Once again the Bruins are playing a team in the Detroit Red Wings that doesn’t drop the gloves all that much, and once again fourth-line enforcer Shawn Thornton is a healthy scratch for the game Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Thornton was also scratched for a Nov. 18 victory over a Carolina Hurricanes team that didn’t have any fighters on the roster with Kevin Westgarth injured at the time.
Thornton then scored a goal in the next game against the New York Rangers, and the fourth line had been playing very good hockey dating to No. 22’s scratch. It’s understandable the Bruins want to get Jordan Caron into a game every once in a while so he doesn’t gather too much rust, but messing with the best energy line going in the NHL is a dangerous chemistry experiment.
Thornton told CSNNE last week that he didn't have a problem with the scratch as long as it was beneficial for the team.
"I'm fine with it as long as it's for the good of the team," said Thornton. "The decision made sense. We needed to get Jordy in there after he had been sitting for seven or eight days."
The Bruins lose toughness and attitude when Thornton isn’t in the lineup regardless of which team they’re playing, and what that team’s strengths and weaknesses happen to be. In other lineup news, Adam McQuaid made his return to the lineup in Detroit after missing eight games with a lower body injury, and was skating in his customary spot alongside Torey Krug.
Here are the forward combos and D-pairings for the pre-Thanksgiving game vs. the Red Wings: