Joe Thornton is a lock for 20+ goals, 60+ assists. Obviously 85-90 point players don't grow on trees. He's 57th (6th for active players) in the NHL for all-time assists. But is Joe really pushing himself to remain an elite center in the NHL? He is captain of a NHL team. He's getting paid well and gets to live in a city with mild winters. Isn't that every Canadian boys dream? Hell, he could very well put up 80's Gretzky numbers and the NHL's marketing department will still be focused on Ovechkin v Crosby as their marketing campaign.
Picture 2 (via buddahead2010)
Some things that stick out
Joe's pts/gm has declined almost every season since putting on a Sharks uniform.
Being Captain of a team that can't usually can't get out of a the 2nd round has to be better than being on a team that can't get out of the 1st round.
Untitled-2 (via buddahead2010)
Joe's name appeared on 34.59% of Sharks goals the 2005-06 season... despite playing in only 58 of the games.
The last two full seasons it appeared on 33.46% and 33.71% and missed only 3 games during those two years.
Yes the Sharks scoring depth has improved over the years, but you're telling me Jumbo can't be a 100-point player again with Heatley and Marleau? He was one with the '00s version of Pat Falloon (average skater, great shot.. Cheech had a work ethic...) in 2006.
So what did it? Was it a chip on his shoulder because Boston traded its Captain entering the prime of his career for the 2005-06 version of Pavelski/Huskins/Nichol?
You'd think a questionable suspension would have lit a fire under Joe but he's been a pedestrian in those last 19 games, 2 goals 11 assists -1. While Clowe has turned in a NHL 1st star of the week performance. Will Clowe continue to shine and Jumbo falter? Probably not, Marleau and/or Heatley will heat up and Jumbo will finish another year with 20-25 goals and 65-69 assists, while Couture and Clowe will probably only hit 60-65 points each.
Come on Joe. Step it up. You, Heatley, Marleau, Boyle and Vlasic have $31 mil in cap space locked up til 2013. There are no blue-chip prospects in the pipeline. Help isn't coming via free agency or via the shuttle.