BostonBruins.com - Bruins' Merlot Liner Shawn Thornton always has an honest, refreshing outlook on the game. Following Monday's practice before the team hit the road for New York (where they are now preparing for Game Three tonight), he answered a variety of questions from reporters, on tonight's expectations, his line chipping in, and the young guys showing poise on the back end, among others.
So, what's the mentality of the team right now, Shawn, with the 2-0 series lead?
"The feeling is they're probably going to be a desperate team in their own building for Game Three - we're going to have to be a lot better than we were last game," said Thornton. "We got the win, but we have some areas we can improve on, too. Tuukka's the reason we were in it going into the third period; it could've been a much different game if he didn't stand on his head."
What's it been like to watch Tuukka's playoff performance so far?
Thornton jokingly scoffed at the question, only because, he's never surprised by his netminder's play.
"I've been saying it for years. He's a very calming influence back there, he's always in control, he always makes the stops when we need them. He's been great and I'm sure he'll continue to be great."
Rask's play was solid on Monday, but particularly so in the second period, when he robbed Ryan McDonagh and Carl Hagelin, among other key stops, especially one right after Johnny Boychuk had scored to regain the lead, putting the B's up 3-2.
The Bruins had allowed the Rangers to respond to their previous two goals, but Rask's timely saves led way for his team to break open the game in the third, en route to the 5-2 win.
As such, a point of emphasis for the Bruins heading into Game Three is to clean up the odd-man rushes and turnovers that led to New York's two goals from Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash. Callahan's came after Brad Marchand attempted a pass that led to an offensive blueline turnover; Nash's was scored in a similar fashion, after a two-on-one developed.
"Always," said Thornton, when asked if getting rid of the turnovers will be a focus for Tuesday night. "I think we're a better team when we're north-south, not east-west. When we get pucks in, we usually do a pretty good job of trying to get them back. Giving teams opportunities from the far blueline to come wheeling back at our D is not ideal."
Half of those 'D' have only 11 combined playoff games of experience. Of course, I'm referring to the trio of Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton.
"They're playing unbelievable," said No. 22, of watching the young guys integrate themselves into the lineup. "It's been a few little plays, not to take away the points they've gotten, but there's been a few little plays in the neutral zone, they had their heads up, they were making passes that not a lot of people would see."
"They can make it a lot easier on us forwards."
The Bruins are heading into New York with the 2-0 series lead; they also had a two-game, 3-1 lead against Toronto, and saw that squandered.
Is there anything that can be learned from that?
"Oh, I don't know," Thornton said, as he stood in front of his stall. "My mentality is to take it game from game, no matter where the series is at. I think you start looking at what happens behind you, you get lost a little."
"I'll just focus on Game Three."