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Wednesday Wake-Up Call: Joe Thornton

Jan 4, 2012, 6:50 PM EDT

Joe Thornton Getty Images

The Wednesday Wake-Up Call is where we pick a struggling player and kindly ask him to SNAP OUT OF IT ALREADY. COME ON. YOU’RE BETTER THAN THIS!

Joe Thornton, C, San Jose Sharks

Key stats: 1PPG, 5PPA

Cap hit: $7 million annually

Kudos to TSN’s Scott Cullen for bringing this statistic to my attention. He astutely points out that with six powerplay points this season, Joe Thornton sits behind such luminaries as Tim Stapleton, Corey Potter and Frans Nielsen.

Six points!

To give you an idea of how bad that PP production is — by Thornton’s standards, of course — consider where he’s finished in recent seasons:

2010-11: 9G-24A-33PTS, 7th in the NHL

2009-10: 4G-25A-29PTS, 16th in the NHL

2008-09: 11G-24A-35PTS, 13th in the NHL

2007-08: 11G-26A-37PTS, 7th in the NHL

At the time of writing, had Thorton ranked 163rd.

With this lack of production, it’s no surprise San Jose has struggled with the man advantage. The Sharks currently rank 16th in the league (17.7 percent), a far cry from their usual top-five placing — heck, they had the NHL’s second-best PP a year ago (23.5 percent).

This isn’t for a lack of opportunity, either. Thornton’s actually averaging more PP ice time per game this season than he was last season and is still tops among all Sharks forwards in TOI.

So wake up, Joe Thorton. Your powerplay needs you.

  1. haterzgonahate - Jan 4, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    he’s too busy planning his next “accidentally on purpose finger in the face” capade along with other school yard antics.

    that was sad Joe.. real sad

  2. sjsharksfan11 - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Two years after we got him I finally realized what Bruin fans went through with this overpaid can’t get over the hump waste of cash. The guy has no heart. He merely plays when he wants to

    • danphipps01 - Jan 5, 2012 at 12:24 AM

      I used to respect Joe. I had him pegged as one of the League’s top centres and playmakers, and although he wasn’t as hitty as a monster his size should be, he used that size to fantastic effectiveness basically taking the puck and keeping it from everyone until the exact moment he felt like firing a pass through half the opposing team.

      That, however, was several years ago, and since then, his play has declined, rendering his gutless performance more and more painfully apparent. The man has no clutch performance ability at all and seems, if anything, to play WORSE when the going gets tough. This is not the captain of a team. This isn’t even a $7m center anymore. At least he used to be that, but now? He’s a microcosm of the San Jose Sharks in general – aging and slowly declining, permanently unable to go the distance, at least without a total roster revamp. Joe’s out of gas, and the sad thing is, there wasn’t that much in the tank to begin with. He was always great when the going was easy, but he’s never been a go-to performer when the team needs to take heart.

  3. warpstonebc - Jan 5, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    Isn’t obvious? Tim Stapleton, Corey Potter and Frans Nielsen are underpaid. 😛

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