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Bruins motivated by failed ‘vengeance’ against Penguins

Image (1) Thornton1-thumb-200x300-9428.jpg for post 913

I was frankly appalled when the Boston Bruins failed to show any emotion in their much-hyped rematch against the Pittsburgh Penguins. This was the game they were supposed to get revenge for the Matt Cooke injustice; no one was looking for some sort of violent backlash with dirty shots and sticks to knees, but some sort of “we’ll get you back” approach to the game would have been nice.

The NHL was making sure there weren’t any Todd Bertuzzi-esque acts of vengeance, but they needn’t worry. The Bruins played as though they forgot to set their alarm clocks that morning, and just drifted through the most disappointing game I’ve seen from a team in years.

According to Joe Haggerty of, the Bruins used that wasted chance as motivation for the rest of the season.

“People wanted to see blood or a win, and we didn’t give them either one. If we’d just gotten a win afterward people would have been happier than hell,” said [Shawn] Thornton.

But that, strange as it seems, may have been the turning point.

“It seems like guys really responded to some of the negative criticism and have started to play a little bit better,” said Thornton. “I don’t think we’ve had any passengers since then.”

The Bruins won eight of their remaining 12 games after that loss to the Penguins, and were able to secure a playoff spot thanks to actually winning and not backing in to the postseason. They now have confidence and momentum, something that hardly seemed possible just a month ago.

The Bruins were close to becoming a sad, sad story at the end of the season. It was great to see them actually rise to the occasion when it really mattered. Now if they are able to make it past the first round, and possible face Pittsburgh again? I’m certain we’ll see a bit more life.