Sharks dismantle Leafs, how about Thornton in Toronto?
By Chris Savard
The San Jose Sharks are trying hard to secure a spot in this spring’s NHL Playoffs. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, the end of this miserable season can’t come quick enough. The two teams met last night at the Air Canada Centre and the Sharks skated to a 4-1 win over the Buds. Joe Thornton would be a good acquisition for the Maple Leafs.
Stoney Point - March 20, 2015 - The San Jose Sharks are trying hard to secure a spot in this spring’s NHL Playoffs. For the Toronto Maple Leafs, the end of this miserable season can’t come quick enough. The two teams met last night at the Air Canada Centre and the Sharks skated to a 4-1 win over the Buds.
Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture tallied to put the visitors up 2-0 by the 22 minute mark of the game. Jake Gardiner tallied his third of the year to make it close, but San Jose got two un-answered goals by Melker Karlsson and Tommy Wingels before the end of the second. The third period was scoreless.
The game marked Toronto’s fourth straight loss and seventh in its last eight games.
“We’re probably a junior team against an NHL team tonight,” said starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier. “I don’t know how many times we’re going to talk about having a good start and we just don’t do it.”
The Maple Leafs are back in action tomorrow night as they travel to Ottawa to take on Andrew Hammond and the Senators. Hammond has been on fire since getting called up from the AHL and has put the Sens in a battle for playoff contention.
Thornton would be a good fit in Toronto
Last night, Joe Thornton had two helpers for San Jose, reaching the 900-assist mark on his career. There has been considerable speculation around the NHL that the relationship between the St. Thomas native and the Sharks is not strong.
Thornton is 35 and has two years left on his contract following this season, with a cap hit of $6.75 million per year.
Regardless of who the Maple Leafs are able to select in this upcoming Entry Draft, big Joe Thornton could play a meaningful role for this team for the balance of his career. He could finally be that centre that finds a home between Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk. He could be a could influence in the dressing room and finally, he might be a piece of the puzzle if the Leafs are committed to moving captain Dion Phaneuf out of Toronto.
William Nylander, Nazem Kadri, soon to be drafted player and all other younger players could learn from Thornton. Thornton has proved to be a great playmaking, set-up centre and just think of the numbers Kessel could put up with Thornton on his line.
Thornton would be a good acquisition for the Maple Leafs.
In his lifetime, Chris Savard has spent time as both an elected official and a hot air balloon pilot. As such, FULL OF HOT AIR seemed to be an appropriate name for this column. Savard will provide his thoughts on a number of topics including hockey on this site, as well as politics and local issues on OurHometown.ca. His opinion combined with $1.60 will buy you a medium coffee at Tim's! You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org