|Shawn Thornton on Sunday Skate: ‘I’m hoping [Bruins] absolutely tank because I want to make the playoffs, but I can’t see it’||02.15.15 at 11:56 pm ET|
Hours before the Panthers further closed in on the Bruins for what is currently the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Shawn Thornton joined Sunday Skate to discuss his team’s odds of catching the B’s. To hear the interview, click here.
With a shootout loss to the Blues Sunday, the Panthers improved to 24-19-12, bringing them within three points of the Bruins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have lost three straight games in what’s been a big step back for a team that won the Presidents’ Trophy last season. Thornton said he figured the Panthers would push for a spot, but he didn’t think the Bruins would fall to where they have.
“Honestly, I thought they’d be in the top three right now, to be completely honest,” Thornton said of the Bruins. “I did think that we’d be pushing for a playoff spot with the players we have, especially after being here. … I thought there’d be a couple other teams we’d be chasing, not them. Who knows? There’s still  games left. There’s a lot of hockey left.”
Florida could have surpassed the B’s by now, but they were losers in two straight entering Sunday’s game. Thornton said the Panthers themselves have “found ways to shoot [themselves] in the foot” of late, saying Florida hasn’t properly ‘taken advantage of the situation’ in front of them with the Bruins losing.
The longtime Bruin, who was not brought back in the offseason and signed a two-year deal with the Panthers, said he keeps in touch with his friends on the Bruins. Asked his thoughts on why so many players have underperformed, he said he’s watched “maybe five periods” of Bruins hockey this season.
“I can’t give you a definite answer of what’s going on there,” he said. “I don’t ask about that stuff. I don’t want to know.”
Despite the Bruins’ struggles, Thornton said he doesn’t expect them to go away this season.
“I’m hoping they absolutely tank because I want to make the playoffs, but I can’t see it happening,” he said with a laugh. “I can’t see it happening with the core group of guys they have there, the goaltending. They went through a lot of injuries earlier in the season, too. When you lose your top defenseman and your top centerman, I don’t know how many teams in the league can get through that.”
Thornton said that if the Bruins and Panthers were to meet in a series, the Bruins would hold the edge in experience over the young Panthers, whose top points leaders are 22 years old or younger.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Sunday Skate Live Chat, 8-10 a.m.||02.14.15 at 7:38 pm ET|
Should the Bruins still be buyers at the trade deadline? Should they be sellers? Discuss this and all other things Bruins and NHL with DJ Bean, Joe McDonald and Pete Blackburn from 8-10 a.m. on Sunday Skate.
Panthers forward Shawn Thornton joins the show at 9:30 a.m. Click here to listen to the show and click below to participate in the AT&T Live Chat, moderated by Pete Blackburn.
|Pierre McGuire on MFB: Bruins might need trade to shake things up||02.12.15 at 1:54 pm ET|
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB to preview the Bruins’ upcoming West Coast trip, and also to look at what might happen at the trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
With the Bruins losers of three of their last four games, and in fourth place in the Atlantic Division, McGuire feels the team might need to shake things up at the trade deadline.
“The Bruins are a team that might need to shake the tree,” said McGuire. “Not really hard so they lose a lot of the leaves on the tree, but shake it so the tree gets everybody’s attention. I do think there might be a tune out factor, or there could be a burnout factor — maybe some guys just need to be traded to get them a new leaf on life.”
“I wouldn’t mess with the depth of guys — I really wouldn’t,” he added. “I don’t think the depth guys are a problem. I think what they really need to do is add more offense. If you at it, this is a team that doesn’t have a 20-goal scorer on their roster. That is a little bit scary when you look at the depth they have down the middle. … When you have that kind of depth down the middle and you’re not getting scoring from the wingers in particular, that is problematic.”
The Bruins are set to begin a five-game road trip, beginning Friday night in Vancouver. McGuire feels this is a big stretch for the black and gold.
“They definitely have to go on a run here,” said McGuire. “I am telling you, this is the first time I can honestly tell you guys this … this is the first time the Bruins have to scoreboard watch.”
Over the last four games, the Bruins have scored just a total of eight goals. McGuire noted goal scoring has been one of the biggest issues this season.
