Shawn Thornton on The Big Show: Bruins used Canucks’ comments as motivation
|06.20.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
Bruins forward and two-time Stanley Cup winner Shawn Thornton joined The Big Show Monday to review the Stanley Cup finals and the entire Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, check out The Big Show audio on demand page.
Following Game 7, rookie forward Brad Marchand said that he hated the Canucks given how “cocky” they were throughout the series. Thornton wouldn’t use Marchand’s words, but he did share the same feelings.
‘No, I mean I don’t want to talk bad about them and be a sore winner, but I will say some of the comments that were made and kind of the way everyone had us dialed in,’ he said. ‘They were planning the parade on Monday and they hadn’t even won the game yet. Stuff like that motivates the other team. We did a good job of toeing the line and not letting anything get out into the open. Even though we were a confident bunch as a group we weren’t out there talking about it as much.’
Even though Thornton’s line, the fourth line did not score much during the playoff run, Thornton knew what their role was and how it changed from series to series.
‘Our line, when we played over a certain amount we did a good job getting the puck deep, and creating energy,’ he said. ‘That’s our role. In different series’ our line was used in different ways. The Montreal series not as much, they are run and gun, the Philadelphia series we were used a little more and Tampa not as much again because they are built a little different, but that Vancouver series the first couple games they came out and were really physical, so our line did the same thing and we wanted to push that and be physical.’
Thornton did not play in the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, but was inserted into the lineup for Game 3.
‘Right before warm up I found out,’ Thornton said. ‘That was tough, I’m not going to lie. I thought he [Claude Julien] was going to make the change, but you are never 100 percent. I was ecstatic. I prepared like I was playing, but it’s different when you’re not sure. You’d rather know, but I guess it was a last minute decision and it worked out just fine.’
After going down dropping the first two games in Vancouver the Bruins knew that they weren’t out of it.
‘We knew we were in them, we were a goal away in each game,’ Thornton said. ‘We knew if we got back playing the way we needed to play we could win. We did a good job all year of not letting the highs get too high and the lows too low, and we did a really good job after that game of just focusing on the next game and the game after that. That was our main focus going into those games.’
Thornton made it well known just how important Tim Thomas was, and how you don’t want to make him mad.
‘He was unbelievable,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen some guys win before, but nothing like that. After the comments were made about pumping his tires, you could honestly see a look in his eye. I said to our goalie coach, ‘He may not let another goal in the rest of these playoffs.’ He’s remarkable, he’s a battler.
“Whenever somebody talks bad about him he really takes it upon himself to prove them wrong, whatever it may be. He was special, he deserved that trophy more than anybody.’
Saturday’s parade was a special day for all of the Bruins, giving them a day to thank the fans for their support.
‘It was an exciting, exciting parade,’ Thornton said. ‘The last hour of the parade I was on my feet getting the crowd going. A million people are down there to say thanks for doing what we’re paid to do anyway and what we dream of doing is pretty special.’
Thornton had won a cup before when he played with the Ducks in 2007 and was asked how winning this year compares with back in 2007.
‘I am not taking anything away from the fans there, they were great for me when I was there, but this has always been a whole different animal,’ he said. ‘The first one was awesome because it was my first one and I had just spent nine years in the minors. This one was equally as great, or even a little better because I have been around for four years and I’ve been in the community and met a lot of people and know how passionate people around here are.’
Thornton, and the Bruins had an idea back in February that they had a chance to be a real contender for the Stanley Cup.
‘After the road trip that we won seven games in a row after the trade deadline,’ he said. ‘We knew we had a special team and obviously there were some ups and downs throughout the playoffs. I think right then we had a really good team but also that took a little bit of adversity to show we had to play a certain brand of hockey.
[For us to try] run and gun, or dipsy-do or play east west, as much as everyone likes to play that way and it looks pretty, that’s not our game. We’re a north south team. We put pucks in the air, we control them and uses or strength and size and physicality and aggressiveness to wear a team down.’
Thornton was asked about what he plans on doing with the Cup when he gets his day with it, but he does not know what is plans are at this time.