Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rallying around Thorburn after scrap shows tight team

  • Print

CHRIS THORBURN took one for the team Tuesday. And, if called upon, he'll do it again on Thursday. And Saturday. And Sunday. And...

The Winnipeg Jets veteran winger squared off with Leafs tough guy Colton Orr in Tuesday's win and drew praise afterward from teammates and coaches for helping set the tone in what was an impressive performance highlighted by the team's collective grit and speed.

"To be honest, man, it felt great," said Thorburn of his teammates' reaction. "I had a couple of guys come up to me and give me pat on the back and that goes a long way in giving me confidence and just knowing that you're doing the right thing.

"We're a tight-knit group. Whether it's a big goal, a blocked shot or a hit... it's just something that the team rallies around. Our team is so tight-knit that we can feed off it. (Tuesday) night was a big step for us in proving that we're there for each other in a pack-mentality kind of thing."


One of the toughest and most popular hombres in the Jets lineup, Thorburn has more fights this year -- six -- than goals -- one. But he does have a very clear understanding of what his gig is and it's one of the most difficult in all of sports.

"That's a tough role, that's a tough position," said coach Claude Noel. "Chris Thorburn is a really good team player that plays hard and realizes that he probably has to do that to be an NHL player. I'll tell ya, that's not an easy role. I don't think Chris is a heavyweight, but he's willing to do the things necessary for his teammates.

"That's a really tough task to get yourself motivated to do that against guys that are bigger and stronger or possibly better fighters than you. He earns a lot of respect from his teammates in being able to do that."

Having said all that, here's the thing: Thorburn would just as soon be remembered for his spectacular highlight-of-the-night goal against Buffalo last year than for dropping his mitts. But, again, he'll do whatever is required to stay in the lineup -- especially with the club's heavyweight, Anthony Peluso, currently injured.

"I think I'm a guy that can play. I can bring a lot of elements to a game, it's just I've got to do it on a consistent basis," Thorburn said.

"It's something I don't think I need to do to stay in the lineup. It's something I can offer for the team. If the team needs a boost, I'm there to do that.

"It's not like I'm out there to fight every night. It's just seeing how the game is going and judging it from there."

The anti-fighting camp will scoff at what kind of an impact Thorburn vs. Orr had on the game, but with the two men in the penalty box -- and Orr joined by Mark Fraser a few minutes later -- the Jets did score their first power-play goal in eight games.

"It seemed to spark the guys on the bench," said Thorburn "The guys feed off it, our power play went out and got a goal.

"I sat in the box and it was like, 'OK, I accomplished something.' That's the main objective." Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 14, 2013 D2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Wasylycia-Leis says Bowman and Ouellette ran a good campaign

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010

View More Gallery Photos


Who has been the biggest disappointment on the Jets to start the season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google