By Joe Haggerty
NEW YORK Shawn Thornton was honored and a little humbled after being named the Boston Bruins' nominee for the Masterton Trophy, given to the player who shows perseverance and dedication to hockey while overcoming odds or giving back to charity in numerous ways. Thornton qualifies on any number of fronts for the honor, and was truly appreciative for the consideration following Mondays morning skate at Madison Square Garden.In addition to the myriad charity endeavors Thornton has become involved in as a full-time resident of Boston over the last four years and the professional attitude he takes in the Bs dressing room, hes also enjoying his best season in the NHL with a career-high 9 goals and 18 points. Not too shabby for a 33-year-old whos had to punch and grind his way into a full-time NHL job, and was certainly deserving of a nomination for the prestigious award.Ageless wonder Mark Recchi was the Boston nominee last year after putting up a fantastic individual season as a 42-year-old wonder to the hockey world.Its an honor. Id like to thank the writers for thinking of me, said Thornton, who is doubtful for Monday nights game against the Rangers because of the 40-stitch cut he suffered on his head last week against the Blackhawks. Its certainly been a long grind for me getting here. Its finally paid off.Thornton was happy to get rid of the visor on his helmet for the morning skate at Madison Square Garden, and said he wasnt going to be playing with it when he does return to the ice. The Bs enforcer also expected that the stitches will be removed from his forehead on Tuesday when the team returns back to Boston.Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.
The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.
The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.
“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”
McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.
“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”
That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.