|Pre-game notes: Shawn Thornton says cool it with the 1972 comparisons||03.03.11 at 1:18 pm ET|
No time for celebration, as the Bruins, fresh off a 6-0-0 road trip, are back at the Garden for a huge game with the Lightning on Thursday. The teams are tied with 81 points apiece through 63 games, with the B’s holding the tie-breaker for second place given that they’ve won less games via shootout.
It will be Tim Thomas between the pipes, as he’ll put his 28-8-6 record on the line after last playing Saturday night in Vancouver. Tuukka Rask started the Bruins’ last two, earning victories over the Oilers and Senators.
Thomas is 2-0-0 in two starts against Tampa Bay, allowing four goals with a .944 save percentage.
While the Bruins have won their last six, the Lightning have gone 3-2-1 in the same span. They lost a 2-1 contest to the red-hot Devils on Wednesday.
Here are some pre-game notes:
– Comparisons are nice, but even Roger Clemens would say people are beating references to 1972’s perfect six-game road trip with a dead horse.
“I don’t look at it at all,” Shawn Thornton said after the morning skate. “I honestly don’t. It’s purely a coincidence as far as I’m concerned.
“We’ve got a six game thing going here, and it doesn’t matter about anything else. We’re just trying to get seven in a row and then eight in a row. We’ll take it one at time here.”
“He got examined yesterday by our doctors and things are going extremely well for him,” Julien said. “We hope to see him back on the ice the beginning of next week. That could be as early as Sunday if things keep going well.”
– No Vincent Lecavalier for the Lightning. He’s out with a mid-body injury on which the Lightning haven’t elaborated much.
– The three new guys in Tomas Kaberle, Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly will play in the Garden as Bruins for the first time Thursday. Kaberle and Kelly have played five games for the B’s since being acquired via trade, while Peverley has four under his belt.
While Bruins fans will welcome all three to the Garden, the focus will likely be on Kaberle, who was the big fish of trade season. Neither of the newcomers have lost a game as a member of the Bruins, and after years of limited team success in Toronto, that’s something Kaberle welcomes.
“My first six years I played in the playoffs every year. The last five, it wasn’t there. It’s tough to always answer the questions to the media of ‘why not,'” Kaberle said after the morning skate. “Hopefully we’ll have a good rest of the season and prepare for the playoffs.”
Kaberle said he is feeling more and more comfortable as he familiarizes himself with the Bruins way.
“I feel good. Obviously it’s a great team. Every line’s got something on the ice, and everybody can score. It’s nice to see that, and with two goalies behind us, we feel pretty comfortable.”
– Kaberle is undoubtedly the biggest name the team added when the moves were made, but Kelly and Peverley are fitting in very nicely on the third line. Both were among the leagues better faceoff men at the time they were acquired, and having both taking draws and killing penalties is something Julien likes to see.
“Right now, you’ve got to be extremely pleased with first of all [Peverley’s] faceoffs, how dominant he’s been on draws,” Julien said. “With that line you’ve got a guy taking him on the strong side, and Kelly, a lefty and a righty, so you’ve got to be comfortable with that situation.”
“At the same time I think both Kelly and Peverley have seemed to have built some pretty quick chemistry there on the penalty kill as well. They seem to read off each other extremely well.”
– Thornton doesn’t want the new guys’ ability to come in and contribute immediately to go unnoticed. All three players have wound up on the scoring sheet since joining the B’s.
“They’re a big part of it too. These guys came in and stepped in seamlessly,” Thornton said. “It’s been a really easy transition for us and them.”
– How about this one from the stat truck? Over the last 10 games, Tyler Seguin has more goals than Steven Stamkos. Take that, development.
Well, not exactly. By Stamkos’ standards, the Tampa Bay star is in a slump as far as goals go. He has just two over the last 10 games (Seguin has three), but continues to lead the league with 41. Seguin has no points over his last four games.
In case you live under a rock, Shawn Thornton‘s celebrity has increased to a national scale this week with the debut of the Dropkick Murphys music video for their latest single, “Going Out in Style.”
“It was fun. It was awesome. It came out really well, so I was happy,” he said. “I never thought I’d be on the Rolling Stone website. It’s a pretty cool experience.”
