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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Guys are built not to take a night off’

Bruins forward Shawn Thornton [1] joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning and discussed the heartbreak of last season’€™s Stanley Cup [2] finals, the optimism he has for this year and his relationship with Red Sox [3] players.

Boston began the regular season 2-0 with a pair of victories at home last week. The Bruins beat the Lightning 3-1 last Thursday, then the Red Wings 4-1 last Saturday.

‘€œIt’€™s only been two games, but you can tell the personalities in the room, that guys are built not to take a night off,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œWe might not be at our best every night, but I think that guys get in there wanting to show up and play every night. That might sound like it’€™s easy to do and you should do it, but not everyone’€™s built like that. But I think that the guys we brought in, and the guys who were already here, and the guys we kept are definitely built that way.’€

Looking back at last season’s Cup finals, the Bruins blew a 2-1 lead with just over a minute remaining in the third period of Game 6 vs. the Blackhawks on June 24, a loss that still stings for Thornton.

‘€œNo, it’€™ll never be over,’€ Thornton said when asked when the hangover from the postseason ends. ‘€œI’€™ll be thinking about it for years to come, but it’€™s more of a motivator than a hangover, you get that close and it stings.’€

Less than three months removed from its gut-wrenching loss to Chicago, Boston made significant changes to its lineup. Forwards Tyler Seguin [4] and Nathan Horton [5] are gone, replaced by former Penguin Jerome Iginla and former Star Loui Eriksson, while youngsters Reilly Smith — acquired via trade from Dallas along with Erikkson this offseason — and Jordan Caron have taken on elevated roles.

‘€œWe’€™ve got a group of guys that have been around for seven or eight years, and we know how important that is to make people feel welcome. So, coming into our room, you’€™d probably have to ask them, but I’€™d like to think that it’€™s a fairly easy transition, you come in with open arms,’€ said Thornton.

The NHL [6] implemented a new rule regarding fighting this season. Any player who removes his helmet before the start of a fight will receive a two-minute penalty in addition to the five-minute penalty for fighting.

‘€œI’€™m not a fan, I’€™m really not,’€ said Thornton, Boston’s enforcer. ‘€œObviously I’€™m a little biased, but it’€™s seven minutes for fighting now if a guy has a visor because everyone’€™s going to take their helmet off. And I think when you take the helmet off you take away from the player safety that everyone’€™s preaching, so I think it’€™s counterproductive.’€

The Red Sox [3] beat the Rays on Tuesday night and moved on to the ALCS where they’€™ll face either the Tigers or Athletics.

‘€œWe’€™re big supporters of the Sox, pretty much any local sports team I guess,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œYou get to meet a lot of those guys when you’€™re out and about in town so there’€™s a lot of crossover, they support us, we support them. I’€™ve been here for seven years, kind of turned me from a Jays fan to a Sox fans, I’€™m not going to lie.’€

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page [7]. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins [8].