Posts Tagged ‘Joe Thornton’

2014 NHL Playoffs: Seven different Sharks score in Game 2 rout of Kings

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Fourth-liner Raffi Torres turned out to be a catalyst for the Sharks' explosive attack. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Fourth-liner Raffi Torres turned out to be a catalyst for the Sharks’ explosive attack. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Not to steal a rare moment in the sun from fourth line winger Mike Brown, but the real first star of San Jose’s stunning 7-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings wasn’t wearing teal.

Brown may have scored the first of San Jose’s seven unanswered goals and led the assault with eight official hits but the actual catalyst behind this jaw-dropping win was Sharks coach Todd McLellan, who made two decisions early in the second period that turned a 2-0 deficit into a franchise-record tying rout.

Sensing that his combinations needed some adjusting after a frustrating first period, he pulled Joe Pavelski off of Joe Thornton’s wing and slotted him on the third line between Tommy Wingels and James Sheppard. He also recognized that his fourth line was firing on all cylinders and deserved a regular shift.

Both calls paid quick dividends. Brown and Raffi Torres drew the Sharks even by the midway point of the period, setting the stage for Pavelski to help blow the game wide open with a goal and two assists in a four-goal third.

No one should be surprised that San Jose now holds a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. After all, the home side has taken 18 of their last 19 meetings. But the scale of these victories might be more surprising than the Red Wedding. What was expected to be a tight defensive series has been turned upside down. The Sharks have lit up the Kings for 13 goals through two games after scoring a total of 10 in last spring’s seven-game loss and now stand poised to put their rivals on the ropes when the series resumes Tuesday night in L.A.

Whatever the line for that one is, take the over.

Here are some quick observations on tonight’s game, as well as a couple of thoughts on what sets up to be a very important Game 3.

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  • Published On Apr 21, 2014
  • Sharks get to Jonathan Quick, Kings early, hang on for 6-3 Game 1 Win

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    The Sharks' relentless forecheck did not make it an easy night for Jonathan Quick. (Nick Lust/NHLI via Getty Images)

    The Sharks’ relentless forecheck did not make it an easy night for Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Asked before the game what it would take the upend the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose’s Joe Thornton said simply, “Score some goals on Quick.”

    The Sharks did just that, beating Jonathan Quick three times in the first period on the way to a 6-3 win in their series opener on Thursday night.

    Thornton got the hosts on the board just 3:06 in with a deft deflection of a Joe Pavelski backhander, but it was a pair of goals from rookie Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau in the final 52 seconds of the frame that set the stage for a rout.

    The Sharks built their lead up to 5-0 in the second, sending Quick to the showers after 40 minutes. And while the Kings rallied with three goals to make the score interesting in the third, the end result was never really in doubt.

    Here are some observations after tonight’s contest and a look ahead to Sunday’s Game 2.

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • 2014 NHL playoffs preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks

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    Joe Thornton (left) and Drew Doughty are both crucial figures in a potentially thrilling first round California series. (Don Smith/Getty Images)

    Joe Thornton (19) and Drew Doughty (8) are crucial figures in a possibly thrilling first-round series. (Getty Images)

    By Gabriel Baumgaertner

    Regular Season recaps

    Wed. Oct. 30: Los Angeles 4, San Jose 3 (OT)

    Wed. Nov. 27: San Jose 3, Los Angeles 2 (SO)

    Thu. Dec. 19: Los Angeles 4, San Jose 1

    Mon. Jan. 27: Los Angeles 1, San Jose 0

    Thu April 3: San Jose 2, Los Angeles 1

    Notable injuries

    Kings: Drew Doughty (upper-body, day-to-day), Dwight King (undisclosed)

    Sharks: Raffi Torres (knee, doubtful), Scott Hannan (head, day-to-day)

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  • Published On Apr 16, 2014
  • Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau sign new multi-year deals with San Jose Sharks

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    Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have signed new contracts with the San Jose Sharks.

    Patrick Marleau (12) and Joe Thornton (19) have been Sharks teammates since 2005. (Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Their names may have popped up in the occasional free agency prognostication piece, but it has always felt like a matter of when, not if, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau would decide to finish their careers with the Sharks.

