We all expected an interesting week for Sharks hockey. And an interesting one we got. They embarked on a two game road-trip in hopes to keep their undefeated season alive and they did…for half of it. The boys in teal put together a dominant effort against a very strong St. Louis Blues hockey club. Despite the lopsided 6-2 score in that game, this game was one that tested the Sharks ability to keep their head up and push through adversity as a team. As cliche as it sounds, they did just that and got their revenge against St. Louis for Maxim Lapierre’s violent boarding penalty that injured Dan Boyle.
The second game, against the Dallas Stars proved to be a tough one, but a good loss in the long run. A game that saw 3 leads for the Sharks and constant momentum changes throughout regulation was ultimately decided by a shootout in which San Jose failed to come out the victor, ending there hopes at an 82-0-0 season.
The Sharks were expected to bounce back from their tough loss in Texas and bounce back they did. They came home to an electric SAP Center crowd and put out the Calgary Flames in a game that was greatly decided power plays and penalty kills. This was T.J. Galiardi’s first time back to the Shark Tank since last year’s playoffs, as he was traded to Calgary during the offseason.
It was quite difficult to choose this weeks Most Valuable Player because there were so many great performances from the likes of Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Patrick Marleau, Marc-Édouard Vlasic, and the always under the radar Antti Niemi. But one player really stood out to me, he is Joe Thornton.
Ok, I know that Pavelski had an amazing four point game last night and he now is 2nd in the league in scoring only behind Sidney Crosby, but Thornton is a player that makes everyone around him better.
Case 1: Tomas Hertl. Do you think Hertl would have seven goals if he was playing on a line with Andrew Desjardins and Matt Pelech? The answer is no. Yes, Hertl is insanely talented and that between the legs goal was amazing, but most of his goals have been made possible because of great passing plays from Thornton on that top line with him.
Case 2: He is tied for 1st in assists so far this season and tied for 30th in all-time NHL assists leaders. Those are two pretty damn special achievements that continue to show his ability to make other players around him better by setting up scoring chances and offensive pressure.
This week he not only reinforced his reputation for racking up assists but he also did something that is very rare for Thornton. He scored a goal. It was quite a peculiar goal and it’s worth a watch because it was a great shot by Thornton. Too bad no one knew the puck went in the net. The goal proved to be meaningless in that game, but still, a goal is a goal and it’s always good to see that a player that is known pretty much only for assists can also have a scoring touch.
This week Thornton played a very strong three games. He posted 1 goal and registered 4 assists in 3 games, making him Blades of Teal’s choice for Most Valuable Player of Week 3.
Check back here next Sunday to find out who will be the MVP for Week 4.
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