Bruins

Thornton gash requires about 40 stitches

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Thornton gash requires about 40 stitches

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Shawn Thornton is usually pretty predictable before and after a game.

Prior to a game hes stretching, running, getting loose by himself with headphones and traveling to whatever dark place he needs to transport himself while serving as an enforcer for the Bruins. Afterwards he's usually ready to smile and joke after a victory, or stand up to answer for himself and his teammates after a defeat.

But Thornton was understandably enraged after Tuesday nights 3-0 win over the Blackhawks.He was knocked out of the game in the second period after taking Fernando Pisanis skate blade to his forehead, opening a cut that required 40 stitches to closer. As he skated past the Chicago bench on his way to the medical room, with referee Don VanMassenhoven beside him, one of the Blackhawks -- Thornton still doesn't know who it was -- decided that was an opportune time to open his mouth and begin chirping at the bloodied Bruin.

Thornton shoved at VanMassenhoven and tried to get at the Blackhawks, but the referee pushed him to the Boston dressing room and told the Chicago bench, in most colorful language, to keep quiet. Those guys on their team chirp a lot. I dont know if it's right when someones face is half across the other side of their face, said Thornton. But it's a tough game and people have to live with their actions.
"If you guys ever find out who it is, dont be afraid to send me a Christmas card and let me know who.The play happened immediately after a good scoring chance for the winger, and Thornton tumbled with Pisani into the boards before the sharp blade sliced his skin open just above his right eye. It was purely accidental, even though Thornton and Pisani had exchanged words earlier in the game.

I was fortunate to see it coming after I fell. It's easy to say now, but I knew it was a bad cut. I didnt see how bad it was because they wouldnt let me go look at it, said Thornton.
I knew nothing else was hit other than my forehead. It had happened to me before and it doesnt really hurt when it happens like that; it just feels like you got banged in the head. I know how lucky I am. It could have been a little lower and I could have been in a lot of trouble."

The Bs enforcer briefly considered donning a visor and returning to the game, but eventually it was decided he wouldnt take another shift. Neither Thornton nor coach Claude Julien were certain if hed miss Thursday's matchup against the Maple Leafs, but it might play into allowing Michael Ryder back into the lineup for a game or two while Thornton rests up and heals the nasty slice on his head.

He took a lot of stitches, and the doctors and the trainers deemed it bad enough they didnt want to take that chance, especially when you have to put a helmet on and stuff like that, said Julien. So hopefully hell be fine soon and well know more about it as we go forward tomorrow and the next day. And well see how he is by Thursday.Perhaps the harsh words and whollybush league words from the Chicago benchstemmed from a leg-on-leg hit between Thornton and Pisani in the first that slowed down the Blackhawks forward just a bit, but that's not seemingly going to matter when Thornton starts doing some investigative work on which player said what on the Blackhawks' bench. Draft pick Ryan Button signed an amatuer tryout contract with the Bruins, and will finish out the season with the AHL's Providence Bruins. The 20-year-old defenseman has 5 goals and 30 assists in 69 games for the Prince Albert Raiders and the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League after being a third round pick by the B's in the 2009 Player Entry Draft. Mark Recchi confirmed Tuesday night that he'll retire if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup this season.
"Im hoping we go on a long ride through the playoffs; it just makes it real easy for me to say see you later," said Recchi, 43. "We win and I say Im gone. If we win a championship, Im gone." Patrice Bergeron led the Bruins with seven shots on net, and led all Boston forwards with 20:39 of ice time in a solid all-around performance. From the Bruins' P.R. staff:Nathan Horton has been named the 2011ambassador for the Alliance for Lupus Research, and the Bruins Foundation announced they'll be donating 20,000 to their upcoming "Walk with Us To Cure Lupus." The Boston Bruins Foundation will partner with the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) by donating 20,000 to their "Walk with Us To Cure Lupus" walkathon at Castle Island in South Boston on Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. To kick-off the partnership, the Boston Bruins are hosting Lupus Awareness Night on Tuesday, March 29 during the BruinsBlackhawks game. All the proceeds from the 5050 raffle will benefit ALR and their Boston "Walk with Us To Cure Lupus" event. Bruins fans can support Horton and the Lupus Walk by texting the word "WALK" to 85944 to make at 10 donation. A one-time donation of 10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for the Alliance for Lupus Research by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 85944 to stop. Reply HELP to 85944 for help. For terms, see http:www.igfn.orgThe Boston Walk with Us to Cure Lupus event is a 5K (3.1 miles) walk that is designed to raise significant funds and awareness for the quest for a cure for lupus. All walkers are encouraged to raise as much money as possible from family, friends, co-workers and business associates in support of their participation in the walk.Bruins fans can register for the Boston "Walk with Us To Cure Lupus" online at http:walk.lupusresearch.orgboston by emailing evega@lupusresearch.org, jmarks@lupusresearch.org or by phone at 866-WALK-ALR.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Even in their struggles, Bruins have reason(s) to be thankful

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Even in their struggles, Bruins have reason(s) to be thankful

Thanksgiving in the United States has become an important holiday in NHL circles because it provides a regular-season marker that allows teams to gauge their playoff viability. Roughly 75 percent of teams in a playoff spot at Turkey Day end up qualifying for the postseason, and teams within a handful of points of a playoff spot retain a pretty decent chance of pushing their way in. 

