Thornton loses beard hair in opening-faceoff scrap with Kadri

Joe Thornton and Nazem Kadri wouldn’t appear to have much of a rivalry, but that didn’t stop things from getting heating early on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Now this how you start a good ol’ hockey game (if it was 1976).

In a throwback display of truculence which mirrored a not-so-uncommon way of starting a game ‘back in the day,’ Nazem Kadri and Joe Thornton dropped the gloves and went at it in Toronto Thursday night before many of the ACC’s patrons even had a chance to take their seats.

It was a heated scrap that ended with some seldom-seen beard loss for a man known for carrying serious weight under his chin.

The two were jawing and sticking each other off the opening draw before both were subsequently kicked out. When they took their places at wing, the chirping transitioned right into a couple of fighting majors just two seconds into the first period.

San Jose and Toronto — residing at complete opposite ends of the continent and competing in different conferences — meet only a couple times per season. With little chance for a rivalry to bloom and no real documented history between Kadri and Thornton, one can only imagine what was said between the two that resulted in this brief exchange of face-punches.

We need that audio, ASAP.