If there'd been a Shawn Thornton on the Canucks, there might not be a Stanley Cup in Boston.
Not that Thornton was the main reason the Bruins beat Vancouver. But once the B's enforcer -- a healthy scratch in the first two games of the Finals, both of which Boston lost -- got into the action, the tone of the series changed.
"When I'm in there, the dynamic's a little different," Thornton said to Michael Felger on Mohegan Sun's Sports Tonight on Thursday. "The fourth line's completely different . . . We were able to create some energy and create forechecks and bang some bodies, and then the rest of the Bruins fell in behind that."
They also were able to create an intimidation factor . . . something the Canucks had no answer for.
"Nobody on that side stepped up," said Thornton. "I don't want to be the sore winner and start badmouthing people over there, but I know if people on the Canucks were acting the way I was, I probably would have come off the bench and had a word about it . . . "
Having a word about it was exactly what Thornton excelled at.
After Game 5, Roberto Luongo insinuated he was better than Tim Thomas and that he was surprised the Bruins' goaltender hadn't said anything positive about him. So before Game 6, Thornton shot a puck into the Canucks' end during warmups and skated a lap around Luongo, yelling something along the way.
"I can't repeat what I said," said Thornton. "I honestly can't. I would get suspended."
Joe Haggerty looks at a number of trade possibilities for the Bruins with the NHL deadline little more than a week away
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Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while spring training is ramping up in a big way down in Florida.
*The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to wear their great, green, old school St. Pat’s sweaters around St. Patrick’s Day this season.
*Jonathan Quick is on the ice and participating in hockey activity, but isn’t quite ready to return for the Los Angeles Kings.
*This is one of the best things you’ll see today with Vladimir Tarasenko making the 11th birthday celebration for a special little girl.
*The Edmonton Oilers could potentially make a lot of moves at the NHL trade deadline, and unsurprisingly, there is quite the call for them to dump Benoit Pouliot after that bad contract they signed him to a couple of years ago.
*Lyle Richardson is predicting the biggest buyers at the 2017 NHL trade deadline and the Bruins are not among the nine teams listed.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) James Mirtle goes 1-on-1 with Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello a wide range of subjects for the Athletic up in Toronto.
*Tommy Wingels continues to fight for inclusion in hockey even as he’s gone from the San Jose Sharks to the Ottawa Senators this season.
*For something completely different: A perfect pool trick shot video will blow your mind and probably get a few pool tables ruined with people trying to recreate it.