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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘You focus on winning tomorrow’

05.09.14 at 11:05 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday following Thursday’s overtime win against the Canadiens in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins are 2-2 in their series with Montreal after Matt Fraser scored in overtime to give Boston a 1-0 win Thursday night. The series will return to TD Garden for Game 5 on Saturday.

“It is a three-game series,” Thornton said of the rest of the semifinals, “but I think you look at it, honestly, just as tomorrow and you focus on winning tomorrow. I think if you start looking at, ‘Oh, we’ve got to get two out of three, got to win both at home,  you just start — all focus should be on the first period tomorrow, then the second period, then the third period.

“That’s how I approach it. That’s how our team approaches it and that’s why we’ve been pretty good in the playoffs the last few years.”

The Bruins have struggled with puck luck as several of their shots have hit the post in this series.

“[It’s] eight, nine times now?” Thornton said. “Keep saying to yourself the next one’s going to go in, the next one’s going to go in, I guess. It has been a lot of ringing it off the bar. I think three last game? Carl [Soderberg], [Reilly Smith] and [Jarome Iginla] had a couple the game before. 

“You hope the hockey gods start letting those go in for you.”

The Bruins’ first line in particular has struggled to find the back of the net in the series.

“The effort’s there,” Thornton said. “It’s not like they’re just coasting around. The pucks are going to start going in for them. They’re too good for them not to.”

Following are might highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

On surprises from this series: “I thought there’d probably be a few more penalties. Both teams are staying really disciplined, though, and I think the last two games, the refs have done a really good job of not calling the trivial stuff and just letting us play and letting us sort out the game, and they’ve been good hockey games. I’m all for it.”

On the Bruins’ stamina: “I know about us, we talk about it constantly as a group to make sure in the second period when it’s a longer game to make sure — don’t turn pucks over at the blue, don’t turn pucks over at the red so our D can get their changes because you don’t want them caught out there for three, four minutes.

“The guys put a lot of work in during the offseason. I’d be hard pressed to say there’s another team that comes in as good of shape after the summer off. You look around the room and you see guys that come to our team via trade and stuff, I think they’re kind of like, “Wow. These guys really take care of themselves.’ … We’re not a team where [Claude Julien] is blowing the whistle, down and back. I can’t remember him ever doing that to us. Our strength coach and basically the guys themselves take it upon themselves to make sure they’re in really good shape.”

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