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Puck Daddy chats with Shawn Thornton about Bruins’ great start, Tuukka Rask, and fake girlfriends

Sean Leahy
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Shawn Thornton has two Stanley Cup rings, but despite the joy and excitement a championship brings, his wife isn't the greatest fan of the playoffs because that means her husband grows out his beard.

"[She] loves the excitement, but not a fan of the old making out when I have a full beard," said Thornton. "But she'll put up with it for a Stanley Cup ring, that's for sure."

While Thornton's teammates were in Montreal for a game against the Canadiens on Wednesday, he attended Gillette's "Kiss and Tell" event in Boston, which featured couples determining if smooching is better with or without facial stubble. Should the Bruins make the postseason, Thornton said an event is planned to shave off his playoff beard, whose length will be determined by the how far their playoff run goes.

The 35-year old Bruins forward has missed the last two games due to a concussion suffered while fighting John Scott of the Buffalo Sabres last week. There's no timetable on his return to the lineup as he waits to meet with the team's medical staff, but he's feeling fine.

"I've been skating the last few days and rode the bike on Sunday," said Thornton. "Things are going well."

We spoke with Thornton on Wednesday before the event kicked off and asked him about the team's early success, Tuukka Rask, bad calls, and fake girlfriends in the Bruins locker room.


Q. What's your role going to be during the "Kiss and Tell" event with Gillette?

THORNTON: They invited me down. Just finished doing some media. They took some photos of me because I'm so pretty. This is the last stop on the tour of 15 cities. I'll be here to meet them and greet them. Not a very strenuous activity, to tell you the truth. I'm not sure why they're paying me. [Laughs]

No Tim Thomas this year, but Tuukka Rask has been playing great. How much more confidence does that instil in a team knowing a guy like Tuukka can step right in and succeed?

We've had confidence in him since that year he ended up starting for us (2009-10). We knew that he could play then. We were not concerned with him taking over the role. I bust his chops all the time, "I like backup Tuukka better; he's easier to deal with". But he's the consummate teammate. The guys love him and love playing in front of him. I wouldn't say he's been a pleasant surprise, he's been a treat. I'm glad he's having success so far.

We've seen a number of teams struggle out of the gate so far. What's been the key for the Bruins success early on?

Part of it is probably that our team is pretty much the same team that we've had for the last three, four years. Bringing everyone back, the familiarity of each guy, playing with each other, and the system and the coaching staff. Everyone's back. So the learning curve right out the gate with the quick training camp wasn't a big deal for us. We kind of felt like we were in mid-season coming in.

Given some major missed calls in the past week, would you be in favor of more review or a coach's challenge flag, so while the game might be extended a few extra minutes, in the end the right call would be made?

It's so fast, like any other sport. Mistakes are going to happen. The refs are human, too. I don't want anybody throwing stuff on the ice while I'm skating out there, I'll probably trip over it.

In the aftermath of the Manti Te'o news, is there a guy on the Bruins that you wouldn't be surprised fell for a fake Internet girlfriend?

[Laughs] I think Tyler Seguin probably has a few hundred fake girlfriends on the Internet.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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