2010 Western Conference Finals: Toews, Thornton Centers of Attention

May 12th, 2010 by TAB BAMFORD Leave a reply »
When the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks take the ice this weekend to begin the Western Conference Finals, two players will take center stage for different reasons.

For the Sharks, 30-year-old Joe Thornton has long been one of the better centers in the NHL. Over a 14-year, 915-game regular season career, Thornton has scored 285 goals and has 646 assists for 931 points—an average of more than one point per game. He has 46 career game-winning goals and is +131 in his regular season career, all numbers that deserve (and receive) a great deal of respect.

However, Thornton has also been ridiculed as a "choker" for somehow making his 6'4", 230-pound frame disappear in the postseason. In 10 postseasons (including the first two series of the 2010 playoffs), Thornton has 64 points (15 goals, 49 assists) and is minus-18 in 87 games. This spring, Thornton has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 11 games, but is minus-six again.

The falloff of more than a third of a point-per-game and the less-than-mediocre plus/minus has led to Thornton being labeled a postseason loser for years.

On the other side of the ice is the younge ...

Read Full Article at Bleacher Report - NHL
Article written by


Comments are closed.