Thornton expects to play tonight vs. Isles

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
1:24
PM ET
BOSTON -- The Bruins held an optional skate today at TD Garden in advance of their game tonight with the Islanders. Shawn Thornton, Shane Hnidy, Tyler Seguin, Adam McQuaid, Steven Kampfer, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly, Michael Ryder, Tuukka Rask, and Tim Thomas were all on the ice, and it appears that Thornton will play tonight and Seguin will be back up top in the press box as a healthy scratch, while Tim Thomas should get the nod between the pipes for the Bruins.

“Thornton’s probably going to end up coming into our lineup. I think he’s ready to go, he’s had the stitches out,” head coach Claude Julien said following the skate. “So we’ll make a couple decisions here just before the game.”

But from the looks and sound of Seguin, who was last off the ice, the decision has already been made.

“Has it been announced? Then I don’t know,” a clearly frustrated Seguin answered when asked if he was in or out of the lineup tonight.

Seguin was then asked if he understood why he may be a healthy scratch tonight.

“I’m sure I’ll talk to the coaches if I’m not in and they’ll tell me why,” he replied.

But before Seguin came off the ice, it was all smiles at Thornton’s stall as the rugged winger was chomping at the bit to get back in and play after missing the last three games with a gash on his face from an errant skate he suffered during the Bruins’ 3-0 win over Chicago on March 29. Thornton had most of his 40 stitches removed and deemed himself ready to go, but had not been given an official green light yet from Julien and the medical staff.

“I’m not sure, ask the boss,” Thornton said with a smile. “I haven’t talked to them yet. I went out and skated and I’ll prepare like I always do as if I’m playing. If I’m told differently then at least I’m prepared.”

Thornton was then asked about the potential of dropping the gloves in his first game back considering the Islanders have quite a few players who are willing combatants.

“Honestly, I don’t think about it, I never do, and focus on playing hockey first and foremost,” Thornton said when asked if the Islanders may try to go after him due to his wound. “That stuff has always been able to take care of itself so I’m going to go out and score a goal and not worry about that stuff. Earlier in my career I used to worry about that stuff and never sleep, and it’s a waste of energy and time.”

Thornton said that if it did happen, he could oblige and fight as he has no restrictions to his knowledge.

“Obviously if I get hit there it’s going to hurt, but as far as I know, if I’m in, I’m ready to play,” Thornton said

Here's what the forward lines should look like tonight:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

James Murphy

Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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