BOSTON — If Bruins head coach Claude Julien is contemplating a move that involves Shawn Thornton re-entering his lineup, there’s nothing on Thornton’s end of things holding up the switch.
“I practice hard every time,” said Thornton after the Bruins’ morning skate at TD Garden in preparation for tonight’s Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“I’ve been trying to treat my practices like games. I’ve been working out probably harder than I did during the season. So I feel pretty good. If need be … you have to be ready to go. This is not time of year to say ‘oh, maybe I’m ready.’ I’m ready.”
It’s quite a dilemma Julien and his staff are in. On the one side, Vancouver’s agitators have been running around without any fear through two games, but Boston has only scored two goals in two games. To remove Tyler Seguin could weaken the offense. Benching Daniel Paille would hinder the penalty kill.
Nonetheless, Thornton’s presence on the bench alone could make the difference. He’s one of just two Bruins with a Stanley Cup championship ring, which he says is still in the Garden after he and Mark Recchi brought there’s to the dressing room for extra motivation before Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay.
“It was a whole thing about bring the rings in, bringing the pictures [of Bruins championships] in, we’re this close to getting there. It was just maybe a little reminder about that,” said Thornton.
The Bruins might be able to use the whole package of things, tangible and intangible, Thornton brings. If Julien asks, Thornton will do his best to help the team climb out of its 0-2 series hole.