Thornton/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — As one of the most honest fighters in the entire NHL and a rare pugilist with the ability to also contribute on the score sheet, Bruins winger Shawn Thornton doesn’t have to do much more to improve his hockey cred.

If he wants to add to his street cred, however, he now has the perfect rap name.

Meet ’40 Stitch.’

That’s how many it took to seal up the cut above Thornton’s right eye after he went down and took Fernando Pisani’s skate blade to the face. After the early second-period collision, Thornton made a bee line for dressing room with a quick pit stop to chirp back at someone on the Chicago bench who inexplicably decided to yell a comment at the bleeding Bruins forward.

“Yeah something was said. Obviously I can’t swear when I talk to you guys,” recalled Thornton after the Bruins’ 3-0 win. “There was some stuff said that I am not happy about. I am going to find out who it was and I will deal with it in my own way.”

Thornton noted that referee Don Van Massenhoven was also angered by the talk coming from the Blackhawks bench. Unfortunately for Thornton, he wasn’t allowed to return to the game and avenge the trash talk because the doctors were worried about the cut re-opening. Nonetheless, he was on his feet after the game and hoping that he wouldn’t have to miss any time with another game coming up Thursday.

“I’m fine. I guess I was lucky,” he said. “It could’ve been a little bit lower and could’ve been on my eye. And no headache, no concussion, no nothing. I mean, it’s throbbing a little bit from getting a lot of stitches in there.”

Although his forehead looked like it could be opened with a zipper, Thornton said this wasn’t his most serious injury because he’s had high sticks land closer to his eye. If need be, he’ll actually wear a visor to protect the cut until it’s healed properly, although you have to figure the Bruins will proceed with caution now that there’s not much to play for and they need Thornton healthy for the playoffs.

Some time off from hockey would give Thornton a chance to polish up his lyrical stylings.