San Jose Sharks Joe Thornton earns himself a 1 game suspension due to the illegal check to head made during the second period on Tomas Nosek in Game 3.
Frustrations were running high during game 3 for the San Jose Sharks. The Golden Knights jumped on Team Teal early and often. They stymied the Sharks offensive attack and limited their ability to transition the puck.
Team Teal struggled mightily to get anything going with Vegas’ relentless forecheck suppressing the Sharks ability to gain any momentum offensively. The two clubs exchanged blows all game long and it was obvious to everyone that the animosity was brewing.
Things reached the boiling point in the 2nd period for the San Jose Sharks when Joe Thornton threw a check behind Vegas’ net on an unsuspecting Nosek. His head was down and wasn’t able to make the adjustments to his body and skate path to avoid the man nicknamed “Jumbo” barreling towards him.
The SiriusXM NHL Twitter account got a glimpse of the check that occurred at 16:54 of the second frame.
The Department of Player Safety made an announcement over Twitter this afternoon with a video explaining their reasoning behind the suspension.
It appears that the National Hockey League is taking any attempt to injure a player’s head very seriously. Other notable players like Nikita Kucherov and Nazem Kadri have and will miss time due to infractions that involved making contact with the opposing players head.
The absence of Joe Thornton in game 4 would be a massive loss for the San Jose Sharks. Not only is he their emotional leader on and off the ice. His line composing of Marcus Sorensen and Kevin Labanc have been really the only consistently effective group so far in this series. Having that as the third line gives them the constant match up advantage against an opponents bottom tier of their roster.
Team Teal is going to have to figure something out heading into a must win game 4 at T-Mobile Arena. The San Jose Sharks have a few options with the ability to slot Pavelski down the middle. However Joe Thornton’s presence can not be quantified and it’s interesting to see if this team can generate the same amount of intensity without their passionate grizzled veteran.