It was quite the month of hockey for Thornton who led the team with 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 12 games to go along with a plus-10 rating. He registered a point in 11 of those 12 games, including a 10-game point streak.
Simply put, Thornton was a dominating presence for San Jose in helping them rebound from an inconsistent start to the year. With Thornton leading the way, the Sharks jumped from out of the playoff picture at the beginning of January to their current second place standing by the end.
Things didn’t start out well for Thornton and the Sharks in January as San Jose dropped their first two games to Winnipeg and Detroit at home, with Thornton picking up one assist in the two games. His frustrations boiled over in the loss to the Red Wings when Thornton picked up 14 minutes in penalties right at the end of the game.
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However, Thornton and the rest of his teammates responded from that moment as they went on to finish the month with an 8-0-2 record with Jumbo Joe picking up a point in each of those final 10 games. He would record four multi-point games to close out January as Thornton was dominant with the puck on his tape.
The month of January was also good to Thornton on a personal level as he reached the 1,300-point plateau with a pair of assists against the Colorado Avalanche in a 6-1 drubbing by San Jose. He became the 33rd player ever to reach that mark, another extraordinary milestone in the career of the best player to ever don a teal uniform.
Thornton has already begun his campaign for back-to-back Player of the Month honors as he has recorded three goals and three assists through the first five games in February. When the calendar turned to 2016, Thornton has been at his best as he has recorded 21 points in 17 games.
Now, there’s no time for Thornton or the rest of his teammates to let up as San Jose continues their push for the postseason. The Sharks sit in second place, six points back of the Kings, but only one point ahead of the red-hot Ducks. San Jose will need to rely on Thornton’s playmaking abilities down the stretch as the Sharks offense will need to carry this team.
With the way he’s been playing of late, there’s no reason to think Thornton will be slowing down any time soon.