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

Morning Skate: Devils get a good one in No. 1 pick Hischier

Morning Skate: Devils get a good one in No. 1 pick Hischier

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while locking the name Urho Vaakenainen into my Microsoft World spellcheck.

 *The New Jersey Devils got a No. 1 overall pick that isn’t going to be a generational player, but he’s going to be one heck of a player.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has fired Arizona Coyotes coach Dave Tippett indicating that he needed a change after a long run in the desert.

*The Edmonton Oilers cleared cap space by dealing Jordan Eberle and immediately filled it up with a four-year commitment to Kris Russell. Peter Chiarelli must make sure he doesn’t paint himself into a salary cap corner like he did in Boston with signings like this one. Word is that Connor McDavid is going to command a massive contract, and that could make contracts like the Russell one tough to manage in Edmonton.

*Old friend Claude Julien is only a spectator at the NHL Draft, but he’s already juggling the Habs roster in his mind as it goes through changes. Both Julien and Shawn Thornton came over to shoot the breeze with the Boston media on Friday night as the first round approached, and showed once again why both men are on the All-Class team.

*The Winnipeg Jets took a guy that I thought made a lot of sense for the Bruins, big Finnish power forward Kristian Vesalainen. He was available for the Bruins at the 18th pick when they opted to go defense instead.

*The Washington Capitals decided not to let winger TJ Oshie get to free agency, and locked him up with an eight-year contract.

*Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka is in the middle of the storm right now as he blows up his team and begins to build it the way he wants to.

For something completely different: Everything you always wanted to know about Sammy Hagar but were afraid to ask.


 

Haggerty: Bruins playing it pretty safe at the NHL Draft

Haggerty: Bruins playing it pretty safe at the NHL Draft

CHICAGO – As opening nights go at the NHL Draft, Friday night was a bit of a ho-hum affair for the Boston Bruins at the United Center home of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Bruins went the safe route by drafting a smooth, defensive-minded defenseman with the 18th overall pick when they selected Finnish product Urho Vaakenainen, and in doing so left more dynamic forwards like Kristian Vesalainen and Kailer Yamamoto still on the draft board for other teams to claim as their own. It was a bit of a curious choice given how many defensemen the Bruins already have in the prospect pipeline, but the lack of strength in the draft class seemed to lead teams to carve their own paths looking for players.

MORE: Bruins select defenseman Urho Vaakanainen with No. 18 pick

The 6-foot-1, 188-pounder clearly has miles to go offensively despite his smooth skating and solid passing skills, but there’s also a consideration that the teenager has been playing in the men’s league in Finland for the last couple of seasons. It makes things a little more difficult to project for the Finn D-man, but the Bruins believe there is some upside to his offensive game given the skills, the hockey IQ and the considerable confidence that the player has in his own game.

“His gap control and skating ability are really good. He’s obviously played in the Finnish Elite League at a very young age for one and a half years now and he’s played on the big stage at the world juniors. We feel like there’s a lot of upside for a 200-foot player that gets back on pucks, and then can transition them back out. Being able to cover ice is an important part of the game, and it continues to evolve in that direction,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney, who indicated Vaakenainen will play in North America in 2018-19 after fulfilling his contractual obligations in Finland. “We tracked what he did on offense at the junior league level prior to him jumping to the elite league, and it lines up pretty well with other elite players that made the jump to that level.

“It’s a valid question and whether he gets put into those [offensive] situations this year is what we’re excited about with his [Finnish] team moving forward.”

While Vaakenainen sounded surprised the Bruins selected him after only a single meeting at the NHL scouting combine, Sweeney said that Boston’s head scout in Finland has enough history with the family to vouch for the kid’s makeup.

So while it’s far from a sexy pick and the Bruins could have tried to hit a home run with an 18th overall selection in a mediocre draft, the B’s will also get some time before anybody is ready to label the Finnish blueliner a boom or a bust.

The rest of the draft night didn’t add up to much for the B’s, however. They made the selection of Vaakenainen after strongly considering dropping down in the first round, and in doing so lost one of the better trade chips in the form of their 2017 first round pick. There were discussions with Minnesota about Marco Scandella and a few trade feelers to other clubs that might listen on a D-man, but the Bruins now have to hit the reset button on trade discussions for left-shot defensemen or top-6 left wings.

Perhaps Scandella’s $4 million per season salary was an issue for the Bruins, or maybe the Bruins didn’t want to give up their first round pick for a 27-year-old D-man coming off a so-so season with the Wild. Either way, there wasn’t enough momentum for the Bruins to get a trade done with a bevy of defensemen rumored to be available if the offer is good enough.

“I was on the record saying that we’d be offering our first round pick for target-specific players, and we did do that,” said Sweeney. “I don’t blame teams for not necessarily wanting to go through with it, so we went ahead with a player we wanted with our own pick. We continue to build what we think is a good group of guys moving forward.

“There are a couple of areas we’d like to address and get better. We’re trying to help our team currently. Certainly Brandon [Carlo] jumped into our lineup and we hope Charlie [McAvoy] will carry over what he did, and we have other players that will push. We have six returning defensemen we feel good about and we’ll certainly push from underneath, but it’s an area we’ll continue to address. We have some forwards that we also hope will come online, but we’ll never stop exploring and trying to improve our club.”

So let’s sum it all up after a week of additions and subtractions from the Original Six organization: The Bruins added a decidedly vanilla defenseman in the first round of the NHL Draft that might be a simple stay-at-home guy, and they weren’t able to muster any kind of deals for a D-man or winger to enhance the NHL roster. On the other hand, they didn’t give up much over the week as well and they didn’t do much at all to harm a solid roster that looked like they were finally on the right track pushing into the playoffs last season.

The Bruins could be in store for an action-packed Day Two of the draft on Saturday full of promising prospects and bountiful trades, but it sure feels like the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago isn’t going to be a very memorable one for the Black and Gold.