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Thornton still thinks Sharks are “one of the best teams in the NHL”

Aug 27, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Joe Thornton Getty Images

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton didn’t give a specific reason why the St. Louis Blues dominated his team in the playoffs in an interview with’s Kevin Kurz.

“They were just a better team. Flat out, they were just a better team than us last year,” Thornton said.

GM Doug Wilson points to one theme, though: aggressiveness.

“One of the bigger issues that we talked about initially was the identity of this hockey team. We got away a little bit from it,” said Wilson on June 18. “The passive reactive…that’s not part of our identity or how we want to play. There were moments where it crept in.”

Wilson didn’t make huge changes, with the biggest moves coming in adding Brad Stuart and Adam Burish.

Even so, Thornton believes the Sharks remain among the NHL’s elite.

“I still think we’re one of the best teams in the NHL,” Thornton said. “It would have been strange seeing some guys go after we’ve done some pretty good things. Obviously, we haven’t won a championship, and that’s our goal, but with getting Stuey and getting Adam I think we’re a better team than last year. Hopefully we can show it.”

Some believe that time is running out for them to “show it,” though.

  1. porkchopexpress1969 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Yes, one of the best at choking.

    • joelwrobinson - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      You’re an idiot.

  2. upyourstodd - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    In order to be best, you gotta beat the best. Regular Season success is great (cough cough Vancouver). Jumbo Joe has all the right in the world to say what he thinks, but we will take him seriously when he FINALLY gets the monkey of his back.

  3. qauzaq - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    If it was up to me I’d blow up the team. Clearly this combo doesn’t work. Might as well get rid of the old guys while you still can. Just my opinion

  4. sjsharks66 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    I would not consider the past 3 years choking. We lost to Chicago who went to win the cup. Lost to Vancouver who took Boston to 7 games. The blues situation is strange though. That series was just a mess.

    I think the sharks can do it within the next 2-3 years. I hope they can.

    • polegojim - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      SJ – but that’s what’s been said for… years! They’ve been good enough every year.

      Sharks, Canucks, Caps – it’s all talk.

      LA got that monkey off their back.

    • ron05342 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM

      Hope is eternal.

      • manchestermiracle - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        So is delusion…

  5. polegojim - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Every year it’s the same story Joe…

    Time to:

    1) Prove it

    2) Win a Cup

    Anything less is just cheerleading.

  6. babar61 - Aug 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    I think it’s dumb to call a current team “chokers” if they have not won yet. If time goes on and they don’t win and joe and that core of players leave/retire then you can say they were chokers. History has not been written yet and there is still time left for them to get it done…even if the window of opportunity is smaller.

    • polegojim - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      barar – but history HAS been written… every year that passes is in the record books.

      I’d like to see the Sharks win a Cup.

      But… currently SJ, Van, Wash are writing ‘another’ kind of history.

      • babar61 - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        It has, but it is ongoing. That core of players are still active. You can’t judge player/coaching careers until the are over.

  7. sjsharks66 - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM


    Horrible example using the kings. Took them 45 years to do it. Canucks, caps and sharks should have won by now. They have not though. They will win eventually.

    I agree also that history has not been written yet. The sharks still have time. If the core team leaves and they have not won yet, I will be heart broken. Lol

    • polegojim - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      SJ – not really… they won!

      The Sharks have been so good for soooo long, it just feels wierd.

  8. capsfan19 - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Sigh…. Caps = san jose of the east…hopefully soon we will have our glory

    • windmiller4 - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      Not quite, while the caps might not have had the postseason success everyone expected early on, they did surprise many people last year and showed that they will be a legitimate threat for years to come provided they can continue to get solid goaltending. Your glory will come sooner than expected

  9. babar61 - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Also, what is he supposed to say? “well we are no longer a top team in the NHL. The fans are right, we always lose and always will.”.

  10. sharkcity408 - Aug 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    It’s not that difficult. GET RID OF MARLEU!!! Cup won problem solved

  11. Ride The Crease - Aug 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Reblogged this on .

    • windmiller4 - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      you like to ride the crease and i like to ride your mom…

  12. gaborik104life - Aug 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    He sure seems to know how to talk 24/7 365 yet his play is only good in the regular season it seems maybe if it was reversed he would have his name on the real hardware

  13. windmiller4 - Aug 27, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    The sharks need to get rid of Niemi, Thornton, Marleau, and Boyle. Trading them away for picks/prospects would fast track a rebuild which would center around Couture, Pavelski, Burns, and whatever good prospects they can acquire. The way the sharks are going they wont win the cup with the current roster, so the sooner they blow it up and bring in new pieces the sooner they become a legitimate threat in the playoffs again

  14. johnwwt1976 - Aug 27, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    If Pavelski could have maybe got his head out of his butt against the Blues they could have done something last year!! 0 points and minus 3 isn’t good enough for making $4,000,000 a year

  15. bleedingteal4life - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Thornton is great. He’s really the only veteran big name player that went above and beyond this season. I’d say dump niemi, marleau, and Demers. Then work with that extra money. Marleau had no excuse for such a terrible season. Niemi is becoming a choke artist. Demers just all around sucks and is a hot head. Bring back mcguinn and Heatly and setogucci.

  16. puckish27 - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    In a completely fair and equal world, a given team would win one championship every 30 years, or one for however many teams are in their respective sport. You’d still be fortunate to get one in your adult lifetime.

    Yankees, Cowboys, Canadiens, Celtics, Bulls, Steelers and Oilers mess up the fairness. That’s why the games are played.

    The Sharks have been in contention, had a better than average shot, every year under Doug Wilson. That’s what you want.

    Also, Love the game first; your team 2nd. The game is pure and will never disappoint you; your team inevitably will.

    Go Cubs!

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