Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘We’re still in shock’ following Game 7 loss to Canadiens
|05.16.14 at 10:43 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to discuss the B’s season-ending loss to Montreal in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series, as well as his future in Boston. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The Canadiens broke through with the game’s first goal from Dale Weise just 2:18 into what was generally considered an ugly opening period for the Bruins in their 3-1 loss Wednesday. Thornton was on the ice for the goal.
“That goal against 2 1/2 minutes in, kind of, didn’t take the passion away, but they’re a good team,” Thornton said. “They’re a tough team to battle back against. We can’t give them that goal. It was a bunch of errors that led up to it, but it was Game 7, you don’t want to be battling from behind 2 1/2 minutes into the game.”
Thornton said the locker room was quiet after the game and that he’s still in disbelief over the outcome.
“We’re just disappointed. We’re still in shock, I think. We planned on winning it,” he said. “We planned on going until the end, winning it all. We’re just as in shock as everyone else, if not more.”
Asked to rank the most significant factors in the series, Thornton put the play of goaltender Carey Price, who made 29 saves in Game 7 to cap off an impressive seven-game stretch, and the Canadiens’ role players ahead of Montreal’s speed and quickness.
“I don’t think [speed and quickness] was the reason,” Thornton said. “We didn’t bury enough of our chances. We had ample opportunities to bury it. … A little bit of puck luck, a little bit of timing and I think it could’ve been different, but it wasn’t. They won, they move on. We don’t, we drown in our sorrows.”
With the Bruins’ season coming to a disappointing end, Thornton, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, anticipates some changes being made to the roster.
“I talked about it before the game that we had a special group,” Thornton said. “You never know what’s going to happen. It’s maybe the last time for us to be together.
“Afterwards, same thing, especially when you don’t win you know there’s going to be some changes. There’s a lot of expectations. I was definitely aware of it.”
Thornton hopes to return to the Bruins next season, but he isn’t sure whether or not he will.
“I don’t know. I hope so,” he said. “We have meetings today, so I’m sure the topic will come up with [Peter Chiarelli]. I’ll probably have a little bit better sense. This is new for me. … I’m not 100 percent sure how this works, but I’m sure it’ll be talked about today.”
Thornton made headlines after Game 5 when he was caught squirting water into the visor of Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, but he doesn’t think that will have an impact on whether or he returns next year.
“I don’t think so. It’s amazing that this turned into a thing, being that it happens all the time,” Thornton said. “I think [Subban] said he was squirted twice. I only got him once. Someone else on the Bruins bench did it a couple seconds before me, I just got caught doing it.
“It’s happened to me. It happens all the time.”
Thornton has no plans to retire if he can’t come to an agreement with the Bruins.
“I’m going to play until they rip the skates off me,” Thornton said. “My body feels good. It’s remarkable that I’m still feeling good at this age. I’m not going to waste it.
“I’m hoping we can come to an agreement. This is home now. Whatever happens, I’m going to be back here, do a lot of charity work. I love this city and I enjoy doing all that stuff. We’ll see what happens. It’s tough to speculate.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On Weise claiming that Bruins forward Milan Lucic threatened him in the handshake line after Game 7: “No one has ever said it to me, but I’ve seen it happen before. Not too many people are going to threaten my life, I think, but it happens,” he said. “Emotions are very raw when you’re going through. It’s very hard to shake hands at the end of a series when you just went to war, especially when you’re really disappointed.
“It happens. I don’t get why he had to talk about it afterwards. I’m a big believer that things happen on the ice. Let it go. Go on.”
On whether or not Zdeno Chara appeared hurt or off his game during the series: “He did a pretty good job all series shutting those guys down. I don’t think enough people give that team the credit they deserve. They’re a really good hockey team. He plays [big minutes] every night, there’s going to be some occasions where you play that much you’re going to be a little tired out there. Everyone thinks he’s not human but he actually is. We used to joke about plugging him in at night, but he is a specimen, and I think no matter who you are, we lean on him and there’s going to be times where he’s a little tired. Nobody can do what he does.”
On whether or not other players were injured during the series: “I’m not sure. We don’t talk about it too much. If you have some injuries, you play through it. It’s the playoffs. I’m sure there were injuries. I don’t really pay attention when we’re done. I don’t understand — what comes out, what doesn’t — the way they go about it. Maybe there will be some things. I’m not 100 percent sure. If you can put the skates on, you can go.”