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Bruins motivated by failed 'vengeance' against Penguins

Apr 14, 2010, 10:25 AM EST

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Thornton1.jpgI 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 CSNNE.com
, 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.

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