely to play his last game at the TD Garden on Saturday night. He had one thing on his ‘Bruins bucket list’ that he wanted to cross off before he hangs up the skates. (The 39-year old Thornton is likely to retire at the end of the season in April.)
"“I’m just hoping I can finally get a goal on Tuukka [Rask] so I can chirp him.” – Shawn Thornton on what he’d like to do in his final time playing on TD Garden ice (according to NESN)."
Thornton is the Panthers nominee for the Masterson Trophy. The Masterton Trophy is given to the player who best represents perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
While Thornton will no longer have to deal with Emelin, the Boston Bruins will have to. Hopefully, the league will eventually step in and start handing down punishments that will keep players like Emelin from playing dirty hockey.