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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘If you start believing your own hype, it comes back to bite you sometimes’ 04.18.14 at 9:47 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday to talk about the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins will take on the Red Wings in Game 1 of the playoffs Friday evening at TD Garden.

“We like what we have,” Thornton said. “We said that at the deadline when people were talking about it. We like the group of guys we have. We like the room, how it’€™s made up, so hopefully that equates to some success here.”

Boston is favored in the matchup despite going 1-3 against the Red Wings during the regular season.

“If you start believing your own hype, it comes back to bite you sometimes,” Thornton said of the expectations for the Bruins.

Thornton added that it’s difficult to accurately predict the outcome of a hockey game.

“You put the work in and play the right way,” Thornton said. “You hope that you’€™re doing the right thing that will get you the win. We don’€™t really look at the big picture too much.

“You’€™re right, hockey is a sport that can go either way. Freaky things happen out there. … You just focus on playing our game and hopefully we get the win out of that.”

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

On Jordan Caron: “We’ve played with him during the year. He’€™s a big body, good skater. He hasn’t played a whole lot of playoff games, but we have some chemistry — me and [Gregory Campbell] with him. He plays a straight-line game. It should be pretty good.”

On Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille: “They’€™re both really good players. They’€™re both really fast skaters. Their speed is a big attribute for us. I don’€™t know what’€™s going on there if they’€™re in or out.”

On the B’s needing hatred for the Red Wings to play at their best: “This time of year you shouldn’t need anything extra to motivate you. It’s playoffs. I think, like you said, we can play without [hatred]. If it happens, it happens. I like the way our team’s built. We can play any style game that way as far as we’re not going to get pushed around, but we’ve got a lot of skill that can play hockey, too.”

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘An honor’ to be part of Boston’s healing 04.15.14 at 11:39 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to talk about the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing and the playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Last year’€™s Bruins playoff run served as a positive distraction for those dealing with the impact of the attacks on Boylston Street.

“I think a lot of people around the city did a lot of things to help the healing, and we were happy to be a small part of it,” Thornton said.

“We like hearing that, but we’€™re also aware that we just play a game, that what happened in the last year is life and a lot of people were affected, so it’€™s really hard for us to talk about because we’€™re happy to be a distraction at that time to try to put a good product out there for three hours and take people€™’s minds away from what was really going on. That was an honor. But at the end of the day, we just play a game, so it’€™s kind of tough to talk about.”

Thornton, as well as many other professional Boston athletes, visited those who were impacted by the attack in hospitals and rehabilitation centers.

“It put a lot of things in perspective,” Thornton said. “I know we say that all the time, but it’€™s true.

“I guess the lasting impression, [one of the Norden brothers] didn’t know who I was. I had gone there with Ken Casey from the [Dropkick Murphys], and I think he thought I was part of the band and he walked in and grabbed my ass. Then afterwards he was like, ‘Oh my God, I grabbed Shawn Thornton‘s ass.’ He was a huge hockey fan, he just didn’t recognize me at first. It was pretty funny, actually.”

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘I always want to be out there’ 04.02.14 at 12:27 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about the end of the regular season, the physical nature of the playoffs and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins have been on a hot streak lately, going 15-0-2 in the month of March. The run has secured a division title for the Bruins with seven games to go. It has come at a cost, however, as the players are a little sleep-deprived after all the traveling and back-to-backs.

“You get sore, you get tired,” Thornton said. “I think the change in time zones — last week or the week before we were in four different time zones in five days. It just screws up your sleep pattern.”

With Zdeno Chara now 37 years old, there has been speculation that the defenseman will be rested over the next few games.

“He’€™s one of the hardest-working guys I’ve ever met,” Thornton said. “He wants to win at the end of the day, though, and I think that’€™s the most important thing. I’€™m not sure what’€™s going to happen, whether he’€™s going to get some games off or some road trips off or what they’€™re going to do, but I’€™m sure it’ll be a civil conversation.’€

Thornton enjoyed the extra playing time in March due to all the back-to-backs. It was not only helpful for him, but for his line as well.

“I always want to play,” Thornton said. “The month of March, actually, with so many games is pretty good, too. Our line got a fair amount of ice time through the whole thing as well with all the back-to-back stuff. The more I can play, the happier I am. I always want to be out there.”

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘We like the group we have’ 03.05.14 at 11:01 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about the NHL trade deadline, his 100th fight and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

With the NHL trade deadline looming, Thornton said that there hasn’t been as much discussion in the locker room because of the Olympic break.

“€œWe haven’t really talked about it much this year,”€ Thornton said. “I think €”because there hasn’t been a lot of chatter with the Olympics, it took a lot of focus away from the deadline. Usually there’€™s a two-week buildup to it, to be completely honest. This year you came out of the Olympics six days later. So there hasn’t been a lot of talk.”

