After missing the past week with an injury; it was a triumphant return to the Garden ice for the Boston Bruins resident tough guy Shawn Thornton.
Prior to the puck dropping Thornton was nominated for the Boston Bruins 2011 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award will be given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey during this season’s NHL Awards in Las Vegas.
Perhaps it was the excitement of a nomination but Thornton hit the ice strong as he recorded his 10th goal of the season at 19:59 of the first period. Head coach Claude Julien joked that Thorny had been looking to grab an assist as well to even out the numbers. Although an assist didn’t come; Thornton was a strong addition to the “Merlot Line” (along with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille), which appeared to be the most effective line of the evening.
With a 3-2 win over the Islanders; the Bruins look ahead to Saturday with a game against the Senators.
But first with Thornton’s lead and constant community involvement the Bruins take on their toughest opponent to date: prevention of rare and unusual conditions. Thornton and 15 of his teammates will participate in Cuts for a Cure to benefit Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. The event takes place today at Ned Devine’s in Faneuil Hall at 2:30 p.m.