Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about the Bruins’ mindset entering a Game 6 elimination game.
With potentially one game left in the season, Thornton said the Bruins are going to need a sense of urgency in order to keep the Blackhawks from raising the Stanley Cup in Boston.
“It is human nature,” Thornton said. “The survival instinct kind of kicks in. Whether you notice it or not while you are out there, I think you give a little bit more. That’s why they always say the last game is the toughest game to get. Let’s hope that is the case again tonight for us.”
The Bruins were in this situation in 2011, as they topped the Canucks, 5-2, in Boston before winning Game 7 on the road, 4-0. While Thornton said the B’s have confidence that they can stave off elimination thanks to that prior experience, that doesn’t help them win unless the sense of urgency shows itself.
“We know that we have done it before, so the experience helps give you that knowledge that it can be done,” Thornton said. “But at the end of the day, what we did before doesn’t really matter if we don’t bring it on the ice. We’ve got to go play a hockey game, like you said.
“We kind of approach it as you’ve got to win one game twice. So, tonight, just focus on winning tonight and once you get to a Game 7, if you get to a Game 7, it is a whole different ballgame. So we are focused on just winning tonight. Win one game.”
With the series on the line, Thornton said he expects Claude Julien’s pregame speech to be more of a motivational one. At the same time, Thornton said that extra motivation already will be there for the Bruins.
“I’m sure tonight it will be a little bit more than just the X’s and O’s,” Thornton said. “I don’t know yet. I don’t know if it will be a [Vince Lombardi] speech, but I think there will be a little bit of chatter. You shouldn’t have to do that at this stage of the playoffs, either, though. If you can’t motivate yourself to get up for a Game 6 elimination game in the Stanley Cup finals, I think you’re in the wrong business.”
On if Jonathan Toews can fool the concussion doctor: “If it was a head — yes, he can. If it’s mild. If it’s big, you can’t get through, but if it’s mild you just have a little bit of a headache. I’m not even sure of the protocol anymore. It used to be seven days, but I don’t think it is anymore. I think you’ve just got to pass the test. You kind of play it by how you feel, and if you can go, you can go. I still haven’t seen the hit and I don’t remember it during the game — I must have been having a drink of water or something — it could be upper body, too, I’m told.”
On if he expects more from Tyler Seguin: “Yeah, I mean, of course. He is a little bit snakebitten. I think he has had 70-something shots. For a player of his caliber, that puck usually goes in every 10 or so shots. A little bit of it is luck and a little bit of it is earlier, that first little bit, getting into those dirty areas. But since he has been put on that line with [Chris Kelly] and [Daniel Paille] he was getting in there and doing work and he wasn’t scoring the goals but he was helping out on them. As long as he is helping out, that’s what we need.”
On if bad ice helps the Bruins: “I know it definitely helps me. Everybody looks like me out there. It’s funny, when you get into the ice topic it’s the same for both teams. You get some funny bounces when the ice is that bad and you never know — you kind of put yourself to the hockey gods there. You never know who is going to get that bounce and it could go either way. Are they more of a transition, speed team? Probably, yeah. But that being said, we try to be more of an offensive zone, puck-possession team when we are down there. If you have bad ice in the offensive zone, you could miss a bounce here and there also.”
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