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Joe Thornton Legacy

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Old
05-03-2014, 03:14 PM
  #26
JohnnyBerts
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His career isn't over so you can't label him yet. But yes, if he retired today he would be labelled as a perennial playoff choker.

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05-03-2014, 03:17 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
I don't feel it hurted Chara's legacy. Certainly not a topic in discussion about him.

Odds that certain team doesn't win a cup in a certain season are like...heaven high.
I don't know about that. Chara was considered quite the poor playoff performer before 2011.

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05-03-2014, 03:33 PM
  #28
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The whole team collapsed, although it is nothing new in SJ. But they did make it to the CF's last year. Nothing to sneeze at. Lost to the SC Champs.
Not last year. They made the WCF in '10 and '11, lost to the eventual champs in '10.

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05-03-2014, 04:07 PM
  #29
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Joe Thornton's career playoff stats with Boston: 35 GP... 6-12-18.
Tyler Seguin's career playoff stats with Boston: 42 GP... 6-12-18.

Amazing.

I'd like to see Joe get off the playoff skids... He entered the league with so much potential.

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05-03-2014, 04:07 PM
  #30
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Chara was considered quite the poor playoff performer before 2011.
Yes he was. Don't hear much of that anymore, do we?

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05-03-2014, 04:48 PM
  #31
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Joe deserves his share of the credit. But the underlying assumption seems to be here that because you win the first 3 games of a series that its over. Maybe if you are playing the 74-75 Capitals or 80-81 Jets, but we are in a much different era. Prior to 2004, coming back from 3 down to win only happened 2x. Since then, its happened 3-4 times in multiple sports, including twice in hockey. And against very good teams. The 2004 NY Yankees, 2010 Boston Bruins and 2014 SJ Sharks. Not cake walks by any stretch of the imagination. The 2004 NY Yankees! Many of their players were on a dynasty. Those that want to dump on Joe will, but the whole team has to share the load. The other side of the coin is that we are not giving the credit that is due to the team that came back. Advanced coaching, video allows teams to pick up on the patterns of other teams more so than ever. Its going to happen more and more in the future. I think Pittsburgh's performance in the ECF in 2013 was far more embarrassing than SJ losing 4 straight to a former SC champion.

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05-03-2014, 05:37 PM
  #32
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Joe with his numbers will be in hall of fame but he should take responsibility for his poor play-off and for past yrs.He is a giant of a man and their is no reason except he does not have that hatred that is needed to be a champion as the lead horse.He might win a ring but he will be an extra important part not the leading man

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05-03-2014, 05:48 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by rfournier103 View Post
Yes he was. Don't hear much of that anymore, do we?
I realize that the history of hockey board isn't your average fanbase, but Chara's generally poor playoff performances was a big issue when we did the HOH Top Defensemen of All-Time project in 2012, and that was after he had just won the Cup.

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05-03-2014, 06:01 PM
  #34
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The other team is irrelevant. If you are up 3-0 and have the offensive talent SJ has there is NO excuse for losing 4 games in a row. Thornton is the common factor to all the Sharks chokes over the last 10 years and his refusal to play a complete game is a major factor. Sharks have players who have won championships and know how to win.
It is either the failure of team leaders or coaches that lead to the yearly collapses.
Basically this....uh not really though.

The bottom line is that 29 teams, and their leaders don't win the SC in nay given year in a 30 team league and for guys like Thorton, they get too much criticism for not being something they aren't while guys like (Glenn Anderson is a great example here).

For people that make a huge deal out of playoff hockey and team success they will think less of Thorton, for those that look at a more complete picture he will shine more, these things will never change.

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05-03-2014, 07:13 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
So when Thornton win the next season , his label is forgotten? More exaggeration, he win and choke heavily further, until retirement. Is he no more a choker because he won that one?
Or Boston Burque was weak playoff performer because he couldnt finish the job and that one lucky move to Colorade changes everything?
Or Hossa was a team cancer, suddenly viewed as a memorable thing in this era with four SCFs in 6 years?

Players either is (non)choker or not. The win doesn't change things that much.
You're a loser until you win. Pretty simple concept.

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05-03-2014, 07:14 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by JohnnyBerts View Post
His career isn't over so you can't label him yet. But yes, if he retired today he would be labelled as a perennial playoff choker.
He's a perennial loser because he loses perennially, a guy doesn't have to be retired for you to come to that conclusion.

