Thursday, December 01, 2005

The New Big Ass Shark

Bully to Joe Thornton. Back when I first started blogging this summer, I did a post calling Joe the Larry Brown of hockey. I said he's a guy who just needs daily love and maintenance. He definitely wasn't getting it in Beantown. In San Jose, Joe can be a star and not have to answer for every stumble.

I think Thornton's in for a Heatley-like renaissance. The burden of command is gone. Joe was made captain of one of hockey's most storied (and underachieving) franchises at age 23. Were any of us ready for that kind of responsibility and limelight a year out of college? He's always struggled wearing the "C." Now he has a chance to be part of a solution, not a fallen savior.

I got the chance to watch Thornton last full season in Atlanta. He took over the game in the third period. I saw him carry two Thrashers on his back and around the back of the net during a rush. He carried them to the slot and still got off a wicked wrister (don't recall if he scored). He's a beast, and I think San Jose is about to rebound.

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