    The current and former San Jose captains both made it official today, signing extensions that will keep them in teal for the next three seasons.

    That was clearly the goal all along for Thornton and Marleau. Both players took less term and dollars than they could have earned on the market this summer. In fact, they were even willing to take minor haircuts to get the deals done. Marleau’s contract features an annual average value of $6.67 million, down from his current $6.90 million. Thornton will bring home an AAV of $6.75 million after taking home $7 million this season.

    “Patrick and Joe continue to perform at an elite level in the National Hockey League and, most importantly, they make the other players around them better,” general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. “They both made it very clear that they wanted to stay in San Jose and we were able to agree on contracts that fit with our team building philosophy.”

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  • Published On Jan 24, 2014
  • Joe Thornton, Claude Giroux highlight Canada’s Sochi All-Snubbed Team

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    Team Canada's Joe Thornton at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

    It’s a true measure of the depth of Canada’s talent pool that Joe Thornton was left off the Sochi roster. (Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Every four years, Canadians wish that hockey was more like bobsledding. Or maybe pairs figure skating.

    Those sports, after all, allow a country to enter multiple teams in the Olympic Games, assuming that it has the talent pool to field a second world-class entry. And when it comes to hockey, Canada is plenty deep enough.

    Regardless of who Steve Yzerman and his crew picked today, some excellent players were not going to make the cut. Really, really excellent players. Enough, in fact, to field another squad capable of competing for a medal in Sochi.

    Start with the NHL’s assist leader Joe Thornton feeding sauce to James Neal and Martin St. Louis. Then imagine the blazing speed and Globetrotter-esque puck movement of a Kid Line featuring Tyler Seguin between Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner.

    Back them up with 2013 Norris finalist Kris Letang and gold medalist Brent Seabrook and solid goaltending from Cup-winner Corey Crawford or young sensation Josh Harding and you’ve got a club that would give other teams fits.

    Sadly, for Canadians anyway, that second squad is just a fantasy. But it is fun to imagine what a Canada 2 team might have looked like…

    MUIR: USA’s All-Snubbed Team | My final Team Canada projected roster | Windy ceremony draws tweet heat

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  • Published On Jan 07, 2014
  • Top Line: Penguins mock Jets’ system; Panic in Vancouver; more links

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    The Winnipeg Jets were ripped by members of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    The relentlessly mediocre Winnipeg Jets are confounding their fans and their opponents. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Dig deep into this Dejan Kovacevic column (past the part where he says Team Canada would have to be “stupid and stubborn” not to take Chris Kunitz and James Neal) and you will find the real meat of that matter: an absolute rip job on the state of the Jets by members of the Penguins in the wake of their 6-5 victory over Winnipeg on Sunday. One Pittsburgh player said that the Jets have “no structure.” Another said they had “no real plan for what they’re doing.” Yet another called Winnipeg “really just a strange team.” Do you think there’s a Jets fan out there who would disagree with this assessment?

    • Don’t look for the Pens to bolster their roster with another Jarome Iginla-type rental player before this year’s March 5 trade deadline. GM Ray Shero may have something else in mind.

    • Will Simon Despres be the player who Shero dangles? Jim Matheson considers that trade rumor, along with the fates of Michal Neuvirth and James Reimer, in his Monday morning musings.

    • Rob Laurie almost made his NHL debut last night with the Canucks. That would have been pretty amazing, considering that when he woke up on Sunday morning he was just some guy who ran a website.

    • No word yet on the state of Roberto Luongo, for whom Laurie filled in, but there is concern that Luongo’s injury won’t be day-to-day. He’ll have an MRI on Monday.
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  • Published On Jan 06, 2014
  • Roberto Luongo victimized by one of the worst bounces in history

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    Roberto Luongo is coming off his best opening month in six years and the only thing anyone remembers about his October is the ridiculous own goal he scored on behalf of the Montreal Canadiens.

    One of the worst of all time? Maybe by October’s standards. But here we are just a week into November and he’s somehow managed to top that ignominious moment.

