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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Now I go back to playing the way I played the last 600 games’

01.02.14 at 10:04 am ET
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Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning for the first time since receiving a 15-game suspension last month, and the Bruins enforcer acknowledged he “messed up” and is eagerly awaiting his return to the team on Jan. 11. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Thornton was punished for grabbing Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, pulling him down and punching him during a game on Dec. 7. Orpik was knocked out and had to miss eight games while recovering from the concussion.

It was the first suspension of Thornton’s career, and he hopes it won’t affect his reputation.

“I messed up. I know that,” Thornton said. “I talked about it the other day: I’m not going to let it define me. It’s a mistake I made after 600 games playing right on the line. To be completely honest, doing my job is not an easy one, as far as riding the line.

“It’s tough to talk about because I know I messed up, but I plan on playing a couple more years and playing within the rules. The outcome wasn’t was expected, either. A very unfortunate set of circumstances, why I messed up, it can happen. Yeah, the money sucks, the games really suck. But I’m going to put it behind me now and move on.”

Thornton said he was limited in how much he can discuss the appeal process, but he made it clear he still believes the suspension that league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed out — and commissioner Gary Bettman backed upon appeal — was too long.

“It’s tough for me to talk about, because we’re legally not allowed. There’s a provision in our CBA that I can’t really bad-mouth the decision,” Thornton said. “But I definitely thought that 15 was a little excessive. How many games? I don’t know. It’s not my job. And I know it’s not an easy job to assess those things. But I thought that being the lengthiest suspension he’s ever handed out was a little bit much for my first-time offense, I guess.”

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Read More: Brad Marchand, Brooks Orpik, Loui Eriksson, Shawn Thornton

Team USA Olympic roster announced; former Bruins Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler make team

01.01.14 at 5:14 pm ET
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The 2014 USA Olympic hockey roster was announced Wednesday following the conclusion of the Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.

As expected, no Bruins made the team, though former B’s Phil Kessel and Blake Wheeler did. Wheeler made the team over Bobby Ryan, who is perhaps the biggest name left off the team. The roster is as follows:

Forward: David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, James van Riemsdyk, Blake Wheeler

Defense: John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter

Goalie: Jonathan Quick, Ryan Miller, Jimmy Howard

Ten women with local ties named to U.S. Olympic hockey team

01.01.14 at 4:06 pm ET
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Ten women with local ties were named to the U.S. Olympic team during the second intermission of Wednesday’s Winter Classic. Harvard led the way among local colleges with four players (two current, two former) making the team, including 2007 graduate Julie Chu, who is appearing in her fourth Olympics. Five Massachusetts natives made the team.

Here is the full list of U.S. players with local ties:

-G Molly Schaus – Natick, Mass. – Boston College ’11
-D Kacey Bellamy – Westfield, Mass. – New Hampshire ’09
-D Michelle Picard – Taunton, Mass. – Harvard junior
-D Josephine Pucci – Pearl River, N.Y. – Harvard ’13
-F Alex Carpenter – North Reading, Mass. – Boston College junior
-F Kendall Coyne – Palos Heights, Ill. – Northeastern junior
-F Julie Chu – Fairfield, Conn. – Harvard ’07
-F Meghan Duggan – Danvers, Mass. – Wisconsin ’11
-F Lyndsey Fry – Chandler, Ariz. – Harvard senior
-F Kelli Stack – Brooklyn Heights, Ohio – Boston College ’11

The team’s full roster can be found here.

Dougie Hamilton and Carl Soderberg near return, Loui Eriksson still not close

01.01.14 at 1:15 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

Both Dougie Hamilton and Carl Soderberg are possibilities for Thursday’s game against the Predators. As such, the Bruins sent forward Nick Johnson back to Providence on Wednesday.

Hamilton, who has not played since Dec. 8 due to a lower-body injury, has been given the “full go” by the team’s medical staff and is “certainly a possibility” for Thursday’s game, according to B’s head coach Claude Julien.

Julien added that Soderberg has also been cleared and “should be in the lineup” against Nashville. The 28-year-old practiced Wednesday wearing a third-line jersey. Soderberg has missed the last two games with concussion symptoms but said Wednesday that he did not have a concussion.

‘€œNo, it was not a concussion,” Soderberg said. “I was fine. Yeah, I’€™m all set to go.’€

Loui Eriksson was also on the ice for Wednesday’s practice, but he wore a green jersey (which are usually only used designate extra players) and did not take contact. Julien said that Eriksson, who is working his way back from his second concussion of the season, is “still a ways away” from returning to Boston’s lineup.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Carl Soderberg, Dougie Hamilton, Loui Eriksson,

Claude Julien watches his Bruins implode due to ‘self-inflicted’ sloppiness

01.01.14 at 1:26 am ET
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There were bad bounces Tuesday night. There were highly questionable calls that went against them in the second and third periods.

But in the end, the real reason the Bruins blew a 3-1 lead to the bottom-feeding Islanders on Tuesday evening was a lack of discipline. The Bruins took penalty after penalty, and on Tuesday night, their penalty kill couldn’t erase the mistakes. They allowed four power play goals in eight New York chances in a 5-3 loss to the Islanders at TD Garden.

