If Shawn Thornton is not one of your favorite Bruins players then you probably are not a big fan of hockey. This guy is laying his ass on the line night in and night out. In terms of skill he is limited. But he is willing to out-work, out-hussle, and out-physical other players. I’m glad Claude brought the fourth line (Campbell, Paille, Thornton) back together against the Wild, because they bring an energy this team has clearly lacked since the calendar flipped to 2012.
Check out Shawn’s fight against a much bigger Matt Kassian (6’4” 232 lbs) who keeps his helmet on for the whole fight. Thornton hangs in after a quick start by Kassian and gets a few shots in. He is literally not afraid of any player in the NHL, but he knows the right time to get involved. Claude trusts his judgement and usually Thornton rewards him with a well-timed fight that raises the energy of the rest of the team to where it needs to be. He is a throwback hockey player that is fun to watch. Next time you are watching a B’s game, pay attention when the fourth line comes out and you will see constantly these guys out working the other team.