Leafs left Thornton with terrible memories

Boston's Shawn Thornton skates prior to the game against the Florida Panthers on March 15, 2012 at...

Boston's Shawn Thornton skates prior to the game against the Florida Panthers on March 15, 2012 at the BankAtlantic Center. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Mike Zeisberger, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:14 PM ET

BOSTON - Like many kids who grew up in Oshawa, Ont., and followed the Maple Leafs, Shawn Thornton did not see many Game 7s during his youth.

When he did, well, it left a bitter taste in his mouth.

Thornton, 34, is now a veteran of seventh games, having been part of a Boston Bruins team that played three of them en route to winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. They were at it again Wednesday night, too, facing off against the Washington Capitals in a do-or-die showdown at the TD Garden with their first-round series tied 3-3.

Asked if he had any Game 7 recollections from his childhood, Thornton said: "No, not off the top of my head. I really don't.

"The Leafs were terrible, so I don't even know if they got there."

Upon further review, he did have one Game 7 memory, from 1993. A bad one. It featured Doug Gilmour's Leafs and Wayne Gretzky's Kings, a 5-4 win by Los Angeles at Maple Leaf Gardens in a game The Great One claims may have been his best.

"Yeah, that's a bad memory," Thornton said. "I was at the SkyDome watching that with my mom (on the Jumbotron). It was a bad memory. That's the only Game 7 I really remember growing up."

During his adult life, Game 7s have worked out quite well for Thornton, none more so than the Bruins' 4-0 Stanley Cup-winning victory over the Vancouver Canucks last June.

"It's pretty cool," Thornton said. "Obviously it's what every kid dreams of. I'm happy to be a part of it."

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

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