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Monday, April 23, 2012
Julien: Thornton scratch out of 'necessity'

By James Murphy

BOSTON -- Veteran winger Shawn Thornton was a last-minute scratch for Game 6 in Washington on Sunday as Bruins coach Claude Julien elected to insert Jordan Caron into the lineup for the first time in the series. A day after his team’s thrilling 4-3 overtime win forced Game 7 Wednesday at TD Garden, Julien wasn’t in the mood to explain his decision to use Caron, who finished with no points and was a plus-1 in 4:56 of ice time.

“It certainly wasn’t related to play,” Julien said. “It was related to a decision I had to make just before the game. That’s hard for me to give you that reason right now because it would probably open up a can of worms, so I’m going to leave it at that. It’s certainly not because of Thornton’s play. It’s because of necessity.”

Thornton had no points through the first five games of the series, but is viewed as an emotional leader both on and off the ice. Linemate Gregory Campbell knows Thornton wants to be in, but said Thornton can be a positive impact on the team even if he doesn't play.

“He’s a competitor and he’s a really valuable player to our team,” Campbell said. “I know he handled the situation well, but I’m sure it’s killing him not to be able to play. We’ll see what happens Wednesday.

"He’s always ready and it’s a tough job that he has. He’s very vocal and he’s a leader for us whether he’s in or out of the lineup. His presence is still valuable to our team, and if he’s in I’m sure he’ll be ready."