Thornton has been diagnosed with a concussion and will miss seven to 10 days, but as Bruins fans know all too well, it could be longer. Thornton was on the ice for just 16 seconds Thursday night before he dropped the gloves with John Scott. After serving the five minute major, Thornton went straight to the locker room and didn't return.
"It is tough," coach Claude Julien said. "Here's a guy who does everything for his teammates and his team, and has done it very well. Unfortunately, there's always a risk in that job. He took on a pretty big man, as we all know, 6-foot-8 and around 280 pounds. [Thornton] handled himself as best as he could, but those things are going to happen. At the end of the day, he was still willing to do it for his team."
Paille left Thursday's game late in the third period after taking a high stick to face. Paille did suffer a concussion in Dec. 2011, but Julien doesn't know specifics just yet.
"We're going to deem it an upper-body injury, only for the reason that right now, we don't have all the details," Julien said. "Once we get more clarification on his injury, we'll let you know."
While not major contributors on the scoreboard for the Bruins, Thornton and Paille have still be integral parts of the team in recent seasons. Paille has cemented himself as one of the Bruins best penalty killing forwards and, with his speed, can cause problems for the opposing team. Both also are part of the Bruins "Merlot Line", or the fourth line. Along with Gregory Campbell, they make up one of the best fourth lines in the league.
With the call-up of Tardif, Julien has some options against the Maple Leafs. Chris Bourque and Lane MacDermid are already with the Bruins and have played this season. Bourque hasn't been too impressive this season and was a healthy scratch against Buffalo and will most likely be scratched again on Saturday. Tardif is expected to make his NHL debut, most likely playing on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley.
Tardif has 21 goals and nine assists in 39 games for the Providence Bruins.
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