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12-08-2013, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Originally Posted by
...What? I'm not saying it wasn't intentional of Neal to do that, but he was skating in a straight line almost and his feet never stopped skating. He wasn't even looking down at the ice. It's very easy to argue either way with him.
Thornton literally took an unsuspecting player down to the ice from behind and gave him two quick sucker punches to the face before anything could be done by anyone. Not sure what he expected two sucker punches to a player on the ground and an unexpected backwards fall to the ice to do but it was very much filled with ill intent there and Orpik got knocked out cold.
Marchand didn't even get hurt and was only in that position because another player legitimately hit him down on the ice right before Neal came into the picture.
What Thornton did was so bad it's reminiscent of Bertuzzi/Moore, even if the injuries ultimately are not as severe.
But it's obvious that Neal knew exactly what he was doing, and he tried to be clever about it. If it was really an
ah! oops! accident!
Neal would have shown
sort of reaction to skating into Marchand's head. That's what you do when you accidentally skate into a heavy object. It startles you. You might even
look and see what you hit
. But Neal thinks that if he pulls the old 1000 yard stare, it'll come off like he was completely oblivious to what happened. Unfortunately, this indicates he knew exactly what he was doing and made no effort to avoid it. Hopefully Shanahan is smart enough to figure this all out. Of course, this isn't the first time Neal has "accidentally" clobbered someone who was a thorn in the Penguins side when they were vulnerable. James Neal is predatory and gutless.
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