Quick Bites: Thornton strikes, Mrazek strikes back
Sharks get a point, but may lose Thornton for a game or two.
East Coast games are tough to catch, especially if you’re a Sharks fan. So here’s a look at everything you missed in the game against the Carolina Hurricanes, including Joe Thornton one-punching Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek.
Angry Joe Thornton
The most exciting part of the game wasn’t a goal, but the showdown between Thornton and Mrazek in the second period.
Joe Thornton jabs at the puck after Petr Mrazek has it covered.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 6, 2019
Mrazek tries to take a whack at Thornton and misses.
Thornton... punches Mrazek square in the mask. 😳
Chaos ensues. pic.twitter.com/4FDuUVfEBZ
I chose the Sportsnet tweet because it’s one of the more unbiased ones I’ve seen. Carolina fans are furious. San Jose fans are loving it. Twitter went crazy.
Penalties were handed out. Mrazek received two for slashing, rightfully so. Thornton got two for slashing for the initial poke at the puck, rightfully so. He also received an extra two for roughing because you can’t punch a goaltender.
Carolina fans are calling for supplemental discipline. Sharks fans want to hand Mrazek an Academy Award.
We’ll see if Jumbo gets a fine or something extra from the league, but you have to hope Mrazek’s massive swing of the stick and the fact that he left his crease and skated toward Thornton in a confrontational manner will be taken into account. When you’re angry and you approach a guy who is also angry, you have to be smart enough to understand that you might get punched. It’s called common sense.
Mrazek strikes back
While Sharks fans had a good laugh, Mrazek had the final laugh. He kept the Sharks from scoring through the final period of the game and then carried it through to the shootout. Mrazek stopped all three attempts he faced, while Aaron Dell let in one. The Hurricanes won the game 3-2 in the shootout.
Well, that was fast
So, backtracking to the beginning of the game. It’s really tough to start a road trip when you’re almost immediately in the hole. Just 50 seconds into the game, the Sharks gave up the first goal of the game.
We apologize to those who tuned in 51 seconds late pic.twitter.com/87qkGIrDzP— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) December 6, 2019
Andrei Svechnikov was all alone in the slot because Brent Burns was stripped of the puck. Sharks broadcaster Jamie Baker called out Burns and said there was nothing Dell could have done.
Less than a minute into the game and the Sharks were playing from behind.
Add another assist to Thornton
They battled back and Marcus Sorensen got the equalizer a little later in the first.
Joe Thornton is one of the greatest passers of all time, example number 1,075. @sorensenmarcus | #SJSharks pic.twitter.com/fR3zcSWKaf— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 6, 2019
It was thanks to Thornton doing what he does best, passing instead of shooting. Sometimes it’s a blessing, sometimes it’s a curse. The assist has Thornton creeping ever closer to another Hall of Famer on the all-time assists list.
#SJSharks Joe Thornton with his 790th assist with San Jose. Only Johnny Bucyk (794 with #NHLBruins) has more among traded players. Overall, Thornton is 4 from tying Adam Oates (1,079) for 7th all-time. #SJSvsCAR— Darin Stephens (@SharksStats) December 6, 2019
This was an up and down game from the Sharks, who controlled the play at times and lost control at other times.
You can see that from the data provided by Natural Stat Trick that in 5-on-5 play adjusted for score and venue, the Sharks mostly controlled the even-strength play.
But when it was bad, it was really bad, as exhibited on this second goal from Carolina.
A lot of #SJSharks breakdowns here, but starts with effective Staal (11) pick on Hertl, which gives #LetsGoCanes the man advantage on the rush. The pick + terrific Svechnikov pass that beats Burns pinch key plays here pic.twitter.com/BmtnBk80W5— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) December 6, 2019
Patrick Marleau returns to Carolina
If you’ll remember, for a few days in the off-season, Patrick Marleau was a Carolina Hurricane. Of course, the trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs was okayed by Marleau only because Carolina had agreed to buy him out. Carolina received a first-round pick in exchange for eating the final year of Marleau’s contract and everyone was happy.
Which is why we can laugh about it now.
Making his return to Carolina 🤪 #SJSharks pic.twitter.com/0jo29qAGpu— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 5, 2019
Loving the “welcome home Patrick Marleau” signs in Carolina 😂😂— Chris Roderick (@croderick1982) December 6, 2019
Very selfish of Joe Thornton to draw attention to himself during Patrick Marleau's special Carolina homecoming game. This night isn't about you, Joseph.— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) December 6, 2019