After he got the better of Shawn Thornton Thursday night, it’s almost as if Sabres enforcer John Scott, who stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 270 pounds, felt for his fellow ice combatant.
Scott admitted that he and Thornton talked about dropping the gloves pre-game before the fateful bout 2:53 into game.
“I’m not going into what we talked about,” Scott said. “We talked and I’ll leave that between me and Shawn.”
Scott knew what his job was: take on the toughest guy on the Bruins and send a message that the Sabres were not going to be the punching bag they were last season.
“Well, obviously going into this game there was a lot of hype around what happened last game,” Scott said. “So, I kind of just wanted to set the tone and say, ‘Okay we’re here to play’. And it happened out that I came out on the fight. And regardless of the outcome I just want to be there for my teammates and let them know I’m here to fight, I’ve got your back. And last year’s not going to happen like [that] this year.”
To send that message, Scott knew what he had to do.
“Yeah, he’s obviously one of the tougher guys in the league, and it just happened,” Scott said. “I kind of got the right grip, and kind of had him on the run, and it just happened that way. He will bounce back, he’s a tough guy and he’ll probably fight me again, and probably do a lot better next time.”
Thornton was handled unlike he’s ever been handled in a fight while wearing a Bruins uniform. He never got a solid shot in. It was Scott doing all the punching, right after right after right to the face and head of Thornton.
“I think it was the one over the top, it might have hit him in the back of the ear and dropped him,” Scott said. “And then yeah, the uppercut didn’t help.”
Scott watched Thornton leave the penalty box and head straight for the Bruins dressing room. Thornton never returned.
“I was asking our trainers how he’s doing,” he said. “You never want to hurt somebody, I was kind of concerned after the first period we never saw him again. So, I still don’t know how he’s doing, hopefully he’s doing well. You hate to see someone leave the game like that.”