BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins close out their four-game road trip Thursday night in New Jersey, looking to bounce back from Tuesday night’s loss to the Lightning.

Forward Brad Marchand will rejoin the team after serving his five-game suspension, which should give the Bruins a bit of a boost. They went 3-2 in his absence, dropping two of their last three. Marchand’s return should help, but forward Shawn Thornton says not having Marchand is not the only reason they’ve been struggling a bit as of late.

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“We miss him; I don’t want to give him too much credit because he likes it more than anyone,” Thornton told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Thursday morning. “But we miss him. He’s an unbelievable player. He’s a piece of it but everyone has to play better. A little bit of complacency has set in, but that’s human nature over an 82-game season. We just have to get back to work and go a little bit harder all over the ice.”

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With his 16 goals and 16 assists this season, Marchand has become a key player for the Bruins both on offense and defense. While he plays on the edge most of the times, Thornton doesn’t want the second-year player to shy away from the style that has made him so successful.

“He scores some big goals for us at key times. He plays the game, I think, pretty hard. Sometimes a little bit on that edge but you can’t take that edge away from him either. That’s what makes him such a good player,” said Thornton.

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As a veteran who played with Marchand on the fourth “Merlot” line last season, Thornton is one of the Bruins who talks with Marchand about his style of play.

“I think I’m not the only one, I think there a bunch of guys talk to him,” he said. “He’s got to keep that edge. Every once in a while he might go over. I think the last time the book got thrown at him; I think five (games) was a little stiff. But he’s got to play that way to be successful and make us successful.”

Thornton also touched on his recent “Razzle Dazzle” and who he thinks Zdeno Chara should pick in the upcoming NHL All-Star game.


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