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Thornton excited for first game in Vancouver

by Dave Lozo /
VANCOUVER -- After coming straight from Vancouver International Airport to Rogers Arena, the usually energetic and quick-witted Shawn Thornton didn't seem himself Thursday. Of course, the party line among the players in the visiting locker room here was despite winning two straight games in Boston, the series was simply tied 2-2 and there was nothing to celebrate.

But come on, Shawn. You're not the least bit excited?

"You probably can't tell right now because I just got off the plane, but I'm pretty excited," Thornton cracked.

The rigors of six-hour, cross-country flights mixed with the grueling intensity of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks will wear down even the toughest of players. But with Game 5 about 24 hours away, Thornton feels the Bruins' complete performance in a 4-0 victory in Game 4 won't be enough if they want to win at Rogers Arena.

"We're going to have to play a lot better than we did yesterday because we know they're going to be a lot better," Thornton said. "We have to put in the same effort, if not more. Nothing special happened. We've just evened up the series. I think we've done a good job of keeping our focus."

Thornton spent the first two games of the series watching from the press box, so this will be his first crack at playing in Vancouver during this series. After losing a pair of one-goal games here to open the series, the Bruins dismantled the Canucks 12-1 in two games in Boston.

Have the Bruins figured out the Canucks?

"There's a little more familiarity with these guys now," Thornton said. "Maybe we were a little surprised the first couple games. The game's a lot easier up there (in the press box). We know what to expect. I don't know if that's easier or not. It's the same on both sides, right? So they know what to expect too."

So does Thornton, whose excitement is perhaps tempered because he knows his role on the Bruins.

"They have last change," Thornton said,  "so I don't know how much ice time I'll be getting."

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