Bruins forward Shawn Thornton joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss the team’s recent hot streak.
That streak includes a 2-1 win over the Rangers on the road Tuesday night. Thornton tallied the game’s first goal, his third of the season. He also scored against the Blue Jackets last Thursday. Despite the offensive outburst, he still recognizes his role as the team enforcer.
“That’s still my job, first and foremost,” Thornton said. “[I’ve been] a little lucky the last few games, but I’ve still got my real job.”
Linemate Daniel Paille scored a shorthanded, game-winning goal in the second period.
“After Paille scored that goal, it kind of gave us a little bit of a lift, and you tend to get pumped up when you see the grinders pop one shorthanded,” Thornton said.
In the last five games, the fourth line — Thornton, Paille and Gregory Campbell – has a combined four goals, three assists and 19 shots.
“I always joke with the media that it doesn’t matter who’s on my line, we’re always the fourth line,” Thornton said. “I remember a few years ago, when [Blake] Wheeler was here, I got bumped up to play with [David] Krejci and Wheeler, but everyone just talked about how Wheeler and Krejci got demoted to the fourth line. It doesn’t matter who it is, if I’m on it, it’s still the fourth line.”
While Thornton and Paille provided the offensive fireworks in Tuesday’s victory, goalie Tuukka Rask shut down the Rangers. He allowed just one goal, and recorded 43 saves.
“Every time we play against those guys he’s unbelievable,” Thornton said. “I think he just really enjoys the challenge of facing Henrik Lundqvist. He earned it last night, he was unbelievable.”
Despite Thornton’s solid play of late, coach Claude Julien opted to make him a healthy scratch for the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Hurricanes on Monday.
“I don’t like sitting out, obviously, no one likes being the guy that’s the odd man out,” Thornton said. “He told me that it wasn’t because of my play, that I’ve been playing pretty well, it’s just [Jordan] Caron was coming up on sitting out 10 games straight, I think, and he wanted to get him in. And Carolina didn’t really have an enforcer threat, so it was as good a time as any to try to get him back in the game.”
To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, go to the team page at weei.com/bruins.