Boston Bruins: Talking Points on the 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers.


Nov 4, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Florida Panthers right wing

Shawn Thornton

(22) skates on the ice during warm ups prior to the game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, the Boston Bruins made up a one goal deficit against the Florida Panthers and they surged ahead to win the game in overtime. Brad Marchand once again played the part of dragon slayer for the Black and Gold, sending a shot past Roberto Luongo to give the B’s a 2-1 win. The Bruins improve to 8-6 and are now just one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division.

Here are a few of the topics that came from last night’s performance.

Shawn Thornton is still loved in Boston. The roar of approval when the Bruins showed Thornton’s highlight real was deafening. The Bruins who were on the ice began tapping their sticks as soon as it started. Tuukka Rask‘s smile was visible from twenty feet away. “It was great,” said Rask postgame about the Thornton tribute. “I think it was the loudest this year by far in the building. It was kind of emotional there seeing all those moments we spent together and had together.” Both teams stood along with the fans during the montage.

Thornton could probably run for mayor of Boston after he retires and win.

He was genuinely moved by the thunderous ovation given by the fans. The moment the fans saw what was happening they were on their feet. It started loud, got louder, and continued through the entire tribute. It went on for another two or three minutes easily afterwards. “It’s pretty touching you know,” said Thornton after the game. “Very, very kind, very gentle.  Gentle? That’s not the word I was looking for.  To get a standing ovation in a visiting arena is pretty special and I appreciate it.”

“The fans have always been great to me here and again tonight.  It’s pretty nice.”

Thornton played a career-high 16:03 minutes tonight. He had a single shot on goal and five hits on the final tally sheet.

Tuukka Rask had the hockey gods on his side tonight. There were a couple of shots on net in the second and third period that looked destined to go through the crease tonight for Florida. Rask was everywhere he needed to be for Boston. That being said, there was at least one incident of pure puck luck that kept the score even in the third period. Tuukka even took a quick second to chirp his friend Thornton (all in good fun) after the game. “I’m happy we won, he played a lot of minutes today and I’m happy he didn’t get that goal.”

Brad Marchand is in fifth gear. The Bruins resident pest has proven he’s ready to fire on all cylinders. For the second time in three games, Brad Marchand scored the game winning overtime goal for Boston. Marchand now has six points (four goals) in the last three games. He’s now the team’s leading scorer with five goals and tied for second(with David Krejci) with nine points so far this season. He earned First Star of the Night honors tonight. Marchand even stopped on the ice to watch a replay of his goal (It was a rather funny thing to watch. He was just as captivated by the play as we were.)before sitting down with Caryn Switaj to discuss the game.

The Bergeron line is getting back to one hundred percent. Patrice Bergeron scored the tying goal for Boston in the second period tonight. The entire second line earned points for that goal. It was Bergeron’s first goal in twelve games. The second line played with a synergy that they didn’t quite have in the last few games. They were always where they needed to be, and there was strong mutual support from each of them tonight.

Gerard Gallant is a class act. The Panthers head coach gave his own mini-tribute to Shawn Thornton tonight. Gallant put Thornton in as the starting right winger in the Panthers lineup. As soon as Thornton got announced the crowd roared its approval. It was a really nice thing to do, and this Bruins fan wants to thank the Panthers’ bench boss for the very classy thing he did.

Roberto Luongo and the TD Garden don’t mix well. It didn’t take long for the “Lu-on-go!” chant to begin in earnest in Boston. To his credit, Luongo played a solid game, and kept Marchand out of the crease through all of regulation. Luongo is still a world class player, and he earned that point for Florida tonight. Luongo has claimed to have gotten over 2011 though, and he thinks the TD Garden is a great place to play in.

“He’s been great since he’s got here,” said Luongo about Shawn Thornton. “He has showed a lot of leadership and character, something that this team has needed. He has been a good influence on our young guys and a big part of our team.”

I never thought I’d say this, but good on you Roberto Luongo. That was a genuinely decent (and honest) thing to say. The Bruins will be staying in Boston as they next take on the Edmonton Oilers. It’s another reunion of sorts as ex-Bruin Andrew Ference will be at the TD Garden watching the game from the ninth level (due to his suspension).