Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Popular Thornton could return for Bruins

Categories: Boston Bruins, VAN vs. BOS, Vancouver Canucks

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Shawn Thornton, seen practising last week for Boston, is looking to return to the playoff lineup. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press) Shawn Thornton, seen practising last week for Boston, is looking to return to the playoff lineup. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)

The Boston Bruins, facing an 0-2 deficit, could alter their lineup in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against Vancouver. The change they could make is dressing Shawn Thornton and sitting Tyler Seguin.

By doing so, Thornton would give the fourth line - he would play with Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell - the identity it's been missing in the series.

Rich Peverley would then skate on the third line with Michael Ryder and Chris Kelly. Seguin is scoreless since his four-point outburst in Game 2 against Tampa Bay.

In Game 2, Vancouver's fourth line provided bang for the buck. Manny Malhotra won six of seven faceoffs. Jeff Tambellini and Victor Oreskovich landed four hits apiece.

"That permits our top guys to play anywhere from 18 to 20 minutes and have good energy," Alain Vigneault said. "That's what we had in the first game. That's what we had in the second game."

Campbell and Paille have been penalty-killing specialists instead of even-strength players. Peverley had been taking occasional even-strength shifts with Paille and Campbell.

"We feel our fourth line we have is certainly capable of matching that," Julien said. "They're throwing their body around. We need to throw our body around and finish our checks like we've done all year. This is a seven-game series. We all know that it eventually takes its toll."

Road game at home

The Bruins had some taxing travel at the start of the season, which they opened in the Czech Republic. But of their 41 road games during the regular season, only seven took place outside of the Eastern time zone.

With that in mind, the Bruins tried to make their travel home from Vancouver as easy as possible. Instead of leaving after Game 2, the Bruins flew back to Boston the following morning at 8 a.m. Western time. Last night, they stayed in a downtown hotel instead of returning home.

"I think we're OK," Michael Ryder said. "We didn't skate yesterday. We just traveled. We got our rest last night. It's a little adjustment, but I don't think it's going to affect us too much. We're used to it. We did what we needed to be ready."

Better puck management required

If the Bruins want better results in Game 3, they must take better care of the puck. They committed too many turnovers in the neutral zone and didn't place pucks where they wanted to in the offensive zone.

"Better puck management is about putting pucks in the right place and creating the forecheck that we want to get," Julien said. "It's also staying away from those turnovers. That's a big part of the game. If you can manage that part of it, a lot of the parts you like about your game will come back."

Julien rips Canucks' sportsmanship

In Game 2, Maxim Lapierre taunted Patrice Bergeron, who had his finger bitten by Alex Burrows in the previous game. Lapierre waved his finger in Bergeron's face, appearing to ask the center to give it a chomp.

This morning, Julien was asked what he thought of Lapierre's actions. Julien coached Lapierre for one season in Montreal.

"If it's acceptable for them, then so be it," Julien said. "It certainly wouldn't be acceptable on our end of it. I think you know me enough to know that. Not much I can say on that. The NHL rules on something. If they decide to make a mockery of it, that's totally up to them. If that's their way of handling things, so be it. We can't waste our time on that kind of stuff. We really have to focus on what we have to do. Last time I looked, we're down two games to none. All our energy had to go toward that."

On March 31, during a 4-3 shootout loss to Toronto, Brad Marchand mimicked swinging a golf club in front of the Leafs bench. Julien scolded Marchand for the swing after the game.

Alain Vigneault said he didn't see Lapierre's finger wave.

"If that happened in between whistles, I didn't see it," Vigneault said. "I focus on the play that's going on between whistles."

Expected lineup

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Michael Ryder-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid