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Practice Update 2/7: Thornton Cleared for Contact

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

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WILMINGTON, MA - Coming back to Boston following their 2-1 come-from-behind win in Montreal, 11 skaters hit the ice at Ristuccia, including Shawn Thornton - back on the ice for the first time with his teammates - and Dan Paille, both of whom did not travel with the B's for Wednesday night's game.

When Coach Julien spoke to media on Monday, prior to traveling to Montreal, he had said No. 22 had skated earlier in the day before the team hit the ice, and that he had biked on Sunday.

Following practice today in Wilmington, Thornton talked to the media for the first time since sustaining a concussion during the first period of the Bruins/Sabres game on January 31.

"Cleared for practice, cleared for contact, haven’t been given any word on what’s going on this weekend yet," Thornton told media from the B's locker room at Ristuccia.

"I feel good. I’ve felt good all week, I’m happy to be where I’m at right now," he added. "Was a little bit tired on Friday, but I might have been anyways, there was a lot of hockey going into that game. A little tired on Friday, but Saturday I was up walking around, rode the bike, I’ve been skating everyday since, I’ve felt good."

"I’ve done this, you include juniors and the minors and everything, I’ve probably fought three, four hundred times, I don’t even know. Probably close to 400," Thornton recounted on the numerous fights he's taken part in through the year.  "I’ve won my share, I’ve lost a few, most of them are pretty even. It happens."

"I’m just glad it happened with someone who’s six-eight instead of five-eight, at least I don’t look as bad," Thornton said of the fight with John Scott that caused him to not return to the game. 

As for Dan Paille, the speedy winger has been cleared but is still unclear about his status for Saturday, like Thornton.

Brad Marchand did not skate today, after missing last night's game in Montreal. Coach Julien said that he would be evaluated today and would not skate, but that he is "definitely not a write-off for Saturday" and that "a lot can happen in two days" before that decision would be made.

Nine other skaters joined Paille and Thornton on the ice - all in black jerseys - with the assistant coaches, including Ryan Spooner, Chris Bourque, Lane MacDermid, Jamie Tardif, Andrew Ference, Adam McQuaid, Aaron Johnson and Anton Khudobin, along with Jay Pandolfo, who is still with the team on a Professional Tryout Agreement.

The B's will hold practice Friday at TD Garden (closed to the public), before hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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