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The Bruins and Capitals kickoff their round one match up tonight at the Garden. The Caps took the regular season series, but as everyone knows the playoffs are a whole different animal.
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton spoke with Toucher & Rich about the start to the playoffs, Nathan Horton being out for the playoffs, the Washington Capitals and what his game day schedule looks like.
The B’s haven’t played a game since Saturday, the longest break in over two months. Is it realistic to expect little nagging things to go away in that short amount of time?
“I would expect it, I think this is the first year I’ve gone in actually feeling really good, not too many nagging injuries at all.”
Speaking of injuries, the B’s announced Wednesday that Nathan Horton will not be playing in the year’s playoffs. There was a time when fans thought he could return when reports came out that he was skating and working out.
Did Thornton think the winger would be back?
“When he started skating I was pretty optimistic, coming into the room he looked like he’d had a pretty good workout. Obviously I don’t talk to him in the afternoon afterwards to see how he’s feeling, but I was hopeful he was coming back.”
Read: Kalman: Bruins’ Three Keys To Victory Against Capitals
Adam McQuaid has been ruled out for at least this first game, so it looks like Joe Corvo will see some ice time. How has Corvo handled this season and being a healthy scratch when he’s had such a productive career up to this point?
“He’s a professional, he’s been around for 15 years I think he was a healthy scratch for two or three games, but that happens to everyone through the course of their career. I sure it’s not the first time it’s happened to him. I think he’s an unbelievable hockey player though.”
The guys moved on to discuss the Washington Capitals. The Caps are not know for being a stout defensive team, although Thornton feels they have gotten better now that Dale Hunter has taken over.
What does Thornton think of the Capital offense?
“They’re pretty scary offensively that’s for sure.”
“They have so many weapons Mike Green, Wideman, Semin, Ovechkin, Backstrom they’re pretty deep as far as their skill set.”
Does the way that the Capitals play force Thornton to change the way that he plays his game?
“You have to be aware of their skills, they can turn the puck and get it going the other way really quick.”
Plus will they miss having a guy like Mark Recchi who has a ton of playoff experience and has all the rings?