But Thanksgiving is also a great time for teams like the Bruins to also give thanks, just like everybody else, while they’re passing the turkey, the stuffing and the mashed potatoes.

Given that it’s the time of being thankful ahead of the holiday season, here is this humble hockey writer’s annual list of things that each member of the Bruins has to be thankful for as they sit down to enjoy a tryptophan-induced nap:
 
David Pastrnak – The 21-year-old is still thankful for the big bucks he signed for this fall . . . $40 million, to be exact. That should keep him in $8 sushi meals at the mall food court for as long as he wants them.
 
Brad Marchand –Marchand is thankful he finally got bumped up to the top power-play unit over the last couple of seasons, after Claude Julien really dragged his feet putting him there. Eleven power-play goals and 29 power-play points in his last 94 games certainly tell the story.
 
Patrice Bergeron – Bergeron is happy and thankful that he’s regained his health after missing the start this season, and that he’s been able to adequately handle the 21:01 of ice time he’s averaging per game.
 
Torey Krug – Krug is thankful he can again eat a nice steak dinner after being forced to have his food come out of a blender for months after fracturing his jaw during the preseason. Of course, that goes for a nice turkey dinner on Thanksgiving as well.
 
Danton Heinen – The 22-year-old is thankful for second chances after he whiffed during an eight-game audition last season in his first year of pro hockey. He’s making up for it by cementing a role with the Bruins this season now that he’s stronger, faster and a little more confident with the puck.
 
Charlie McAvoy – The 19-year-old defenseman is thankful he decided to leave BU after his sophomore season, making the very correct deduction that he was way more than ready for the NHL. If he plays his cards right, he may be thankful at the end of the season for a Calder Trophy.
 
Anders Bjork – The rookie is thankful that the B’s will be playing the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic at his alma mater, Notre Dame, next season. He may get to live out a lifelong dream of playing a hockey game on that iconic football field.
 
Jake DeBrusk – The rookie left winger is thankful that he got to score his first NHL goal in front of his family and his teary-eyed dad, Louie, during a pretty cool opening-night win over the Nashville Predators.
 
Tim Schaller – The New Hampshire native is thankful to be playing for his hometown hockey team, of course, but he’s more than just a local boy made good. Tim Schaller has been a positive factor for the bottom-6 with his size, speed and intermittent offense.
 
Zdeno Chara – The captain is thankful that both he and his employer agree that the 40-year-old D-man should continue playing for the Bruins beyond this season. Now it’s just a matter of agreeing on a contract at some point.
 
David Krejci – The playmaking center is thankful his cranky back has loosened up enough for him to get back in the lineup. Now the Bruins and their fans would be thankful if the points would start to follow now that he’s healthy enough to play.
 
Riley Nash – The forward is thankful that the B's thought enough of him to protect him in the expansion draft last summer, a show of commitment to a versatile, smart player who does a lot of little things well.
 
Sean Kuraly – The young center is thankful that he hasn’t yet hurt himself taking the jumping, flying and leaping goal celebrations that he’s quickly becoming known for.
 
Kevan Miller – The defenseman is thankful he’s back playing his natural right side for the most part after being pushed into left-side duty for much of the first couple of months this season.
 
Brandon Carlo – The second-year defenseman is thankful to still be on the Bruins, and not used as possible trade collateral in a possible Matt Duchene deal that was discussed quite a bit last year and through the summer.
 
Jordan Szwarz – The 26-year-old forward is thankful for another NHL opportunity in Boston after he’d gone a couple of years without a sniff during his time in the Arizona Coyotes organization after some early games with them.
 
Frank Vatrano – The Bruins forward and East Longmeadow native should frankly be happy that he’s still in the NHL given the training camp and early season he had with the Bruins. He’s scored a couple of goals and played well lately, so he has to hope that he’s pushed through the bad times.
 
Noel Acciari – The Providence College alum is happy to be healthy again after missing a month with a broken finger, and he’s proven that by going right back to the heavy hitting, shot-blocking tough kid that he’s always been.
 