“They are not scoring goals easily enough,” said McGuire. “There is some haphazard defensive play. There isn’t enough consistency for 60 minutes in their game. Tuukka Rask has this huge problem playing against the Montreal Canadiens — they are going to have to sort that out. There’s been a little bit of a lack of discipline. That was troubling the other night in that loss to Dallas — two short-handed goals against, that speaks to the lack of intensity and speaks to guys not paying attention to little details.
“This is the first time I will say this, because I am bullish on this team, I still like this team a lot, but this is the first time this year that they have to scoreboard watch and that is not a real comfortable thing for a team that is probably underachieving right now.”
|Sunday Skate Live Chat at 8 a.m.||02.07.15 at 6:51 pm ET|
Sunday Skate, WEEI’s new weekly hockey show hosted by DJ Bean and Joe McDonald, begins Sunday at 8 a.m.. To listen to WEEI live online, click here.
Sunday Skate will be an interactive show, with Pete Blackburn hosting a live chat in which listeners can participate throughout. Participants will be able to drive the show’s conversation while taking part in polls and anything else Blackburn digs up. Click below to join in. The chat will open shortly before the start of each show and will run through the duration of the two-hour program.
|Pierre McGuire on MFB: Bruins need ‘proven’ veteran who can score goals||02.05.15 at 1:50 pm ET|
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB after the Bruins’ loss to the Rangers Wednesday night, and to look ahead to their stretch of games before the trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
With the trade deadline approaching, McGuire feels the Bruins’ biggest need is a veteran presence on the first line who can score goals, and play with Milan Lucic and David Krejci. He feels the defense can be corrected on its own.
“I don’t know about the top four [defenseman], it’s a fair question,” McGuire said. “I think it is more pressure and get more consistent offense in the first line and insert with [Milan] Lucic and [David] Krejci, and this isn’t a knock on whomever they have tried there — whether it’s [Loui] Eriksson or Reilly Smith, whenever it be anybody, David Pastrnak — it doesn’t matter. I think they really need a veteran presence, a proven guy that can score goals in a first line situation and then the rest of the batting order kind of stabilizes itself.
“I think they can do it by committee on defense really because of the way the team plays. I think they need to get more run support with consistency, I think that is one of the reasons why they play so many one goal games, they are in so many close games, they just don’t have consistent run support for their defense and their goalie.”
“The one thing that stands out to me and not even being 19 years of age or pretty darn close to it, he can still dominate the puck,” said McGuire. “He made some pretty creative plays last night. It’s a hard league for kids that weigh 165-170 pounds to play in. I don’t see him tailing off. I think this will be a lot like what we saw with Tyler Seguin in the Bruins run to the Cup in , just because it took awhile for Tyler to get comfortable and once he got comfortable you saw what he did in the Tampa Bay series in particular.
|Pierre McGuire on MFB: Dougie Hamilton potential Norris Trophy winner||01.22.15 at 1:32 pm ET|
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB and talked about Dougie Hamilton, and also the Winter Classic between the Bruins and Canadians next January at Gillette Stadium. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The 21-year-old has started to come into his own in the league of late, totaling three points in his last four games. McGuire feels like he has a very strong potential in the league.
“As a potential Norris Trophy winner, which is the best defender in the league,” said McGuire. “He can dominate offensively. He’s a great first passer. … He skates better than Zdeno Chara, nobody in the league will even debate you on that. Usually in hockey defensemen don’t mature until they are 24 or 25, so he’s way ahead of the curve. I think the fact that he’s playing in such a stressful environment that they have in Boston it helps him that much more. I’ve always been a huge Dougie fan and I will remain one.”
The Bruins will host the Canadians next January at Gillette Stadium, which will be broadcasted on NBC. McGuire says it will be great for the network and also to have the game played in a football stadium.
“I just love the football venues — all the seats are great,” he said. “The noise just cascades down. It’s a phenomenal venue. We’re so excited to have two Original 6 teams in it. Two great market places and our ratings will go sky high, I really believe that.”
For more Bruins news, check out weei.com/bruins.
|Patrice Bergeron named to All-Star Game||01.11.15 at 8:00 am ET|
The selection is the first of Bergeron’s career. He leads the Bruins with 31 points and 21 assists.
Each team needed at least one representative for the contest. With Zdeno Chara not making the team, he will be unable to defend his title in the Hardest Shot competition, which he last won in 2012.
There has not been an All-Star Game in either of the last two seasons due to the lockout in 2013 and Olympics in 2014.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.