Thornton likes the team and is fine with the way it is, but he knows there could be players traded by Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline.

“We’€™re a pretty good team, but I know that Peter [Chiarelli] is always looking to improve,” Thornton said. “And you can always get better, so we’€™ll see what happens by 3 today.”

Added Thornton: “We all really like each other, we like the group we have. We’€™re a pretty tight-knit group. We’€™re still winning some hockey games this year, so I’€™m OK with it.”

During Tuesday night’s 4-1 victory over the Panthers, Thornton got into his 100th career fight. The fight with Krys Barch was initiated to spark the team and stick up for Milan Lucic, who fought Barch in the first period.

“€œWe were kind of flat in the second period,” Thornton said. “Looch can handle himself, obviously, but I didn’t like that he went after Looch in the first shift. Krys Barch is a, he’€™s a really good guy. I played with him. … I actually kind of taught him how to fight 11 years ago in the minors.”

The Bruins’ top line of David Krejci, Jarome Iginla and Lucic performed very well on Tuesday with Krejci recording a hat trick and Iginla scoring the fourth goal. Thornton noted that the trio is unlike any other in the NHL.

“€œWe rely heavily on those guys and they consistently perform,”€ Thornton said. “And it’€™s funny because if there’s one game where they don’t get a point it’s like the sky’s falling. Everyone’€™s chirping. They’ve been unbelievable for us all year. … They bring things to the table that other teams don’€™t have. You don’t have two power forwards that are that tough and score.”

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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
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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.

“€œIt’€™s been a couple of years,” Thornton said, referring to the Bruins’ win in the Stanley Cup finals in 2011. “€œThey’€™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. “€œWhen 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.”

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘I’m back to the way I was before’ suspension 01.22.14 at 3:28 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about Canucks coach John Tortorella and his suspension, his own suspension and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Tortorella was suspended 15 days for attempting to enter the Flames locker room after the first period of Saturday’s game, angry that Flames coach Bob Hartley started his fourth line. Tortorella responded with his fourth line, initiating a line brawl right after the opening puck drop.

While the former Rangers coach has come under criticism, Thornton said Tortorella deserves credit for standing up for his team.

“I love the that he always has his players’€™ back,” Thornton said. “€œThis has happened a few times with him, and it’€™s happened a few times in the league. Obviously the instance with him going down to the locker room probably makes it a lot more blown out of proportion, but this stuff happens.”

That said, Thornton said he isn’t sure Hartley’s intent was to have his fourth-line players mix it up.

“I don’€™t think that — and I don’€™t know because I’€™m not in the room — but I’€™m assuming when Hartley started his fourth line he wasn’t planning on a line brawl, he was just trying to start a line to get, maybe create some forecheck and then dump pucks in, get some momentum going for his team,” Thornton said. “We do it sometimes, too.”

Added Thornton: “You can start whoever you want. We [the B's fourth line] used to start all the time, probably two or three years ago. Our line started all the time. It was more to create momentum, not to drop the gloves.”

Thornton, who was suspended on Dec. 14 for 15 games after attacking Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, says the suspension and league crackdown on violence hasn’t forced him to alter his style.

“I’m back to the way I was before. Nothing’€™s changed,”€ Thornton said. “€œIf I need to stick up for a teammate, I’€™ll stick up for a teammate. That hasn’t changed.”

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Now I go back to playing the way I played the last 600 games’ 01.02.14 at 10:04 am ET
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Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning for the first time since receiving a 15-game suspension last month, and the Bruins enforcer acknowledged he “messed up” and is eagerly awaiting his return to the team on Jan. 11. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Thornton was punished for grabbing Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, pulling him down and punching him during a game on Dec. 7. Orpik was knocked out and had to miss eight games while recovering from the concussion.

It was the first suspension of Thornton’s career, and he hopes it won’t affect his reputation.

“I messed up. I know that,” Thornton said. “I talked about it the other day: I’m not going to let it define me. It’s a mistake I made after 600 games playing right on the line. To be completely honest, doing my job is not an easy one, as far as riding the line.

“It’s tough to talk about because I know I messed up, but I plan on playing a couple more years and playing within the rules. The outcome wasn’t was expected, either. A very unfortunate set of circumstances, why I messed up, it can happen. Yeah, the money sucks, the games really suck. But I’m going to put it behind me now and move on.”

Thornton said he was limited in how much he can discuss the appeal process, but he made it clear he still believes the suspension that league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed out — and commissioner Gary Bettman backed upon appeal — was too long.

“It’s tough for me to talk about, because we’re legally not allowed. There’s a provision in our CBA that I can’t really bad-mouth the decision,” Thornton said. “But I definitely thought that 15 was a little excessive. How many games? I don’t know. It’s not my job. And I know it’s not an easy job to assess those things. But I thought that being the lengthiest suspension he’s ever handed out was a little bit much for my first-time offense, I guess.”

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