Thornton healthy scratch as Caron takes spot

Thornton healthy scratch as Caron takes spot
November 18, 2013, 7:45 pm
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(AP Photo)

Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton is serving as a healthy scratch for the Boston Bruins for the first time this season in their Monday night game on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center.

The Thornton scratch puts Bruins winger Jordan Caron into the lineup for the first time since the end of October, and gives the Black and Gold a little bit more of an offensive option against a young, quick Canes hockey club. It also represents a strategic move from the Bruins coaching staff against a Carolina team without a healthy enforcer as Kevin Westgarth is out of the Hurricanes lineup.

Brett Bellemore is the only player in Carolina’s lineup tonight vs. the Black and Gold that has a fighting major on his resume this season, so perhaps Bruins coach Claude Julien felt it was going to be a kindler, gentler Carolina club on the ice.

Thornton has also only played more than eight minutes once for the Bruins in his last six games, so a diminished role given the way games have played out recently might have also contributed to the decision. He’s averaging 7:59 of ice time in his seven games during the month of November where plenty of Boston’s games have turned into special teams battles.

Caron’s last game was the loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins where he coughed up a puck to Jussi Jokinen in the third period that led to the game-winning goal for the Pens, and had been a healthy scratch for the last seven games.