Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning, following Thursday’s double-overtime loss to the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The Bruins suffered a 4-3 loss despite dominating play for much of the night, outshooting the Habs 51-33.
“I think everyone was happy with the way we played, pucks just wouldn’t go in,” Thornton said. “There were a lot of bounces that just rolled across the line or inside a post, inside of crossbars. Carey Price played unbelievable, but I thought for the most part we played a really, really good game.”
In looking at this series, analysts have noted that Montreal’s speed is likely to give the Bruins problems. However, in Game 1 Boston didn’t seem to have an issue — at least during five-on-five play.
“You look at the positives, we controlled most of it,” Thornton said. “A lot of people said we couldn’t keep up with their pace of play. In think for the most part, again, we did a really good job of that last night.”
Added Thornton: “I think that we controlled the pace of play. That’s something that people said we wouldn’t be able to do. I thought we played good enough to win. We didn’t, though, so we’re going to have to do better next game.”
The Canadiens scored the game-winner on a power play, after Matt Bartkowski was called for holding after he took down Dale Weise in front of the Boston goal. Thornton expressed his displeasure with the officials after the game ended.
“I think that that stuff happens a lot, at both ends of the ice,” Thornton said. “I kind of feel bad for Bart. I’m not going to say anything about the officiating, but I think it’s a call that probably could go either way in overtime, double overtime.”
Added Thornton: “I’m kind of old school. I kind of like when they put the whistles away in overtime. But that’s just me. You want consistency so you know on any given night where the line is. I thought they did a good job for the most part last night. I thought that was maybe a little bit of a — it could have went either way.”
The Canadiens have a reputation for embellishing contact in an effort to draw penalties, but they appeared to be generally well-behaved Thursday.
“Maybe since the word was out there, the reputation,” Thornton said. “We didn’t get into too many scrums because we were fairly certain that we’d be coming out of them with extras, so we stayed away from it. The word was probably sent down not to be embellishing or it’s going to get called, too. I don’t know, I’m not in on those meetings with the supervisors, and nobody tells us. I think as a group we decided that we had to be a disciplined team, and for the most part I thought we were.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On his frustration after missing a golden scoring opportunity: “I don’t know if there’s anybody harder on myself than myself. But I’ve learned over the last few years that dwelling on it, it just starts snowballing. So you have to release it this time of year. If that was earlier in the season and we were fighting it a bit, you probably would have saw me come back to the bench, break my stick. But it was one of those things, you kind of just try to stay positive. When you stay positive, good things happen more often than not.
“The ‘D’ was coming out at me, I thought I put a pretty good shot on. I don’t know if [Price] even saw it. I think it just hit his glove or his shoulder. The rebound’s there. You hope that you can bury those. I know as a line we had three or four of those chances in the slot. [Price] played well last night, you’ve got to tip your hat.”
On Tuukka Rask‘s frustration after the game: “He’s a competitor. You’ve seen him in shootout losses, which are — it’s all up to him. And nobody puts any blame on him in the locker room and he comes in snapping, breaking sticks. He’s just a competitor. He wants the best of himself every single night. I mean, it’s a team game. We’ve got to bury our chances to make that easier for him. A couple of those goals he couldn’t see, I don’t think. It didn’t look like it, anyways, from the bench. That’s how he is. He’s hard on himself. He expects the best out of himself. That’s what makes him one of the best goalies in the world.”
On P.K. Subban’s role as an agitator: “That’s a common theme, that he gets under a lot of people’s skin. I think this time of year you kind of just laugh at it, finish your checks when you can. You can’t really let the agitation be there. You say that about him, we have one of the best agitators on our team, too, so I don’t think we can be too biased.”
On the TD Garden crowd: “Last night was as loud as I’ve heard the TD Garden I think in a long time. ‘¦ We almost had all the fans singing last night the national anthem. I would love for that to continue, if anyone’s listening and going to the game. I would love for you guys to be able to — the fans to get that loud.”
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