Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘It’s tough this time of year to retaliate’ against Matt Cooke
|06.03.13 at 10:44 am ET|
With usual suspect Matt Cooke not being suspended for his Saturday night hit against Adam McQuaid, there is an expectation that the Bruins will try to retaliate against Cooke. However, Thornton downplayed that possibility.
‘It’s tough this time of year to retaliate,’ Thornton said. ‘You don’t want to be the reason that you lose a game in the playoffs. Everything is just worth so much more this time of year, especially how far along we are in the playoffs. It gets more important to keep your composure.
‘This hit was a little bit different [than the one on Marc Savard], obviously, and if need be I’m pretty sure Adam McQuaid can take care of himself. He is a pretty big, tough guy.’
Mark Madden, a sports talk radio host at 105.9 The X in Pittsburgh, said the Bruins did not immediately retaliate when Cooke checked Savard in the head on March 7, 2010, is because Savard was disliked in the Bruins locker room. Thornton denied that claim.
‘Matt Cooke got kicked out of that game with Savvy years ago [actually, Cooke was not penalized at all]. The people that were on the ice with Savvy — a couple of them didn’t see what happened and I think a couple of them couldn’t get there in time. It was like Michael Ryder, who I don’t think ever had a fight in the NHL. Then there was three minutes left in the game, if I’m not mistaken [actually 5:37], so you can’t go out there and jump anyone either because it’s a $10,000 fine for you and a $10,000 fine for the coach and a $20,000 fine for the team — I don’t know what the exact numbers are but there are a lot of rules in place that stop you from gooning it up at the end of the games. They’re just trying to clean up the game.
“So, it wasn’t because Savvy was disliked. It was just at what time it went and who with that incident.’
One player who did fight Saturday night was Patrice Bergeron, who dropped the gloves with Evgeni Malkin after the second period. Bergeron lost the fight and got a bloody face, but Thornton said he did not have much of a chance to win it once Malkin pulled his jersey over his head.
‘His jersey came over his head really quickly and there is nothing you can do when that happens,’ Thornton said. ‘You can’t see anything, kind of the old-school way, I guess. He did a good job getting in there. He didn’t back down. I know Malkin is not known as a tough guy, but he still is about five inches taller than him. Any time anyone gets in there, it’s not an easy job to do, so I definitely congratulated him.’
While the Bruins won Game 1, Tyler Seguin and the third line was held off the scoreboard once again. The line has a combined five points in the playoffs, including a goal and three assists from Seguin. Still, Thornton said he thought the third line was better Saturday night.
‘Seguin was good last game. His line, they were skating,” Thornton said. “I know we have talked about him before and he is judged on production more than anybody, but their line was probably one of our best in the first period [Saturday] night. They were probably the only line that had some offensive zone time. So I just hope they go in for them eventually because they have been playing better lately.
On the Sidney Crosby-Zdeno Chara confrontation at the end of the second period: “I don’t know what was being said; I didn’t ask Z, either. Z is one of a couple of guys in this league that I wouldn’t want to fight. So, I don’t recommend it for anybody. … He’s as big and strong as it gets. He actually fought a lot when he was younger. So, he knows how to do it, too.”
On the Penguins being physical: “They’re a physical team. I think a lot of people — not in the room, we expected it — but I think a lot of people may have said they were surprised how physical they are. It wasn’t a surprise to us. All of their star players make sure they finish their checks. That trickles all the way down to their fourth-liners and fifth and sixth defenseman, everyone’s physical on their side. I think they get built up as such a skilled team that people forget how hard they battle.”
On Tuukka Rask being composed: “He is a very competitive person. He only loses it when he feels like he has let somebody down himself. Otherwise in the net, though, during games he is very composed. I’ve said it many times, he is a calming influence for us because we know what we are getting out of him day in and day out. He has been pretty spectacular so far.”
On not letting down in Game 2: “I don’t think you’re satisfied until you have four wins in a series. I guess we technically have taken away home-ice advantage now, but you need a lot more than one win to win a series. We are looking at getting that second one.”