|03.05.14 at 11:01 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about the NHL trade deadline, his 100th fight and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
With the NHL trade deadline looming, Thornton said that there hasn’t been as much discussion in the locker room because of the Olympic break.
“We haven’t really talked about it much this year,” Thornton said. “I think because there hasn’t been a lot of chatter with the Olympics, it took a lot of focus away from the deadline. Usually there’s a two-week buildup to it, to be completely honest. This year you came out of the Olympics six days later. So there hasn’t been a lot of talk.”
Thornton likes the team and is fine with the way it is, but he knows there could be players traded by Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
“We’re a pretty good team, but I know that Peter [Chiarelli] is always looking to improve,” Thornton said. “And you can always get better, so we’ll see what happens by 3 today.”
Added Thornton: “We all really like each other, we like the group we have. We’re a pretty tight-knit group. We’re still winning some hockey games this year, so I’m OK with it.”
During Tuesday night’s 4-1 victory over the Panthers, Thornton got into his 100th career fight. The fight with Krys Barch was initiated to spark the team and stick up for Milan Lucic, who fought Barch in the first period.
“We were kind of flat in the second period,” Thornton said. “Looch can handle himself, obviously, but I didn’t like that he went after Looch in the first shift. Krys Barch is a, he’s a really good guy. I played with him. … I actually kind of taught him how to fight 11 years ago in the minors.”
The Bruins’ top line of David Krejci, Jarome Iginla and Lucic performed very well on Tuesday with Krejci recording a hat trick and Iginla scoring the fourth goal. Thornton noted that the trio is unlike any other in the NHL.
“We rely heavily on those guys and they consistently perform,” Thornton said. “And it’s funny because if there’s one game where they don’t get a point it’s like the sky’s falling. Everyone’s chirping. They’ve been unbelievable for us all year. … They bring things to the table that other teams don’t have. You don’t have two power forwards that are that tough and score.”
|03.04.14 at 11:59 pm ET|
Tim Thomas couldn’t resist.
The opportunity to make a joke about the goaltender who was the butt of all Boston jokes in 2011 fell right in his lap when Roberto Luongo was traded from Vancouver to Florida on Tuesday, hours before the Wednesday 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.
“I did have one good line that probably somebody else has already thought of: It looked like [Panthers GM] Dale [Tallon] went kicking some tires and found one that needed pumping,” Thomas laughed.
Thomas, of course, was referring to an infamous comment Luongo made during the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.
Asked about how Thomas was carrying the Bruins on his back during the Bruins’ Cup run, Luongo famously said, “I’ve been pumping his tires ever since the series started and I haven’t heard one nice thing he had to say about me.”
Thomas replied, “I didn’t realize it was my job to pump his tires.”
Now, the two goalies are teammates thanks to a surprising deal in which the Panthers acquired Luongo in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday afternoon. That wasn’t the only storyline of the trade as Luongo returns to the organization where he played from 2000-06.
For the record, Panthers GM Dale Tallon said he intends on keeping both goalies in Florida and rebuilding the franchise around them.
“It’ll be interesting, but you know what, I don’t know how things are going to work out, but assuming I’m staying in Florida, it’ll be interesting,” Thomas said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be fun.”
Thomas insisted there are no hard feelings with Luongo.
“No, not at all,” Thomas said. “I wasn’t an enemy with him even [in 2011]. I was so focused on playing and doing my job and that’s the way I was looking at it. So, yeah, we’re both pros, both been in the league a long time. I have a few more years on him, obviously, but we both have a lot of experience to bring to the team.
“Surprised, obviously, at first just like probably a lot of people who were caught off guard and didn’t see that one coming,” Thomas said. “But then I had to get ready to play the game against obviously a difficult team.”
Thomas, on a one-year deal with the Panthers, said he can get along with Luongo.
“Yeah, of course,” Thomas said. “He’s a good goalie and from everything I’ve heard about him he’s got good character. I don’t know what their plans are. I don’t really know anything at this point. I can’t say too much.”
While Tallon did say he plans on keeping both, that didn’t stop speculation that Florida would eventually trade Thomas before the deadline to a contender. Thomas was asked if he would like to be traded to a contender now that Luongo is in Florida.
“Yeah, but now I’ve got to see the situation and see what they’re thinking. I’d like to check in with Dale before I comment on anything,” Thomas said.
What does Claude Julien think of all of this from afar?
“We’ll see if that’s still the case [Wednesday}," Julien said with a wide grin. "Maybe I can comment on it [Wednesday] after the deadline. Fair enough? I know it’s a lot of tire pumping.”
|03.04.14 at 9:40 pm ET|
David Krejci had a hat trick for the B’s, with the first goal coming off a Tom Gilbert giveaway by the net at 7:29 of the first period. A Jarome Iginla goal at 11:01 of the period sent the B’s into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead, which Krejci added to in the second with a beauty of a shot from the high slot.
