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.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more team news, visit weei.com/bruins.
On facing the Red Wings in the playoffs: “The two times that I played them, they were very skilled, very fast. They don’t dump the puck in a lot. They usually try and bring it back, regroup, enter with speed and have puck possession. Little bit different than how we’re built — or a lot a bit different. We’re more of a crash and bang and then possess the puck when we get it back. It’s an interesting matchup, but we like it. You’ve got to beat everyone to get there anyways, so we’re OK with it. We worked hard to be the best team during the regular season, and matchups shouldn’t matter. We should be worried about what we’re doing inside our room.”
On losing 3-of-4 to Detroit in the regular season: “You say it all the time, but it’s a new season now. The slate is wiped clean. The regular season really doesn’t matter. That being said … it might get your radar up a little bit knowing that they’re a challenge. You’re not going to throw the puck on the ice and win. Our team responds fairly well to challenges, so I kind of like that actually.”
On playing with Loui Eriksson: “He’s got the best stick I’ve ever seen as far as turning pucks over. I’ve never seen anyone that picks off more passes and picks more pockets than he does. I only played against him a handful of times before him getting here, and he’s obviously a very smart hockey player and very skilled — he’s been on Olympic hockey teams forever. I think it’s just until you see him day-in and day-out the little things he does that stand out in my mind such as picking off pucks. He’s not going to run people over, but he goes into that corner and he always comes out with the biscuit.”