|Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘I think everybody wants [fighting] in the game’||12.04.13 at 9:49 am ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday for his weekly discussion, as the B’s prepare for a Thursday night game in Montreal against the Canadiens.
Thornton said players who join the Bruins should know how heated this rivalry can be before stepping onto the ice.
“You are expected to, but it probably took a game or three for me to actually really understand it,” he said. “Now I fully embrace it.”
Added Thornton: “You just get an appreciation for the deep-rooted history of hatred for each other. Being in that building and then coming into our building, there’s an energy level that you don’t really know about until you’re involved in it. I’m excited for our new guys to actually get a taste of it here.”
Despite the nastiness that sometimes has surrounded the rivalry, Thornton said he feels comfortable mingling with the locals while in the city.
“They’re very knowledgeable fans up there. They’re very passionate, obviously,” he said. “For the most part, they’re hockey fans. Even if they don’t like us, there might be some chirping and stuff, but no [more than that].”
There has been a movement to curtail fighting in hockey, but Thornton said he does not believe it will be banned from the game while he is playing.
“I think they want it in the game. I think everybody wants it in the game,” Thornton said. “But they’re kind of at a stage now with all the [concussion] stuff going on that the league’s been put in a position that they have to cover their own [butts] about it. I think that’s the biggest reason that you feel this sort of push towards I guess it being phased out a little. But I think it’s more about covering their own [butts] than anything else.”
|Daniel Paille on D&C: ‘We have a team that’s hungry’||10.02.13 at 8:15 am ET|
Bruins forward Daniel Paille joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning, the day before the B’s begin defense of their Eastern Conference championship by opening the season against the Lightning at Boston Garden, and talked about returning to the ice after last season’s exciting finish.
Although the Bruins lost the Stanley Cup finals to the Blackhawks with a heartbreaking Game 6 loss, Paille said he can look back now and feel proud of what the team was able to do.
“You had to appreciate what we did throughout the season with everything that happened to the city,” he said. “I think overall everyone was happy for our team and the way we played throughout the whole playoffs.”
The Bruins made some major adjustments to their lineup — most notably losing Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin and Andrew Ference, while bringing in Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson — and Paille said he expects the team to continue to be among the league’s elite.
“We count ourselves lucky that we feel like we have that capability to go to the finals every year,” Paille said. “Not every year is going to happen, but I think what makes us contend most every year — over the last few years, anyways — is that we have a team that’s hungry and wants to play and competes for each other. I think that goes a long way to making a championship team. We want to continue that trend, and hopefully we can keep that up. I’ve played eight years now in the NHL, and it’s tough to get there. I think the last two years that we’ve been there, I count myself fortunate for that.”
Added Paille: “With the guys that we lost and the guys that we brought in, I think it’s more the defensive style that I think our management was looking for in Jarome and Loui and especially having [Torey Krug], too. But at the same time, they bring that offensive capability that I think the other guys brought. So I think it will be a huge key for us going into the season, especially with two of them being hungry for the Cup.”
“Soupy, it takes a lot for him to stay down,” Paille said. “So for him to just limp around like that and barely able to skate, it says a lot about his character and the way he plays for us every day.”
Paiile is hosting a charity event to raise money for the Jimmy Fund on Monday at Tresca restaurant in the North End. For more information, go to jimmyfund.org. Listen to the complete interview below.
For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Shawn Thornton on M&M: Loss to Blackhawks ‘will sting for the rest of my life’||08.27.13 at 2:12 pm ET|
Bruins winger Shawn Thornton joined Mut & Merloni on Monday afternoon as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.
Thornton and his teammates soon will return to the ice and look to start another run to the Stanley Cup finals after losing to the Blackhawks in six games. This is the second short offseason for the Bruins in three years, following their Stanley Cup title in 2011.
“It’s different because we won last time. You get a little leeway when you win,” Thornton said. “I think back then we had 12 or 13 weeks. But we won, so let’s get ready. But when you lose, that taste is in your mouth and it’s like you’re rattled all summer and you want to prove a point. Everybody wants to be ready for Day 1.
“I think it’s tough, personally, mentally, to tell yourself that you played just as many games, just as long as the team that beat you, because it leaves such a sour taste in your mouth.”
Asked if would every be able to watch a replay of the heartbreaking, last-minute loss in Game 6, Thornton said, “No. Never. That one will sting for the rest of my life. I hope I win another one. And if I do, then I’ll be like, ‘Wow, I’ve got three rings; I should have had four.’ That’s how I look at it. I hate losing. That one stung.”
The Bruins had some turnover this offseason — including sending Tyler Seguin to the Stars for Louis Eriksson — but kept the core of their squad intact.
“The last four or five years we’ve had teams that can compete every year. I think management has done a really good job of keeping the nucleus together and bringing in pieces here and there to try and fit in the needs,” Thornton said. “Louis Eriksson supposedly — I haven’t played against him a ton because he’s on the West — but supposedly they say he’s one of the more underrated guys in the NHL, being in Dallas, not getting a lot of big-market notoriety. I’m excited to see this guy play.”
Thornton makes regular visits to patients at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute throughout the year to offer an emotional boost.
“It’s a feel-good moment,” he said. “We go over there for an hour, it’s an hour or two of our time. To see these kids and what they’re fighting through, their attitudes and how happy they are and they’re talking about how lucky they are and things are going well and all this stuff. Sometimes we complain because our [steak] strip on the private flight is medium-well. It puts a lot of things into perspective.
“Speaking for myself, I really enjoy it. But I know a lot of my teammates try and get over there as much as possible, too, because we really like it.”
