Bruins forward Brad Marchand , making his regular appearance on WEEI with Mut and Merloni , revealed Wednesday that Bruins forward Shawn Thornton  knew that Vancouver forward Dale Weise was not trying to fight him in the first period of Saturday’s game.
Weise extended a challenge and appeared ready to drop his gloves prior to a face-off in the opening period, but when Thornton dropped his gloves at 14:58 of the period, Weise, who had fourth Nathan Horton  earlier in the period, kept them on. Though at first glance it appeared Weise was using a cheap tactic to sucker Thornton into a penalty, Marchand said Wednesday that the challenge was indeed being extended to Adam McQuaid, and that Thornton jumped in to “surprise” Weise.
“I’m going to clear it up for everyone who’s listening,” Marchand said. “It was actually a really sneaky play by Thorty. Weise was trying to fight McQuaid, who was standing behind Thornton on the point. McQuaid was going to fight him. So, Weise was yelling and saying, ‘Yeah, let’s go, let’s go.’
“Thorty just figured that at that point he’d drop his gloves and surprise Weise. And the ref just kind of heard Weise yelling ‘Let’s go’ and thought he was talking to Thorty and conning him into a penalty. Thorty kind of surprised him when Thorty dropped his gloves. Weise had no idea Thorty was going to do that.”
Added Marchand: “Him and Quaider know each other a bit from the minors and I think junior as well. They might have went at [it] there.”
Marchand’s words corroborate Weise’s story, as he told reporters prior to Monday’s game that he was trying to fight McQuaid.
Thornton expressed confusion by the play following the game, though he did suggest that Weise could have possibly been looking to fight McQuaid. Both players were given unsportsmanlike conduct minors for the ordeal.
“Oh, he said ‘let’s go’,” Thornton said after the game. “I don’t know if he was talking to me or someone else but [referee Dan O’Rourke] heard him and [referee Don] VanMassenhoven heard him and that’s why he went with me I’m assuming. I mean, you’ll have to ask him. But Donny said, ‘wait until the puck drops’ and I said ‘of course’. I heard him say ‘we’ll go’, maybe he was talking to McQuaid or I have no idea. But, I thought it was, obviously thought it was go time.”
Thornton added Tuesday night on Comcast Sports Net that he wanted to fight Weise because he was among the players who jumped him when he was drastically outnumbered 3:54 into the game.