Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Big Joe The Tin Man?

1) Another playoffs, another disappointment for a Joe Thornton led team. (An oxymoron?)Its becoming a trend. No, big Joes numbers are not all that impressive, especially when you look at his regular seasons the past few years. They just don't match up. The past 3 seasons Joe has had 96, 114 and 125 points. Easily leading his team in scoring (The entire NHL, winning the scoring title in the first post Bettman lockout season of 05-06) For his career Thornton has an impressive 756 points in 754 games played. Meanwhile in the playoffs for his career thus far Joe has 48 points in 70 games played. Not terrible BUT he has a mere 11 goals in those 70 playoff games. While we understand Thornton is not Rocket Richard, that's a deplorable scoring rate. Especially at a time when scoring is magnified.

2)When your team underachieves, usually your best player has underachieved. To succeed in the post season a teams' best players have to BE their best players. Thus far Big Joe has been anything but, for his teams. This was one of the primary reasons the Bruins traded him 3 years ago. Citing his playoff disappearing act, lack of finishing touch, as well as being a tad soft for a player of his size. (6'4" 240). Expectations were high when the Bruins chose the London Ontario native 1st overall in the 1997 draft. He seemed to be able to succeed in the regular season, but never in the playoffs. SJ hoped that a change of scenery would alter this perception/reality.

3) Unfortunately, the trend only continued with great regular seasons followed by disappointing post seasons. Now, we can forgive his lack of physicality IF he made up for it with scoring big/timely goals. In the past 3 post seasons for SJ, after being among the top 5 NHL regular season scorers, Joe has managed to be 2oth, 45th and thus far 23rd (with 2 rounds to go) in the post season. The playoffs are the time that separates the best from the rest. If we were SJ we would consider putting Joe on the market and see what he might bring back. It seems that he is not going to suddenly grow a heart. Perhaps they might want him in Ottawa?


Jintzie said...

Thanks faux i was just starting to forgt the heartache of the other night and you make this post about my buddy Joe. I understad where your coming at but think joes getting a raw deal here too. he didn't play bad. He's never been a big goal guy. I blame cheech more than Joe. He is our goal guy and he didn't play good. I think we need to get campbell signed and then make the changes to get back next season.

Antzmarching said...

I agree with you Jintz... Where the hell was Cheechoo? Certainly the argument can be made that Joe is the leader, but Jon gets off easy here... Apparently, the Sharks are not a team composed of tough playoff type guys... They can't reach down and find that little extra that separates the good teams from the great ones... The Flyers seem to be the antithesis of these Sharks... They have guys doing things that they didn't appear to be capable of during the regular season... Is RJ Umberger the next Rocket?


1) Antz/Jintzie: We didn't mean to blame ALL of the Sharks woes on one player, BUT he is the team leader.
2) Its not like this is the first time Joe has disapeared in the post season. Its more than a trend after this many years, its just the way Thornton is. He will NEVER be the equivalent of Brendan Morrow, carrying his team.
3) We don't like regular season only stars. WE respect guys who can step up their play when it counts most. Joe does the opposite. Thus, the post you see here.
4) Say hi to Theresa for us Jintzie! We hope to be back out that way this fall for a game. Maybe she can whip up her famous pasta primavera!

Bubba said...

I see your point about Joe, but he's not team captain. At least he didn't "instinctively" jump out of the way of a slapshot which ended up in the net.


Bruce said...

Thornton played 159 minutes in the Dallas series and racked up 0 goals and 3 assists. His playoff stats of 13 GP, 2-8-10, +3 are not terrible, but as usual his production faltered in the postseason, from 1.17 points per game to 0.77, fully one-THIRD lower. His career rates are 1.03 and 0.69 respectively, fully one-THIRD lower.

Surfer Joe's goals per game rate fell by more than one-HALF, from 0.35 in the regular season to 0.15. His career rates are 0.32 and 0.16, a reduction of fully one-HALF.

In his last game of each of the past five playoff seasons, Thornton's teams have been outscored by a combined 11-1, with Thornton going 0-0-0, -8 in over 18 periods of hockey.

The ten-year vet has yet to play a single game in the conference finals despite a big reputation as a positive difference-maker. To put it mildly, I remain unconvinced.


1) Bubba: We agree that Joe shouldn't be the only one mentioned during this particular collapse, but since Thornton IS the defacto team leader (on the ice anyway) his repeated disappearance is more apparent.
2) Bruce: Yes, those numbers are very telling. Its not over a season or even 2, but 10 years and not making it past the second round is amazing. Especially considering his regular season numbers and the teams for which he's played.

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