Thornton: Nobody on the Canucks stepped up

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Thornton: Nobody on the Canucks stepped up

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.

By design.

"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."

Felger: Bruins have no choice but to overpay for defenseman

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Felger: Bruins have no choice but to overpay for defenseman

Yes, four first-round picks for Jacob Trouba is crazy.

Yes, two firsts and David Pastrnak for Kevin Shattenkirk is stupid.

And, of course, Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson is ridiculous. (Remember Bruins fans: As bad as it's been, it could be worse. Peter Chiarelli could still be here.)

No one is disputing that the asking price for good, young defensemen across the NHL has gone haywire. If you're acquiring one of those players, you are likely going to lose the deal, and that's no way to run a franchise.

But here's the question for the Bruins: What's the alternative? Do the Bruins want to try and win in the Patrice Bergeron window or not?

That's what it comes down to for the B's. Bergeron will turn 31 in three weeks, and while he may have plenty of seasons left, his time as one of the best two-way players in the NHL is certainly more finite. He will likely be out of that elite status by the time anyone currently in the B's system develops into the type of No. 1 defenseman the team so desperately needs -- if there's even anyone who fits that description in the first place.

In other words, if the B's want a top-pairing defenseman anytime soon, they're going to have to pay for it. Or overpay for it. Draft picks. Players. Offer sheets. Whatever. Something unappealing is going to have to go out the door.

If there's another way, I'd like to know what it is. There's virtually nothing to choose from in the unrestricted pool. And everyone on the current depth chart is either too old, too young or too crappy.

So four first-rounders and a $7 million annual cap hit for Trouba? That's an impossible price to wrap your head around, until you consider the alternatives.

Ideally, the B's are using that Jets offer sheet threat as a leverage play, an attempt to create options in hopes the Blues lower their ask on Shattenkirk, or the Ducks lower their price on Cam Fowler. Maybe the B's have been trying to work a trade with the Jets for Trouba himself and are just bringing a hammer to the table. Lower your demands or we'll offer sheet him. Perhaps that offer sheet isn't even a realistic consideration and is nothing more than noise.

I have no idea. The only thing I know is that the B's still stink on D.

The players they have drafted the last few years may not be any good, and if they are it will be a half-decade before they're capable of playing the kind of playoff minutes necessary to contend for a Cup. The Bruins keep saying they want to contend now, which is pretty much impossible given the personnel on the blue line.

So what do they want? To wait for the kids and blow the rest of Bergeron's prime? Or give up an exorbitant price in a deal they'll very likely lose?

I'd probably lean towards the later, but there's really no right answer. It's called Bruins.

Email Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz daily from 2-6 p.m. The simulcast runs on CSN.

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Matt Kalman provides his take on what the Boston Bruins should do in terms of potentially landing a top defenseman this offseason.