“I think when we took the 3-1 lead [in second period] we kind of relaxed and they came back hard and they kind of got the momentum back and we couldn’€™t regain it,” Claude Julien said. “They made their own breaks and they made their breaks by getting some good bounces and got themselves back in the game but in the third period, they were the better team, again. We lost because I think it was, like you said, probably self-inflicted. We took a lot of ill-advised penalties that at one point caught up to us and I didn’€™t think our penalty kill obviously was very good tonight.

“A lot of things I didn’€™t like tonight. Obviously our penalty kill wasn’€™t very good, some of the decision making, even again, we talked about our forecheck ‘€“ we were late, we weren’€™t winning battles, they dominated the battle area ‘€“ and when you start losing those kind of things, to our team it’€™s certainly not a good sign.”

What did he see from the penalty kill that made it so ineffective?

“Sloppiness,” Julien said. “You guys got your answer.

Then the subject turned to Tuukka Rask, the victim of shoddy penalty-killing Tuesday. Rask, it was pointed out to Julien, has allowed eight goals in his last two games.

“I don’€™t evaluate players just to ‘€“ you guys can evaluate him the way you want,” a curt Julien said. “All I know is that he’€™s been a real great goaltender for us and players sometimes have good games, they have so-so games, and I’€™m certainly not going to throw him under the bus with everything he’€™s done for us so I’€™ll leave it at that.

“Bad PK tonight. I’€™m not going to start analyzing the game here guys. You guys can do that. I have enough of that to do on my own.”

What caused the high amount of penalties?

“Well I mean if we’€™re going to talk penalties here you’€™re going to have to be specific. What I mean is that, some of them I thought were really bad penalties on our part. Other ones, I don’€™t agree with the [Milan] Lucic penalty at the end.

“To me that’€™s a battle, to me that’€™s a battle and that’€™s what I mean. We can discuss that. To me, I don’€™t agree with those calls. They were made but there were some that, again, Lucic’€™s penalty at center ice and [Brad] Marchand‘€™s, some of those penalties are penalties that ended up hurting us a lot on the road so we have to take ownership of that.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, New York Islanders, NHL

New Year’s reso-losin’: Bruins PK can’t keep up with penalties vs. Islanders

12.31.13 at 9:44 pm ET
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The Bruins allowed four power-play goals as the Islanders handed them a 5-3 loss Tuesday night at TD Garden.

John Tavares scored 32 seconds into the third period — the Islanders’ only even-strength goal on the night — to break the 3-3 tie and added a power play tally at 13:17 to make it 5-3. The goal capped a four-goal run that saw them come back from a 3-1 deficit.

David Krejci put home his own rebound for the only goal of the first period, and though Frans Nielson tied it on the power play at 5:56 of the second period, Patrice Bergeron and and Daniel Paille scored within 25 seconds of one another to make it 3-1. Bergeron’s goal came from the high slot on the power play, with Paille tipping a Zdeno Chara shot from the point.

Things went downhill from there, as Torey Krug took a bad boarding penalty to set up an Islanders power play goal in which Nielson fired a puck that had bounced off Chara’s skate past Tuukka Rask. The Bruins were able to kill off an ill-advised Milan Lucic cross-checking penalty, but the Islanders got their third power goal of the game with three seconds left in the second period during a Rask delay of game penalty.

It was the second game this season in which the Bruins allowed four power play goals. The B’s also surrendered four power-play tallies to the Devils on Oct. 26.

The Bruins, who should resolve to not play like they did Tuesday in 2014, will return to action Thursday at TD Garden against the Predators.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins spent far more time on the penalty kill than they would have liked in the second period, as Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug, Milan Lucic and Tuukka Rask all took penalties in the second period. None of them were anything to write home about, though Rask’s delay of game penalty for sending the puck over the glass can be chalked up to bad luck.

In particular, Krug’s boarding penalty (taken right in front of an official) and Lucic’s cross-check to Colin McDonald were the most avoidable. Brad Marchand using his stick to slam Ryan Strome into the boards wasn’t a great idea either.

- Lucic was not a happy camper when he was given a boarding minor, an unspportsmanlike conduct minor and a 10-minute misconduct at 16:03 of the third.

- The Bruins were victims of some bad bounces and strange goals, and oddly enough Zdeno Chara was on the ice for the first four goals against. Only Nielson’s second goal could be directly traced back to the captain, but it was still unusual to see No. 33 out there for so many goals against.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Krejci remains very productive at TD Garden, with five goals and seven assist for 12 points in his last nine home games.

- With Bergeron’s 10th goal of the season, the Bruins now have four 10-goal-scorers. They consist of Reilly Smith (14), Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic (12), and Bergeron. Of the top-10 scoring teams in the league, the Blackhawks and Coyotes lead the way with six players with 10 goals, while the Blues, Ducks and Sharks have five.

It appeared that Chara (nine goals) also had his 10th when Paille’s goal was initially credited to the Bruins captain, but there was a scoring change made between the second and third period.

- The Bruins lucked out on a near-goal by the Islanders in the first period. After Rask made a toe save and fell backwards without knowing where the puck was, Cal Clutterbuck put the puck in the net, but the whistle had already been blown.

Zdeno Chara to play Tuesday

12.31.13 at 12:41 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Islanders after missing Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury.

While there is no word on what kept Chara out Saturday, he was able to practice Monday and took part in Tuesday’s morning skate. Afterwards, he said that he doesn’t feel the injury will limit him once he’s back on the ice.

“I wouldn’t want to go out there and be kind of a weak link,” Chara said. “I feel that I can still contribute and play my game.”

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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