The video was shot on the last day of the All-Star break. Thornton laughed at the notion that given his All-Star candidacy at the time of booking (a career-high seven goals), the band was taking their chances in trying to secure his availability for that weekend.
“[Dropkick Murphys bassist and singer Ken Casey] called me last minute and asked if I could do it,” Thornton said with a laugh.
If there’s one thing that stands out about the video, it’s that Lucic appears to get the short end of the stick. Orr gets to sing along, Thornton gets to come off as a tough guy at the bar, and Lucic “is beating up a kid” (Thornton’s words). The video ends with Casey’s son throwing a snowball at Lucic who then chases after the youngster.
“It was pretty funny though. I liked his part.” Thornton said. “It was a good video though, I liked it.”
Click here to see the video, which contains explicit lyrics.
|Latest Dropkick Murphys video features Bruins Bobby Orr, Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic||03.01.11 at 6:19 pm ET|
Rolling Stone premiered the music video for the Dropkick Murphys’ latest single, “Going out in Style,” and it unsurprisingly featured a Boston theme. The Boston-based group’s newest video featured the likes of Bobby Orr, Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic.
Orr smiles at the camera and throws snowballs, while Thornton can be seen at the bar taking shots with NESN’s Heidi Watney. Lucic sings along and falls victim to a snowball. Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is also in the video singing along.
The song contains some choice lyrics, so we’ll link to it rather than posting the video.
|Shawn Thornton on D&H: Tomas Kaberle ‘one of the best defensemen in the league’||02.21.11 at 12:55 pm ET|
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, while on his way to the airport for the Bruins’ road trip that starts with a game Tuesday in Calgary, checked in with the Dale & Holley show Monday and talked about the team’s recent roster changes. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Asked if there was any tension around the team last week, Thornton acknowledged that there was. “There always is this time of year,” he said. “The media obviously reports it. I think it gets worse these days, with ‘I’m not bad-mouthing anybody, but ‘ countless blogs and stuff that nobody really has to [be accountable]. You can just throw stuff against the wall and hope it sticks. There’s a lot of names being thrown around nowadays. I think everybody’s hoping that they get one right. So, yeah, there’s a little bit of tension. I think the best thing to do is not try to pay too much attention to it.”
Thornton had high praise for new Bruins Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. “I’ve known Tomas for a long time,” he said. “We were in the minors together for a little bit, actually. The way he moves the puck and the way he sees the ice when he has the puck ‘ even without it ‘ he’s such a smart player. He’s one of the best defensemen in the league, and I think we’re very, very fortunate to have him.”
Of Kelly, Thornton said: “He can skate, he can shoot, he competes really hard. I think he’s a good pickup for us.”
Thornton said the adjustment period for the new Bruins shouldn’t be long, especially considering their age and the fact that Peverley comes from Atlanta, where first-year Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay is using a style similar to the one used when Ramsay was an assistant in Boston the past three seasons. “I think it should be pretty seamless, being that they’re older guys,” Thornton said. “Kelly, Peverly, Kaberle ‘ they’ve all been around the league a bunch. ‘¦ The fact that Kelly’s been in the league for six, seven years makes it a little easier than being maybe 20 or 21.”
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas challenged Canadiens netminder Carey Price to a fight when the teams met in Boston earlier this month. While it didn’t go so well for Thomas, Thornton was impressed with the effort and strategy. “His game plan was pretty good for a guy fighting somebody a lot bigger,” Thornton said. “I’ve actually used his game plan before. But when you miss your grab on the way in, sometimes it goes all out the window. And it did for him. But you know what? He did a good job. He protected himself well.
“He’ll be the first to tell you it wasn’t much of a fight. But that was the loudest I’ve heard the Garden I think in a long time, when those two squared off. It was pretty fun.”
|All sorts of videos of Matt Cooke’s cheap shots||02.09.11 at 6:27 pm ET|
With Wednesday’s news that Penguins forward Matt Cooke has been given a four-game suspension for his hit from behind on Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin, it shouldn’t come as a shock that DeadSpin put together a video consisting of two minutes worth of Cooke’s cheap shots. Video of Cooke’s hit on Tyutin can be seen below.
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton was asked whether or not he saw the hit.
