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Montreal sports radio host Mitch Melnick on M&M: ‘Every player dives and embellishes a little,’ including Bruins’ Shawn Thornton 05.01.14 at 12:04 pm ET
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Mitch Melnick

Mitch Melnick

Montreal sports radio host Mitch Melnick of TSN 690 joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday to discuss the Bruins-Canadiens playoff series and accusations that the Habs sell out in an effort to get penalty calls. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Canadiens often are criticized — at least in Boston — for embellishing physical contact in an effort to draw penalties.

“When the Bruins talk into microphones and cameras and are talking about stuff like, ‘We don’t do stuff like that. We don’t dive. We don’t embellish. We don’t do this, we don’t do that.’ Everybody does it. Everybody does it. Shawn Thornton, stand-up guy, he does it. Every player dives and embellishes a little,” Melnick said.

“The fact of the matter is, if you polled players around the league, who’s the most disliked guy on the ice, Brad Marchand probably wins that poll by a mile since Sean Avery was kicked out of the league. And do they respect Brad Marchand? Absolutely. It’s kind of like Boston toward [P.K.] Subban. The bigger the moment, the more P.K. Subban wants that spotlight. Those guys are winning hockey players. On the ice, in the heat of battle, they do things that drive you absolutely up the wall, and you want to strangle them. But there’s a respect factor. As long as they don’t cross the line and do stuff that ends up in a serious injury. These are winning hockey players.”

Subban has become the poster child for Bruins fans’ distaste for the Canadiens’ style. Melnick said Subban “takes a lot of abuse ‘€¦ behind the play” and it’s not always visible to fans.

“I’m not trying to defend him. He’s still learning. He’s still a kid,” Melnick said of the 24-year defenseman. “He’s doing things that he won’t do a year from now, or two years from now. But it’s a growing process. And he feels that he gets so much abuse that once in a while he’s got to put some mustard on it.”

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Read More: Brad Marchand, Carey Price, Mitch Melnick, P.K. Subban
Shawn Thornton on D&C: You feel rivalry with Montreal ‘once you put your jersey on’ 04.28.14 at 11:11 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to talk about the team’€™s win over the Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs and its upcoming series with the Canadiens. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins clinched a trip to the second round after defeating the Red Wings in five games. In Game 5, Zdeno Chara gave Boston a lead that it would not give up when he made it a 2-1 game with four seconds left in the second.

“That was a huge goal for us,” Thornton said. “The timing was unbelievable. I think he, obviously, tried to put it through the back of the net, but with [four] seconds left in the period put us back up. I think that was a real kick start for us.”

With the win, the Bruins will move on to play a heated rival — the Canadiens.

“You feel (the rivalry) once you put your jersey on the first time going to the rink or the first time they come to you,” Thornton said. “The way both cities are into it, the history of it, you embrace it. It’€™s a fun rivalry.

“I think Montreal’€™s very, very opportunistic with their goal-scoring ability. I think — from what I can remember — they’€™re very dangerous around the net. They have guys who put the puck in. They have tall, speedy guys. Their (general manager) Marc Bergevin has done a pretty good job with getting them a little bit of sand paper and grit in the last year too, trying to not be all speedy guys. They’€™re a well built team.”

Thornton added that while Montreal’€™s Bell Centre is one of the most challenging buildings to play in, he also enjoys the atmosphere.

“Their crowd’€™s on top of you, somehow. And every once and awhile, they can force a ref into calling penalties,” Thornton said. “It’€™s not the easiest building, but it’€™s almost the most fun place to play on the road too because you can feed off the energy in there. … It’€™s got a good energy, and you can feed off it from both sides, I think.”

For more team news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘Sometimes you don’t go down, you don’t get the call’ 04.23.14 at 11:05 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about the hit on Brad Marchand‘€™s knee, flopping and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Even though the Bruins dominated on Tuesday, winning 3-0 and going up in the series 2-1, there was a moment during the second period when Marchand went down with what looked like a knee injury after Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith tripped him, hitting his left leg. The only issue was Marchand grabbed his right leg. Thornton isn’t sure what happened, theorizing that Marchand may have injured himself on the fall.

“When he tried to jump around him, I don’€™t know if he twisted something or if he just fell awkwardly when he came down,” Thornton said. “I don’t know. I know Marchy has a reputation that will probably follow him forever. After the penalty was called, I don’€™t think he would have laid there if he wasn’t in a little bit of pain.”

While hockey isn’t known for flopping, it does occur in the game. Thornton isn’t a fan of embellishing in general, but he admits that sometimes it helps to get the referees’ attention and get the correct call.

“You shouldn’t have to fall down every time you get slashed or cross-checked to get a call, but depending on where you are in the situation, it seems that sometimes you don’€™t go down, you don’€™t get the call,” Thornton said. “I think a lot of the reason we didn’t get as many power plays as maybe we should have during the year is because we, as a group, probably just played through things instead of rolling around on the ground.”

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Read More: Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Detroit Red Wings, Shawn Thornton
Shawn Thornton on D&C: Bruins had ‘a little extra giddy-up’ in Game 2 04.21.14 at 12:51 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday to talk about the 2014 Boston Marathon and the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Nine runners are participating in the Boston Marathon for the Shawn Thornton Foundation.

“They were very fired up to be running,” Thornton said. “There’€™s a reason they gave 10,000 more numbers this year. A lot of people want to be involved in this for the right reasons. I talked to them and it was just, ‘Good luck, have fun and enjoy it. And thank you. Thank you for everything you’ve done.’ I think they’ve raised $70,000 for my foundation.”

Thornton added: “[Running the marathon is] one of my goals when I’€™m done. I don’€™t know if my body would let me, to be completely honest, but I’€™d like to try a year or two after I’€™m retired.”

Thornton is on his way to Detroit for Games 3 and 4 of the first round of the playoffs. The Bruins are now 1-1 in the series after defeating the Red Wings 4-1 on Sunday.

“I think the first game, for whatever reason, we didn’t have that extra little hop in our step,” Thornton said. “I don’€™t know if that was from having a weekend between games. I’€™m not making excuses whatsoever. I’€™m just saying that last night we seemed to have a little extra giddy-up, I suppose.

“We got to the puck a little bit quicker. We were able to be a little more physical as a whole. We definitely played more our style of game in Game 2, and we’ve got to continue to try to play that way.”

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

On Zdeno Chara: “He’€™s fought all the big boys coming up. He’€™s definitely not afraid to do it. He’€™s way more valuable to us on the ice. Arguably him, [Patrice Bergeron], Tuukka [Rask], and maybe [Milan Lucic] are arguably the most important players on our team. Him sitting in the box for five minutes isn’t helping us. We really would miss him out there.”

On Kevan Miller: “He’€™s a big, tough guy. He was, I think, he was fairly amped to play in the first playoff game and he definitely set the physical tone early, which was nice. That’€™s what he does. I think he’€™s underrated as a puck handler, but he’€™s definitely not underrated with how physical he can be.”

Read More: Kevan Miller, Shawn Thornton, Zdeno Chara,
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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Read More: Loui Eriksson, Shawn Thornton,
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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Read More: Boston Bruins, Jarome Iginla, Shawn Thornton, Tuukka Rask
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