The Bruins were without Loui Eriksson, who was kept out of the lineup with what Claude Julien called a “minor issue.” Jordan Caron filled in for Eriksson and picked up the primary assist on Iginla’s goal. Caron fired a shot off Thomas’ mask off the rush, with Iginla getting the rebound and sending it under a diving Thomas’ glove.
Chad Johnson‘s shutout bid was broken up with 7:13 remaining in the game, when a lazy Brian Campbell backhander from the point went off Matt Bartkowski‘s stick and in. Johnson still picked up the win, improving to 12-4-1 on the season. Krejci registered an empty-netter with 13.3 seconds left.
The Bruins will next play Thursday against the Capitals, though the roster may look different after Wednesday’s trade deadline.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- With his hat trick showing Tuesday, Krejci now has 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) over his last 15 games.
- Shawn Thornton got in his 100th fight as a member of the Bruins when he dropped the gloves with Krys Barch in the second period. It was fitting that Thornton’s 100th dance partner with the B’s was Barch, as the two are no strangers to one another. The former AHL teammates have now fought each other eight times at the NHL level. Barch also fought Milan Lucic Tuesday.
- Torey Krug‘s ice time was back up after he played a season-low 12:50 in Sunday night’s game against the Rangers, a game that featured no Boston power plays. Krug played 15:07 Tuesday and nearly picked up a goal in the second period when a shot trickled through Thomas but was cleared by a Florida player before it went into the net.
- Johnson was rather shaky last Wednesday as Boston suffered a 5-4 overtime loss in its first game back from the break, so Tuesday’s victory marked an encouraging bounceback effort. He benefited from at least three hit posts Tuesday, but the Bruins will take a one-goal performance however they can get it.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Though Caron played well against the Panthers, he also took a pair of penalties. Caron was whistled for tripping Brandon Pirri in the first period and took a boarding penalty in the final seconds of the second period.
- Speaking of penalties, the Bruins didn’t have any power plays Tuesday and have only had one over their last two games. They’ve managed to score nine goals in that span and remain the best 5-on-5 team in the league, but it’s a lot easier to generate offense when you spend some actual time on the man advantage.
|03.04.14 at 4:41 pm ET|
According to Renaud Lavoie, the Canucks have traded Roberto Luongo to the Panthers.
‘ Renaud Lavoie (@LavoieRenaud) March 4, 2014
Luongo played five seasons in Florida before going to Vancouver, but the best storyline here is that it means he and Tim Thomas are now teammates. The showdown between the two became the central storyline in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, when the two combined for four shutouts in the seven-game series.
Luongo, who was overly complimentary of Thomas prior to the series, criticized Thomas’ style of play after Game 5 of the series. When his criticism made waves, Luongo famously said he had been pumping Thomas’ tires, while Thomas hadn’t complimented him.
“As far as Luongo goes, actually, all that did was give me confidence that his head was in the wrong place, because I was focused on stopping the puck and he was thinking about my style,” Thomas told WEEI.com the following season.
“I realized that I had an advantage over him,’ Thomas added. ‘’The challenge on my end was to keep that advantage.”
Goalie Jacob Markstrom is reportedly part of the package headed to Vancouver in the trade.
|03.04.14 at 4:08 pm ET|
Andrew MacDonald, a left-shot defenseman who is seventh in the league in time on ice and would have been a potential fit with the Bruins, has been traded from the Islanders to the Flyers, a source confirmed Tuesday. The trade was first reported by Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
The Islanders had previously sought a first-round pick for MacDonald, a free agent to be, but Philadelphia got him without surrendering a first-round pick.
#Isles get 2014 3rd rounder and a 2015 2nd rounder for MacDonald from the Flyers.
— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) March 4, 2014
MacDonald becomes the first of the bigger name left shot defensemen to move. Dallas traded injured righty Stephane Robidas to Anaheim earlier in the day.
|03.04.14 at 3:49 pm ET|
This one’s been out since late last month, but we didn’t come across it until it started making the rounds Tuesday.
|03.04.14 at 3:22 pm ET|
According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the Senators and defenseman Chris Phillips are moving closer towards common ground on the length of a potential contract extension.
The Senators and Chris Phillips have moved closer on term. #Sens
‘ Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) March 4, 2014
Phillips, 35, is in the final year of his contract and could be put on the trade market if he is not re-signed. The former first overall pick is acting as his own agent.
The Bruins are believed to be interested in his services, as he is a big and strong defenseman who could push Matt Bartkowski for his spot on the left side of Boston’s second pairing in the postseason, but he would likely only become available if the Senators feel they won’t be able to sign him before Wednesday’s trade deadline.
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