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Thornton could have skated in front of him, gloves dropped, and grab his jersey at the collar with one hand. Say 'this is happening', pause for reaction, then start punching regardless of reaction. There would not be an intent to injure, but that can always happen in a fight. If this is how it played out, yes I would be OK with it. That may still be acting the goon, over enforcer, but consistent with an implied honor code.

If you start punching someone, what else is the intent other than to injure.

If one party is not participating, it is not a fight, it is an assault.

I fail to see the honor in this.

Many people (outside of B's fans) think that Marchand is a punk and cheap shot artist. If what Neal did to him is payback for some previous incident is that part of the code of honor and is that OK.
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