“I did not,” said Thornton. “Nor do I give a [care].”
|Gameday notes: Bruins looking for first win vs. Habs||at 3:02 pm ET|
With the Canadiens in town on Wednesday, a regulation win for either team means a four-point swing in the standings. With the Bruins leading the Habs by two points, that means a ton right now.
The unfortunate thing for the Bruins is that they have yet to win against the Canadiens this season, going 0-2-1 in their three games and blowing a 2-0 lead late in the third period Jan. 8 en route to a 3-2 overtime loss.
“It’s a long season,” Shawn Thornton said of the B’s lack of success against the rival Habs. “The last game in there we definitely should have won. ‘¦ We had a couple of breakdowns, they ended up pulling it out late, and give credit to them for not giving up, but it’s a long season. We’ve got three more against them, and hopefully we can do some damage control.”
The Canadiens are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Devils on Sunday. Here are a few other notes:
– In case you haven’t seen it yet, Tyler Seguin is a healthy scratch for the Bruins. It’s technically the second time he’s been a “healthy” scratch, with the team listing flu-like symptoms as the reason he didn’t play on Dec. 11 against the Flyers. Zach Hamill and Jordan Caron are both in the lineup playing on the third and fourth line, respectively.
– Patrice Bergeron, who left Tuesday’s practice and had to go to the hospital for stitches after getting a puck to the face, is fine and will play Wednesday. Mark Recchi and Zdeno Chara were not on the ice for morning skate but were just given the morning off to rest. They’ll both play as well.
– It looks like the recent exchange between former Bruin Hal Gill and rookie P.K. Subban in which Gill called the fellow blueliner an “a–hole” over his treatment of the team’s jersey was blown way out of proportion. Members of the Montreal media here who observed the exchange are saying the it was very obviously a joke after Gil accused Subban of “throwing” the Habs’ jersey on the ground while getting undressed.
– Speaking of Subban, Tuesday will be his first game at the Garden since destroying Brad Marchand with a very clean but very hard hit in Montreal on Dec. 16. Subban’s done some damage against the Bruins, as he has a goal and an assist against them this season in addition to the hit that kept Marchand out for three games with “soreness.” The Gregory Campbell penalty he drew following the hit also led to a power play goal.
“I’d like him to elevate it all the time. It’s something that I think he strives to be consistent, and I think he’s a good player, but he’s got the ability to be a great player. When he’s given that challenge he seems to rise to that occasion.”
Krecji has no goals over his last 19 games.
|How the Bruins have become Team Unity, and why it matters||02.04.11 at 8:57 am ET|
Just four minutes into Thursday’s slugfest at the Garden, Stars forward Adam Burish came in on Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and fired a shot several seconds after the whistle had clearly blown, stopping play.
That is a big hockey no-no.
And Andrew Ference made sure Burish paid the penalty. The Bruins defenseman came over to enforce the hockey the law, eventually drawing Burish into a fight ‘ which Ference clearly won ‘ and a message had been sent. Don’t mess with these Bruins or you pay the price, especially on Boston’s home ice.
“We’re a tight group,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored twice and assisted on an empty-netter. “We’ve always said that and we all know that. We’re ‘¦ we get along real well off the ice and we try to bring that on the ice. I think that Ference fight is the best example just by showing that he took a shot after the whistle on Tuukka and Andy responded right away. So I think it’s ‘¦ it showed our unity, and we’ve got to keep going.”
As for Ference himself, he said Thursday’s win showed how the Bruins can get back to being the right mix of talent and toughness, just like 2008-09, when they were the top seed in the East and a favorite to get to the Stanley Cup finals.
“One of the good things we did in that year, and something we’ve established over the last few is, when our team is emotionally and physically involved, we’re a very good team,” Ference said. “We’ve proven that the other way around, too. When it’s not there, we lose games. You know, go back to the Carolina series a couple years ago. I think that’s what almost all of us pointed our fingers at, it was missing. We know that that has to be there for us to be successful, and it was good [against Dallas].”
Bruins coach Claude Julien certainly had no problem with it.
“It was an opportunity for us to step up for each other, and we did and I thought it certainly played in our favor,” Julien said of the four fights in four minutes ‘ three in the opening four seconds. “We’re a team that can handle that and guys seem to be ready for it and certainly that part of it was good. Those two quick goals also were proof that we were ready to play.” Read the rest of this entry »