Thornton valuing actions over words as Bruins fight to survive

Thornton/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — Prior to the Bruins’ dramatic Game 7 win over Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Final, Shawn Thornton and Mark Recchi — the only two Bruins players who’ve won a Stanley Cup — brought their rings to TD Garden as part of some pregame motivation.

With the season on the line tonight in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, the time for talk and gimmicks is probably over.

“We’ve talked a lot throughout the playoffs. We can talk all we want. We have to have everyone show up and that’s a key,” said Thornton after Recchi was the only Bruins player not to take part in what was the last home morning skate of the season regardless of the outcome of this series.

“Obviously we have the experience and we’ve shared our experiences. But if we have everyone, we’ll be successful. If we don’t, then we won’t. We can talk all we want but we have to get it done out there.”

Defenseman Andrew Ference, who came up one win shy of the Cup in 2004, echoed Thornton’s sentiments about needing 19 players doing everything they can to stave off elimination.

“It doesn’t matter if we’re facing Vancouver, or middle of the season, or whatever round we’re playing in. We really do have a team that relies on a system and a lot of hard work,” said Ference. “And if there’s a weak link in the chain it really hurts our team. So we have to have everybody kind of pulling the same direction and being mindful of the little things that they’re responsible for on the ice. So I think that for people that probably watched our team all year, especially guys in this room, I think most of us find it pretty obvious when our game is just a little bit off. And it doesn’t work at this time of year.”

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