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Joe Thornton’s status in doubt after a wicked hit from Raffi Torres

May 22, 2011, 7:33 PM EDT

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Joe Thornton, Alex Burrows AP

The Sharks tough 4-2 loss in Game 4 to the Canucks came with a price. Not only are the Sharks now down 3-1 in the series that’s headed back to Vancouver with the possibility of seeing the Canucks clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup final, but San Jose could be without their captain in that game.

Joe Thornton was knocked out of Game 4 in the third period thanks to a heavy hit from Canucks forward Raffi Torres. Torres’ hit caught Thornton off guard and caused Thornton to fall awkwardly to the ice. While Thornton popped back up after the hit, he was holding his left arm gingerly as he skated back to the bench. Thornton headed back to the locker room for treatment and did not return to the ice.

After the game, Sharks coach Todd McLellan was asked about Thornton’s status and gave this update.

 Q.  Can you update us on Thornton’s situation?

        COACH McLELLAN:  I can’t right now.  We’ll see once I get an update.

We’re not about to play amateur doctor here and guess what’s ailing Thornton, but seeing him holding his arm the way he was when he left the ice to be treated has to give the Sharks extreme concern. After all, if you’re going into an elimination game without arguably your best forward, you’re starting off in a bad way from the get go. We’ll find out more about Thornton’s condition later on, but right now the Sharks have every reason to be worried ahead of Game 5.

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