BOSTON -- Whether or not Shawn Thornton is in the lineup for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Washington Capitals, the veteran forward and two-time Stanley Cup champion, will be fully engaged for his teammates in whichever way possible.
He was a healthy scratch after the pregame warmup prior to Game 6 on Sunday in Washington when Bruins coach Claude Julien decided to insert forward Jordan Caron into the lineup to replace Thornton. The move was basically to give the lineup depth since second-line center Patrice Bergeron was playing with an upper-body injury.
Julien said he would also wait until after the warmups before deciding on his Game 7 lineup.
Of course Thornton wants to play, but if he’s not in the lineup Wednesday night, he realizes what ever is best for the team is more important.
“I don’t give a [expletive] this time of year,” he said after the team’s practice on Tuesday. “It’s whatever helps the team. Claude and I had a good talk. It was a decision that was made and I fully support it. It’s not about me this time of year. It’s about wins and losses. I joke that I wish he would have told me before I had my six coffees and two Sudafeds; it’s tough to watch a game when you’re that wired. I was really OK with it. It’s about whatever it takes.
“This is my 15th year and I’ve been through this a number of times and I don’t know how many playoff games, but I will stay ready for when I’m called upon. If it’s not the next game then I’ll do whatever I can to support my teammates.”
Thornton was in and out of the lineup during the 2011 Stanley Cup title run, playing in 18 of the 25 games.
“He’s always been appreciated and we appreciate him as a player and first and foremost as a person,” Julien said. “What he does when he drops the gloves is something that’s part of his strength, but sometimes a coach has to make decisions and it’s nothing personal. It’s not necessarily about the player’s play more than it’s what we need for this certain game and that’s all it was.
“He understands that stuff. He’s been through it many times before, even before he came here, so he’s all about team and whatever we need to do he’s going to support.”
Caron played a total of 4:56 during Boston’s 4-3 overtime win in Game 6. Still, he was happy with getting the opportunity.
“I’ve been waiting for that for a while and I was pretty happy when Claude told me I was going to play,” Caron said.