For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Claude Julien named assistant coach for Team Canada at 2014 Olympics||07.22.13 at 10:45 am ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien was named an assistant coach for Team Canada at February’s Sochi Olympics.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will be the head coach — as he was in 2010 when Canada beat Team USA to win the gold in Vancouver — with Ken Hitchcock (Blues) and Lindy Ruff (Stars) also serving as assistants.
The NHL announced Friday that its players will be made available to play in the Olympics.
Julien, who has coached the Bruins since 2007, was an assistant to Marc Habscheid at the 2006 World Championships, where Canada finished fourth. Julien was the head coach of Canada’s national junior team that won the bronze medal at the U-20 World Championship in 2000.
|Don Cherry on D&C: Tyler Seguin ‘one step away from being a superstar’||07.08.13 at 10:55 am ET|
Hockey Night in Canada legend Don Cherry joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the Bruins’ trade of Tyler Seguin to the Stars.
Cherry remains high on Seguin, despite the Bruins losing patience with him.
“Something must have happened there to get rid of a kid like that,” Cherry said after reviewing Seguin’s statistics. “I’m sure he’s going to go to Dallas, he’s going to play center, and look out — I’m telling you, this kid is one step away from being a superstar. You’ll see next year. But hey, he got in the bad book somehow.
“You have to watch. The Bruins have a real image of being tough — tough to play against. Nineteen Canadians on the club, and every one of them are rough guys. ‘¦ So, they have to watch that they don’t lose that little grit. Because most teams are afraid to go in and play Boston.”
As for reports that Seguin was too immature off the ice, Cherry said he can understand how a 21-year-old would want to spend some time out on the town.
“Look, I don’t know what happened. But I’m just saying I know I’d go out, if I was 21 years old after a game I would go to a bar, too,” Cherry said, questioning why the off-ice issues became public.
Added Cherry: “If a guy can get me 30 goals on right wing, and he’s a natural center, and he’s a little problem off the ice, I wouldn’t mind that. I’d try to settle that out a little. ‘¦ Listen, the Bruins were in the finals. They did pretty good, so [Peter] Chiarelli must be doing something right. But you’re asking me my opinion, I would have never given up on a -year-old kid that got 30 goals the year before playing in his wrong position.”
|Report: Daniel Alfredsson spurns Bruins for Red Wings||07.05.13 at 12:07 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has informed Ottawa that he plans to sign with the Red Wings.
The Bruins were said to be one of the finalists to land the services of the 40-year-old free agent, who has 426 goals and 682 assists in 1,178 games over 17 NHL seasons, all with Ottawa. He is the franchise’s regular-season and playoff record-holder for games, goals, assists and points.
The Swedish forward was chosen by the Sens in the sixth round of the 1994 NHL draft and won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 1995-96. He has played in six All-Star Games, most recently in 2012.
|Shawn Thornton on D&C: Jaromir Jagr has ‘bought in’ to Bruins system||06.19.13 at 9:35 am ET|
Despite the Bruins’ domination in their 2-0 victory in Game 3 on Monday night, Thornton said his team is not overconfident.
“It’s just one game,” he said. “We played pretty well last game. [But] we had some frustration, too. We took a few penalties and we had some emotions at the end, too. So, it could have went either way. We just were fortunate enough that Tuukka [Rask] stood on his head and got us that shutout. To say that we’re in control I think is a little bit of a stretch at this point in the series.”
The Blackhawks were never more inept than when on the power play, as the Bruins stopped all five opportunities (allowing just four shots) and had better scoring chances shorthanded.
“They have pretty dangerous players over there,” Thornton said. “Our PK has done a very good job so far. But when I was in [penalty box] last game for two minutes, I was sweating the whole time hoping that my penalty wasn’t the reason they scored.
“They were missing [Marian] Hossa, one of their best players, last game. I don’t know what happened to him. But he’s back tonight, as far as I know. I think it will be a little bit of a different game tonight.”
The Bruins have demonstrated a solid team approach, committing to coach Claude Julien‘s defense-oriented system. Asked who the most important Bruin is, Thornton said newcomer Jaromir Jagr deserves credit for adjusting his game to fit the B’s style.
“Everyone has to buy in for us to be successful,” Thornton said. “The most impressive is probably I’d say Jagr, being that he just got here. I don’t know a whole lot about where he was before this — other than what you read on paper, and everyone knows — but I’m pretty sure that he’s pretty used to doing his own thing out there, and it’s worked out pretty well for him the last 22 years. He comes in here and he’s backchecking and finishing checks and battling on pucks. That’s pretty impressive when you’ve been doing something one way for 21 years and now you’re told you’re going to do it this way if you want to have success, and he’s bought in.
“The other guys, top to bottom, the whole time I’ve been here, it starts with those big boys. Then the little guys like myself have to fall in line and follow the system or else you’re not around. So, I think all the way throughout it’s been pretty good.”
Patrice Bergeron has stepped into the national spotlight with his all-around play in this series, something Thornton noted is long overdue.
“I think he’s finally getting his due,” Thornton said. “We’ve appreciated him in that room for the last five, six years that I’ve been here. He’s so good defensively. And the players he plays with — this isn’t taking anything away from [Tyler Seguin] or [Brad Marchand] when they’re together, or Jags and Marchy now, but if you put another centerman in between them, I’m not sure if they’re as successful in their own zone. He does a lot of things to cover up — not cover up, but he’s in the position to let them maybe take advantage a little bit more offensively, because he’s so good at being in the right spot and making sure that he’s behind you 100 percent defensively.”
Added Thornton: “On the other side of the puck he doesn’t get enough credit, how good he is offensively. He’s finally starting to get some due because he’s scored some timely goals for us in the playoffs. But when we skate with him in the offseason and in training camp and on a daily basis, the things you see him do with the puck, and how strong he is on it and how quick he is, there’s not too many guys that can control it like him.”
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