He’s been out more than a month while serving a 15-game suspension, so you know that Shawn Thornton is all kinds of restless about getting back into the swing of things for the Boston Bruins. The Bruins enforcer is officially cleared to step back into the lineup for Saturday night’s game against the San Jose Sharks, and hopes to be able to help Boston snap a two-game losing funk after difficult defeats at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.

“It’s been a tough five weeks, but it’s progressed,” said Thornton to CSNNE. “The first few weeks were a little depressing while not knowing where things were going, but things progressed after we know the [suspension] number.

“Now it’s just focusing on [the Sharks]. I’m happy to be back. That’s for sure.”

The good thing for Thornton now that he’s back playing: he can get back to what made him a respected, honest NHL enforcer in one of the hockey roles where it’s most difficult to toe the line. He hopes the 15-year body of work can trump a regrettable incident where he dragged Brooks Orpik down from behind, and knocked him unconscious on the ice with a couple of gloves punches to the head.

“I messed up. It was a one-time thing that happened in the 500, 600 games that I’ve played. I’m going to play exactly the way I played before this in the previous 11 years in my career,” said Thornton. “I’ll continue to stick up for my teammates, I’ll continue to bring energy and I’ll continue to be a leader. I just want to play productive minutes, and go back to what I was doing before all this happened.”

That’s the good thing for the Bruins: they get a player back that holds his teammates accountable if he suspects there are any passengers, and sets the tone with his energy and work ethic on the ice. That can’t hurt coming off two losses to the Ducks and Kings where they were outscored by a 9-4 margin, and found themselves down by three-goal deficits before the Bruins got their game going.