Ryan Spooner – The speedy playmaker is thankful to be over his torn groin. He needs a strong season in order to once, and for all, show exactly what he could be to the Bruins, or some other team, at the NHL level.
 
Adam McQuaid – The veteran defenseman is thankful that he wasn’t selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft last summer, and instead continues to be a strong, robust presence in the D-zone when healthy.
 
David Backes – The 33-year-old forward is thankful to be back skating again after a couple of painful  bouts with diverticulitis that left him in surgery with 10 inches of his colon being removed. I'm still amazed that he returned to practice as quickly as he did, but he is a hockey player after all.
 
Paul Postma – The  D-man is thankful to be getting a second chance with another organization after spending his entire career with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets.
 
Matt Beleskey – The winger is thankful that he’s getting a chance to bounce back from last year’s down season, but so far the zero points and minus-7 rating in 13 games leave lots of room for improvement.
 
Tuukka Rask – The No. 1 goaltender is thankful for all the rest he’s getting in the first half of the season, which should presumably make him healthy, fresh and strong down the stretch this season. That is, if he can actually get back in touch with a game that sees him with a turkey-like .897 save percentage right now.  
 
Anton Khudobin – The backup netminder is thankful he’s been given a chance to run with things this season as he’s already twice had a chance to start three games in a row after struggling to gain regular playing time last season.
 
Bruce Cassidy – The coach is thankful for another shot behind an NHL bench 13 years after the first one, and he’s making the most of it with a rag-tag group beset by injuries and youth right now.
 
Don Sweeney – The general manager is thankful the team is still within a handful of points of a playoff spot after everything that went wrong in the first couple of months.
 
Cam Neely – The tean president is thankful for the overwhelming talent within their youth movement and the strong, loyal fan base that backs this team no matter what. But it could be a bit of a rough ride ahead, as the B's rank fourth among the big four Boston sports teams, given how good, deep and close to championship-caliber the others are right now. 

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Talking Points: Khudobin keeps rolling in shootout win

Talking Points: Khudobin keeps rolling in shootout win

GOLD STAR: Who else but Anton Khudobin? The Bruins backup netminder improved to 6-0-2 on the season and upped his NHL-leading save percentage to .938 while making 40 saves in a shootout win over the New Jersey Devils. Khudobin was outstanding stoning players like Nico Hischier and Blake Coleman on breakaways, and stood tall in the third period while the Bruins were outshot 15-5 and ended up tying the game. Even better Khudobin was super-competitive in the shootout where he was challenging shooters, and even stared down Hischier after he poke-checked the puck away from him on his attempt. The Bruins don’t win Wednesday night’s game without Khudobin playing the way he did, and that should pretty much guarantee that he plays again on Friday afternoon against the Penguins.

BLACK EYE: One shot and one hit in 8:28 of ice time for Jimmy Hayes in his first game against his old Bruins team, so pretty much par for the course from the underachieving big guy. Hayes has scored a couple of goals for the Devils this season, but he’s been mostly the same as in the past with sporadic scoring, intermittent tough guy play in the danger areas and then long stretches where you don’t even notice the 6-foot-6 guy out on the ice. Of the two ex-Bruins forwards going up against their old team tonight, Drew Stafford was by far the better of the two with three shots on net and at least one pretty decent scoring chance among them after stealing a puck from Frank Vatrano.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins set things up for their shootout win with a strong opening first period when it came to finishing off plays. Yes, they were outshot by a 15-10 margin, but they also made two big plays with Jake DeBrusk scoring a goal and then David Pastrnak setting up Patrice Bergeron for his fifth goal of the season. Beyond that Anton Khudobin also stopped 14 pucks in the first period that included a number of scoring chances for the Devils, and it showed what the Bruins are capable of when they’re on the right side of some key plays early in the game. Sure, the Devils clawed their way back in, but the Bruins felt like they had the game in control because of the work they put in during the first period.

HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie McAvoy led all skaters with a game-high 27:04 of ice time, and played a strong game while totaling three shots on net and three blocked shots. But he saved the real good stuff for the 11th round of the shootout when he threw a nifty stick move at Cory Schneider, and then roofed a backhanded attempt in tight and close to the net. The McAvoy shootout move begged the question why it took so long to get to him, but also mercifully closed out a shootout session that felt like it could have gone on forever between the Bruins and Devils. The finishing move from the 19-year-old was pure, unadulterated skill with the puck.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the first NHL career point for Matt Grzelcyk arrived in the first period when he picked up an assist on a lead pass off the boards that freed Jake DeBrusk up for a goal-scoring rush.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s the end of a road trip, so give the guys credit. They dug down deep and found a way to get the two points.” – Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy,  

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