Shawn Thornton was a surprise healthy scratch Saturday when Claude Julien sat him for the first time since last postseason. Wanting to get Jay Pandolfo in the lineup for the sake of shuffling his bottom-six forwards to team Daniel Paille with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley, Julien made the move to sit the veteran enforcer.
Speaking to WEEI.com Sunday morning, Thornton seemed less than thrilled with the healthy scratch. Asked Sunday if he was caught off guard by the benching, Thornton was uncharacteristically brief.
“It’s a tough question to answer,” Thornton said. “Actually I’m not going to answer it.”
Thornton did say the scratch was not explained to him, and that he was unsure of whether he would be back in the lineup Sunday against the Canadiens. Julien said that he’ll make that decision prior to the game, and said he doesn’t have to explain healthy scratches to players (for what it’s worth, Tyler Seguin said in 2011 that he was never given a reason for the team scratching him late in the season and into the postseason).
“You don’t want to baby players,” Julien said. “A lot of them, like Shawn, understand exactly what’s going on. He knows and he’s always had a great attitude. I told him just before we went out there when we got to the rink that I was contemplating maybe making a change, and I wasn’t sure and I was going to decide after the warmup. As long as he had a heads up instead of catching a guy like that, a veteran, at the last minute and telling them, ‘By the way you’re out.’ I do those kind of things, but I don’t have to to go into explanations. I don’t have time for that. Our guys know how we operate by now and there’s never been an issue with that.”
Julien had said entering the season that he was going to be quicker with roster decisions in the 48-game schedule, one in which wins are more important. Julien showed that by shaking up the top-six forwards last month against Montreal, and he showed it again Saturday when he wanted three lines capable of matching up with Tampa’s top-six forwards. He doesn’t feel he’s ruffled any feathers in the process.
“There’s no issues with Shawn,” Julien said. “He’s always been a team-first guy. That wasn’t an issue. We move guys around and we’re still team tough. We have other guys that can step up, as you saw yesterday. Those are things, in a tight schedule, you’re probably going to see more and more as we move forward here.”
Holley and Keefe check in with NFL Network's Heath Evans for some final thoughts on the Houston win and to look ahead at the Steelers in the AFC Championship.
Michael Holley and Rich Keefe speak to special teams captain Matthew Slater as the Patriots head to the AFC Championship and host the Steelers.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour two of Saturday Skate as Ken Laird and Rear Admiral kick around the perception of backup goalie Anton Khudobin, B's coach Claude Julien, and possible trade target Gabriel Landeskog.
Alex's personal life comes up on the show.
Hour 4. Gerry enjoyed Charlotte Wilder's latest article about Tom Brady's new sleepwear. Gerry talks about the range of topics he posts on Twitter. Alex #2 calls in to talk about the breakup.
Hour 2. Kirk, Gerry and Alex discuss the reports that Roger Goodell is once again skipping out on visiting Gillette Stadium this weekend.
Fauria couldn't help himself and called into Pittsburgh sports radio to show off his (terrible) Boston accent and to troll Steelers fans. Later on, Josh Miller (co-host and former Patriots punter) calls us to trash talk to Christian.
We hear from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, who are gearing up to face Pittsburgh in the AFCCG.
Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about one of the Steelers' top weapons, LeVeon Bell, and how important it is to contain him, especially with how bad Pittsburgh has been in the redzone.
The newest nugget of information in the 'Roger Goodell won't come to New England Saga' is that Goodell himself really wanted to come to Gilette Stadium for the AFC Championship, but league officials advised against it. And we aren't buying it for one second.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss the conference finals, and how the four remaining teams may have the four best qb's in the league playing for them.
Michael Holley gets in to how the Patriots can win on Sunday night, and tries his hardest to come up with an Eddie Andelman-esque catchphrase for his theory.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Kirk talks with basketball legend Kevin McHale about his Celtics career, as well today's NBA and the current Boston team. Kevin analyzes the theoretical clash of the '86 Celtics and today's Golden State Warriors in addition to how C's heroes of the past would perform in today's game. Also featured: a podcast intro from Kirk's children Cate and Harry.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis have all the K&C Show gossip from a wild Reimer Wednesday.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis get back to post-show work with a Trenni Tuesday recap.
Tom Brady joins the show to discuss the game against the Texans, the AFC championship versus the Steelers, his diet, and Roger Goodell.More from this show
Alex's personal life comes up on the show.More from this show
Hour 4. Fauria is wrong about Rodgers. Lucy ranked the wives and girlfriends of Patriots players and Trenni isn't happy about it.More from this show
Hour 3. Aaron Rodgers doesn't get along with his family. Trenni's dream man in the Boston media is revealed.More from this show