The scoring started early in the first when Brooks Orpik drove his shoulder into the head of Louis Erickson, who was not in possession of the puck, for a concussion. Later in the first the Penguins almost went up 2-0 when James Neal took a shot at the wide open head of Brad Marchand, but somehow failed to score. The Bruin's Shawn Thornton responded to tie it up soon afterward with a beatdown of Orpik that resulted in Orpik being carried off the ice on a backboard.
The game remained tied until Pascal Dupuis scored the game winner with a two-handed slash on Chris Kelly, breaking his leg. There was quite a bit of other action in this memorable effort, with the puck entering the net on several occaisions, resulting in stoppages in play, particularly late in the game.
But in all seriousness, once again the Pittsburgh organization has shown it is willing to consider injuring opposing players as part of their game. After all, this is the same team that continued to employ Matt Cooke after he put a blindside elbow to the head of Marc Savard, ending his career. In 2011 Cooke once again put an elbow to the head of Ryan McDonagh. These were not simply hard hits that got up high by accident. Not only did the Penguins organization continue to employ him, but they even had the unmitigated gall to nominate him for the Masterton Trophy last season because he had supposedly changed his ways. The Masterton trophy is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
Did Shawn Thornton intend to injure Brooks Orpic when he knocked him to the ice after the play and pounded him with his fists? I doubt it. But can the same be said for Cooke's elbows to the head or Neal's knee to Marchand's skull? I doubt that as well, and there's the rub. Shawn Thornton is likely going to be suspended for a long time and become the poster boy across Canada for those who want to ban fighting. But I believe the real villain in this story is a club with a culture that confuses intentionally harming players on the other team with playing hard physically.
This was an ugly game that was not fun to watch, except perhaps in the last few minutes if you were rooting for the Bruins. Where was that entertainment factor? Watching a player taken off the ice on a backboard? I'm sorry, but these cheap shots are not hockey. It's about time the Penguins learned how to play the game.