Thornton: B's not playing hard enough

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Following the Bruins' 1-0 loss to the Avalanche Monday afternoon in which they wasted a brilliant 35-save performance by Tuukka Rask, coach Claude Julien called his team out, saying his players got “outworked” and weren’t as “hungry” as the Avalanche.

Before heading to Carolina on Tuesday for the B's tilt with the Hurricanes at RBC Center on Wednesday, veteran winger Shawn Thornton -- never one to mince words himself -- shared the same sentiments, calling on himself and his teammates to have a better effort than the one they have shown through their first three games, when they've gone 1-2-0.

“I think the Tampa game we played the way we need to play, but the other two games we weren’t good enough,” Thornton said. “I think we need to be better as a whole and I don’t think anyone is immune from that.”

As Thornton sees it, the Bruins don’t win based on skill alone and players can’t take nights off.

“They played hard and we didn’t play hard enough,” Thornton said of Monday’s game. “Tuukka played well enough but I think some guys showed up to play and some didn’t. That has to change quickly because that’s how this team wins. All 20 guys show up to play and that’s how we win. We are not good enough to have 18 guys show up, we need all 20.”

The talk of a “Stanley Cup hangover" is growing louder and the Bruins realize they have targets on their backs, but as Thornton pointed out, the best way to deal with that is to prepare for each game the way they always have, no matter the opponent.

“I think each person needs to figure out a way to prepare on an individual level and come ready to play each night,” Thornton said. “It shouldn’t matter what’s going on with the other side or how they’re looking at us. We need to just be ready no matter who we’re playing and no matter what happened last year. That’s last year. Who cares. Play that game and be ready for that moment. Have yourself in the right spot and be ready to go.”