Shawn Thornton on D&C: Bruins want to ‘ride into this two-week break on a high’
|02.05.14 at 1:44 pm ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about Tuesday night’s game against the Canucks, coaching in the NHL and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Thornton was pleased with winning on Tuesday, but he said that the usual intensity for the rivalry wasn’t there.
“It’s been a couple of years,” Thornton said, referring to the Bruins’ win in the Stanley Cup finals in 2011. “They’re coming off back-to-back games, too. [The Canucks] just played in Detroit, so maybe not as much of an energy level for them, and I think they had lost three or four in a row, too. Think they have their own stuff going on internally.”
Despite the Canucks’ off night, Thornton said the Bruins did what they do best.
“We’re more focused on what we do, but it might have taken from it a little bit,” Thornton said. “When you’re up by a couple goals to start, I guess really running around and creating the emotion, you could be playing with fire. … You’re in control of the game, you just want to keep control of the game the way it is.”
With the win against the Canucks, the Bruins have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. Thornton credits focus as a big reason for their success.
“Yeah, things are going well,” Thornton said. “We kind of broke it down about 10 games before the Olympic break that we wanted to ride into this two-week break on a high, and I think we’ve done a good job of that for the last seven, eight games. That’s still our goal, we’re pretty good at not looking at the long-term board, just taking it game to game and sometimes segment to segment.”
Thornton is focused on the last two games before the Olympic break, wanting to finish the stretch off on a positive note.
“We’ll play until Saturday and hopefully win these next couple of games,” Thornton said. “It’s a couple of good teams, and then we’ll move on to our break and then get refocused after the break. I think having this break helps for keeping you focused through January and February when usually you would have the winter blues a little bit.”
According to Thornton, one of the biggest reasons for the team’s success has been the exceptional play from the top lines.
“I think both our top lines have really been clicking lately,” Thornton said, adding: “There’s such special talent that you see that stuff at practice all the time. Whether it always translates into a game or not, it’s hit and miss, but I think that the majority of the time you see those guys.”
Thornton added that it all starts with productive practices, something he feels the team has had since last year.
“We’re pretty good about working in practice. Most of our guys, last year all of our guys worked really hard in practice and that starts from [Patrice Bergeron], [Milan Lucic], [Jarome Iginla], those guys kind of set the example and everyone else follows suit.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On a coach in the NHL players want to play for: “I think Joel Quenneville from Chicago is considered a fairly good players coach anyways, the guys want to go to war for him. As much as, I think, [John] Tortorella gets a tough time for being … I know his players, he demands a lot from his guys, but he always has their backs, too. There’s something inspiring about that, too, I guess.”
On what it takes to be a coach: “It’s not an easy job, I’m sure you’re, like you said, you still are the boss and you have to hold everyone accountable. You have to be, as a coach, ready to put people in their place and even when it’s … tough results. At the same time, you want to be able to relate to your players, too. I don’t think it’s an easy job at all.”
On coaching one day: “I don’t know, maybe? I don’t want to completely write it off, you never know where life is going to take you. The only reason I wouldn’t want to, I guess, would be the insecurity of the job, not knowing where you’re going to be next. I went through that for a lot of years, and it’s not fun when you’re moving from city to city and city, and you’re not sure how long you’re going to be there. I guess that would be the only thing stopping me, but I enjoy the game, I enjoy thinking the game, I really like that part of it.”
One guy in practice that makes everyone go “Wow”: “It’s Tukka [Rask]. No one can score on him, it drives me nuts. … He stops everything, even little shooting drills. It’s really hard to get one by him. It’s at the point now where at pregame skates I just shoot on whoever the other goalie is because I’m sick of getting stopped by Tukka.”
On Johnny Boychuk‘s recent play: “He played good last game. I think he’s really really physical. I think he’s such a big, physical guy that when he plays that way the other stuff really comes to him. It’s fun to watch.”