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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Those defensemen are playing unbelievable’

05.20.13 at 10:16 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the B’s-Rangers series.

The Bruins took a 2-0 series lead with Sunday’s 5-2 victory, as Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers continued to play below par.

“I think they had their chances, to tell you the truth,” Thornton said. “I think the second period, it could have went either way. We were fortunate to get out of that with the lead. It could have been a different game if Tuukka [Rask] didn’t stand on his head for us in the second period.”

The big story of this series has been the play of the Bruins’ young defensemen, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton, who have sparked the Bruins with their fresh legs.

“Those defensemen are playing unbelievable,” Thornton said. “Torey Krug, obviously — not just the goal and the assist, those are great plays — but there were some plays he made that probably went unnoticed during the game that made our lives as forwards a heck of a lot easier. Some of the vision he has and some of the plays he made look easy, but they weren’t really easy plays, especially in the neutral zone.”

Thornton said he hasn’t thought much about what will happen when injured defensemen Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference and Wade Redden are ready to return.

“I don’t know what the timeline is for those guys, but I’m sure Claude [Julien] will have some decisions to make once everyone’s healthy,” Thornton said. “Not easy decisions, I’m sure, but good decisions. It’s nice when you have that many options. It’s better than the opposite, when you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, we can’t find anyone to put in the lineup.’ ”

As for the possibility of hard feelings if a veteran sits in favor of a rookie, Thornton insisted it won’t be issue.

“Not in our locker room,” he said. “I’ve been that veteran guy squeezed out of the lineup for the playoffs. It’s all about winning this time of year. There’s no time for any personal feelings or agendas. It’s all about the team. We have a good bunch of guys in that room, and everyone’s aware of it.”

Rangers coach John Tortorella continues to raise some eyebrows with biting comments about his own players. Thornton said he doesn’t have an issue with that style of coaching.

“I don’t know enough about him,” Thornton said. “I don’t know anyone on the Rangers, really, or in Tampa when he was there. I think he’s pretty funny. Some of his comments, I like. He demands the most out of his players. I think if you show up to work every day, he wouldn’t have a problem with you. So, I think I’d be all right under him, I’m assuming.”

Rangers forward Derek Dorsett fought Gregory Campbell in the third period Sunday, with the Bruins holding a three-goal lead.

Said Thornton: “[Dorsett's] a tough guy. He’s a competitor. And so is Soupy. Soupy’s always game to go. I’m very fortunate to play with that guy. He’s helped me out on many occasions in those instances. He had a great game last night, obviously, he got the camo jacket because of it.”

Added Thornton: “[Campbell] could have said no. That’s his call. But he felt like standing up to that guy at the moment was the right thing to do. Obviously, I’ll never criticize anyone for getting their gloves off. I appreciate that role probably more than anyone.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Gregory Campbell, John Tortorella, Shawn Thornton, Torey Krug
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