    The first shot he faced tonight against San Jose wasn’t even a shot, really. At least not one that would have counted in the official stats. Joe Thornton dumped it in off the end boards and then watched as it acted like it had a grudge against Luongo, bouncing off the back of the net, rolling up on top and then out in front, falling in the perfect spot for the spinning keeper to knock it in with his glove.

    Just like Thornton worked on it in practice, no doubt.

    Luongo’s going to take a lot of heat for this one, but honestly, there’s no reason to think he could — or should — have played it any differently. This was the definition of a bad bounce. Maybe one of the worst ever.

    It’s gonna be a tough one to live down. And even tougher to top next month.

  • Published On Nov 08, 2013
  • Joe Thornton aftermath: Joffrey Lupul says he won’t talk to reporter again

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    The San Jose Sharks locker room is the center of the Joe Thornton four goal celebration comment controversy

    The sanctity of the dressing room is a burning question in the wake of Joe Thornton’s comment. (Getyy Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Vancouver Province writer Jason Botchford made a big splash on Thursday by reporting on Joe Thornton’s graphic plans for a future four-goal celebration, but his story ended any chance he had of dealing with at least one NHL player.

    MUIR: Hockey world prays Joe Thornton never celebrates four goals

    “That’s pretty disappointing as a player to see that,” Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul said on TSN 1050 this afternoon. “[Media are] given full access to our room. Where’s it stop? What else can they report on while they’re in there if you’re gonna do things off the record?

    “I would hope to not see that guy in our room and certainly I’d never give him a quote again.”

    Asked if he thought other players would follow suit in blackballing Botchford, Lupul replied, “I hope so.”

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  • Published On Oct 11, 2013
  • Top Line: Joe Thornton’s four goal celebration a hot topic; more links

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    Joe Thornton has interesting ideas about how to celebrate four goals

    Would Joe Thornton’s four-goal celebration idea respect the game? (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • The day after Joe Thornton’s stroke of genius, the media is debating whether it was appropriate to publish his plans for celebrating a four-goal game, should the opportunity arise. Here’s an argument against by Dan Murphy, along with some video from last night’s Sportsnet coverage. Jason Botchford, the writer who first published the quote explained the decision to run with it. And here are my thoughts on the subject.

    • Daniel Wagner jokingly writes that the Sharks will go 82-0 this season and the Canucks will never, ever beat them again. He is joking, right?

    • Tony Gallagher says it’s been a long time since the Canucks were dominated like they were by the Sharks last night.

    • There are actually some people out there who have taken issue with Tomas Hertl’s performance against the Rangers the other night. They are wrong.

    • Great. Now Thomas Vanek is “disrespecting the game” with a between-the-legs shot. Doesn’t he know it would be more thrilling for the fans if he just banged away four or five times at a rebound?

    • May as well send the Jack Adams Award out to be engraved now, eh? I mean, Patrick Roy had a red-hot goalie in Semyon Varlamov and a date with the Bruins in Boston last night. So what does he do? Throws J-S Giguere between the pipes for his first start of the season. The veteran responded with a 39-save shutout to keep the Avs perfect on the season. #coachinggenius

    Read More…

  • Published On Oct 11, 2013
  • Hockey world prays Joe Thornton never celebrates four goals

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    Joe Thornton's four-goal celebration comment set off the twittersphere

    Joe Thornton says if he ever scored four goals, he’d really lay the lumber on the crowd. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan sat rookie sensation Tomas Hertl after he scored his fourth goal against the Rangers on Tuesday night.

    Let’s all pray that McLellan does the same thing if Joe Thornton ever gets to three.

    The Sharks’ captain was on the outskirts of a media scrum in Vancouver on Thursday afternoon where, naturally, the conversation focused on his linemate’s big game. The questioning began to take a negative turn, prompting Thornton to step in and defend the kid.

    What happened next is courtesy Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province:

    Hearing a question to Marleau about Hertl and whether he was showboating, Thornton said:

    “Shut up, have you ever played the game?”

    When the press turned his way, he then added:

    “I’d have my [mighty sword] out if I scored four goals. I’d have my [Mr. Happy] out, stroking it.”

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  • Published On Oct 10, 2013