San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton knows what it’s like to be the NHL’s leading scorer.
He actually achieved the feat back in 2005-06, following the previous lockout, with 125 points in 81 games split between the Boston Bruins and Sharks.
Thornton must find the work stoppages as motivation, because he leads the NHL with nine points in three games. He jumped into the lead thanks to a four-point effort in a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday night.
His teammate, Patrick Marleau, is second in league scoring with eight points and tops in the NHL with six goals. Together, they have formed a dangerous duo for Western Conference opponents.
“I know what he likes to do, he knows what I like to do. It doesn’t matter if we were playing together during this lockout or not, we’re still going to have good chemistry,” Thornton told the San Jose Mercury News.
The Sharks have averaged five goals per game, which is only second to their Californian cousins, the Anaheim Ducks.
On Thursday, the Sharks fell behind by two goals in the third period, but scored four times in just 10:45 to claim the win.
“We held them to two shots in the second period and were controlling every aspect of the game,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan told NHL.com.
Saturday’s been unkind to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and not just on the scoreboard (where it’s 3-0 early on against the Ottawa Senators).
The Maple Leafs lost Tyler Bozak to an apparent upper-body injury thanks to a questionable hit by Sens forward Mika Zibanejad.
You can judge that check (which drew a minor penalty for illegal check to the head) in the video above. Again, Bozak will not return to tonight’s game.
It’s unclear if Bozak will miss time beyond this contest.
Scary stuff on Saturday: multiple reporters (including the Maine Hockey Journal’s Chris Roy) note that Malcolm Subban was taken to a hospital after a puck struck his throat during warm-ups.
There’s no word yet on Subban’s condition beyond that he was taken away in an ambulance.
The AHL’s Providence Bruins seem like they’ve been left scrambling for a backup goalie in Subban’s absence.
Subban stated days ago that he’s taken some significant steps forward during the 2015-16 season.
The Ottawa Senators cannot pin all of their troubles on missing their No. 1 center, yet it probably feels like a huge relief to get him back.
After missing six games with his latest injury, Kyle Turris is in the lineup as the Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Again, it’s not all a matter of missing Turris, but the Senators went 1-5-0 during his six-game absence. They’ve really been falling since late December, to be honest.
Will Turris be enough to stop the bleeding? Perhaps to an extent, but the Senators are in for a serious battle if they hope to fight through the East bubble.
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
From one current All-Star to someone who could be a perennial one: McDavid certainly seemed to grab Subban’s attention.
Then again, when you make moves like these, who won’t notice?
The Oilers did lose, mind you, so it’s not surprising that Todd McLellan mentioned that the team can’t depend upon McDavid for everything.
That said, the funny thing about that quote is that McDavid might just carry the Oilers for two decades, at least if health and other factors go the right way.
If that’s true, Subban vs. McDavid could be a fun matchup to watch a few times per season for a long, long time.