Thornton was cut a by Fernando Pisani‘s skate early in the second period of Boston’s 3-0 win over Chicago Tuesday at the Garden, ending his night as he needed to head off for medical attention to close the deep laceration on his forehead above his right eye.
“I’m fine, I guess I was lucky,” Thornton said. “It could have been a little lower, could have been on my eye. And no headache, no concussion.”
Thornton, who said he “lost count at 40” when asked how many stitches the cut required, was actually off to a good start to the night, throwing his weight around with three hits in just four shifts lasting 2:36. He also had two shots on goal, nearly scoring his 10th goal of the season on a point-blank chance just seconds before being injured. As play head down the other end of the ice, he became tangled up with Pisani behind the Chicago net and fell into Pisani’s skate.
“I went to finish my hit on him and he fell and I don’t know if I tripped over a stick or tripped over my own two feet, but I fell on top of the back of his skate blade,” Thornton said. “It was accidental. Stuff like that happens when the game’s moving so fast. If I had scored the goal right before that then none of this would have happened.”
Thornton knew right away that the cut was serious, but also knew the blade had missed his eye.
“I could tell by the blood that it was a bad cut, but I knew nothing else was hit but my forehead,” Thornton said. “But I know how lucky I am.”
Thornton’s relief quickly turned to anger when someone on the Blackhawks bench made some derogatory comments about the injury as Thornton skated off. Thornton attempted to break free of referee Don Van Massenhoven at get at the bench, but was restrained.
“Someone said, obviously I can’t swear while I’m talking to you guys, but there was some stuff said that I’m not too happy about,” Thornton said. “If I ever find out who it was I’ll deal with it in my own way.”
Van Massenhoven didn’t penalize Thornton for his attempt to get at the bench, but also didn’t call any penalties on Chicago for the comments.
“He heard it and he was pissed too, but he didn’t know who it was either,” Thornton said. “He actually yelled at their bench and I appreciate it. There’s guys on their team that chirp a lot and stuff, but I don’t know if it’s right when somebody’s face if halfway across the other side of their face. But it’s a tough game and people have to live with their actions.”
Thornton will probably have to live with wearing a visor for the time being while the cut heals, and may have to sit out for a while depending on what the medical staff determines.
“I’ll see what the doctors say,” Thornton said of wearing a visor. “I’m probably going to have to for the first little bit until this heals properly.
“I don’t know,” Thornton added when asked if he would have to miss any games. “I don’t think so, but the doctors will look over it the next couple of days and make sure everything is where it needs to be. The good news is we are in a good position and if need be we have some extra bodies around anyways.”
The better news is that Thornton appears to have avoided any permanent damage beyond what will likely be a nasty-looking scar.
“It was obviously a pretty serious cut,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He took a lot of stitches and the doctors and trainers deemed it bad enough that they didn’t want to take that chance [in returning to the game]. … Hopefully he’ll be fine soon and we’ll know more about it as we go forward tomorrow and the next day and we’ll see how he is by Thursday.”
Screengrab courtesy of MyFOXBoston.com