BOSTON — After the Bruins’ morning skate at TD Garden today, Shawn Thornton called his shot when asked about replacing the injured Marco Sturm in the lineup for tonight’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series with Philadelphia.
“If I get 10 minutes of power-play time tonight, you can expect me to get four goals,” said Thornton, who has never scored more than six goals in a season and scored just once in 2009-10.
No, Thornton will not be replacing Sturm’s productivity by a long shot. That job will fall more to Daniel Paille, who will probably start the night skating in Sturm’s old spot next to Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi, as well as Miroslav Satan, Milan Lucic and Blake Wheeler on the other lines. Thornton will just be asked to bring his requisite muscle and forechecking to aid Boston’s cause.
Most important, being back in the lineup after sitting out as a healthy scratch for Game 1 will be beneficial to Thornton’s health.
“I can’t stand it,” he said about watching Game 1 from the dressing room and the press box. “I almost had a heart attack. It’s way harder to watch than it is to play. When you’re involved, you kind of go with the flow. But when you’re up top or in a back room watching the game on TV, every chance your heart jumps out of your chest. So it’s tough, but it’s exciting too. But I’ve said it before, I’d rather be playing. And that’s one of the reasons, because it sucks to sit there.”
You can bet Thornton will do a lot more than just sit there against the rugged Flyers, who play a style that’s right up Thornton’s alley. Without Sturm, everyone will have to raise his game. So maybe Thornton could add an offensive element.
“We had the experience the last few years of important guys being out. So going through that, the experience should help,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not going to fill his shoes; we’re completely different players. But I think by committee we’ve done a pretty good job of stepping up, whoever’s been here.”