SAN JOSE, Calif. – As if the Sharks don't have enough problems trailing Vancouver 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals, captain Joe Thornton suffered an apparent shoulder injury with 10:47 left in the third period Sunday.
Thornton took a shoulder to shoulder hit along the boards from Canucks forward Raffi Torres. He left the ice and did not return for another shift during the Sharks' 4-2 loss in Game 4.
After the game, Sharks coach Todd McLellan was asked to give an update on Thornton's condition or his status for Tuesday's Game 5 in Vancouver.
"I can't right now," McLellan said. "We'll see once I get an update."
Thornton is typically the first Shark available to reporters after games, but after Sunday's game he was not at his locker in the dressing room.
"I'm not sure what happened to Joe, but he's one of the best players in the world and losing him was tough," Sharks rookie Logan Couture said. "But knowing Joe, he hates missing games, and he'll play."
Losing Thornton for Game 5 would be a huge blow for the Sharks. He has 17 points and is tied for postseason scoring lead with Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier.
Very happy that old guy finally scored. It was great. You see the excitement on his face. I remember when I scored my first goal and it's just such a great feeling. Anytime you can help contribute to a team win it's a lot of fun.
— Boston defenseman Torey Krug on 26-year-old teammate Kevan Miller, whose first NHL goal helped the Bruins top the Maple Leafs