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05-03-2014, 10:37 PM
  #37
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In my Jari Kurri thread elsewhere, I (somewhat rudely) alluded to Thornton as a random example of a good player who didn't show up in the big moments. I hope that won't be Joe's legacy, but it probably will be. I mean, he's going to be 35 this summer, so likely his best years are over.

I think one thing big Joe never really did is adapt his style. He's always sort of played in exactly the same way, and in San Jose with the same core teammates. At some point, after numerous playoff failures, perhaps he should have tried changing to be more physical, or maybe shooting more rather than passing, or something else. It just seems every year he's the same and they're the same and he just keeps getting older.

Who knows? Maybe he'll surprise us all and win a Conn Smythe and a Cup next year... and, as Mike Myers used to say, monkeys might fly out of my butt...

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05-04-2014, 01:47 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by The Panther View Post
I think one thing big Joe never really did is adapt his style. He's always sort of played in exactly the same way, and in San Jose with the same core teammates. At some point, after numerous playoff failures, perhaps he should have tried changing to be more physical, or maybe shooting more rather than passing, or something else. It just seems every year he's the same and they're the same and he just keeps getting older.
But he has changed. He was more of a power forward and more of a shooter in his early years, and a better defensive player and setup-man since.


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05-04-2014, 02:01 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
Basically this....uh not really though.

The bottom line is that 29 teams, and their leaders don't win the SC in nay given year in a 30 team league and for guys like Thorton, they get too much criticism for not being something they aren't while guys like (Glenn Anderson is a great example here).

For people that make a huge deal out of playoff hockey and team success they will think less of Thorton, for those that look at a more complete picture he will shine more, these things will never change.
well it's not like he's dionne or selanne. he had the stacked teams, he had the presidents trophies and high seeds to prove it. he got to the wcf twice and was murdered both times. and yeah those were great teams he faced but those sharks had the guns to have been competitive.

but if you want to play hall of turgeon and pretend they don't play for the cup, by all means. who am i to tell you how to enjoy hockey?

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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
those that want to dump on Joe will, but the whole team has to share the load. The other side of the coin is that we are not giving the credit that is due to the team that came back. Advanced coaching, video allows teams to pick up on the patterns of other teams more so than ever. Its going to happen more and more in the future. I think Pittsburgh's performance in the ECF in 2013 was far more embarrassing than SJ losing 4 straight to a former SC champion.
for sure, a great performance by an excellent kings team. a selke candidate playing the best hockey of his life, a conn smythe winner/vezina candidate playing lights out, a norris-calibre guy playing norris-calibre d. plus for the second time in three years, they added a 40 goal scorer at the deadline to an already deep team.

but the series was also a microcosm of these sharks: huge, dominant start, led by marleau who faded as they lost ground over the long haul. epic collapse when the games mattered. joe thornton failing to take over even once -- this time not even on the pp -- when his team needed its franchise player to rally around. and of course also goaltending turning into a pumpkin, and a shallow d ultimately showing its stripes. the sharks could easily have run away with game seven if quick, doughty, and kopitar hadn't played '11 thomas, bergeron, chara-level on the pk. so credit where credit is due; and those guys were barely hanging on when the sharks pp was pressing in the second. but just one follow-me-boys performance by thornton in games 4, 5, or 6 and that's not an issue. if we crucify the sedins in the finals, which at least they got to, and where their line at least stepped up to win two games, i don't see how thornton isn't worse.

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05-04-2014, 02:26 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
but the series was also a microcosm of these sharks: but just one follow-me-boys performance by thornton in games 4, 5, or 6 and that's not an issue. if we crucify the sedins in the finals, which at least they got to, and where their line at least stepped up to win two games, i don't see how thornton isn't worse.
Yeah, I agree. One game is not too much to ask from a guy is as good as he is. To make matters worse, as someone mentioned, Thornton is 35. This could have been his last chance to take the bull by the horns and lead the way as an (semi) elite player. He is likely going to be trending downward now at this point in his career. Who will step in as the next elite center in SJ ? Where is this team going now? This could have been it for them.

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05-04-2014, 04:28 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by LeBlondeDemon10 View Post
Yeah, I agree. One game is not too much to ask from a guy is as good as he is. To make matters worse, as someone mentioned, Thornton is 35. This could have been his last chance to take the bull by the horns and lead the way as an (semi) elite player. He is likely going to be trending downward now at this point in his career. Who will step in as the next elite center in SJ ? Where is this team going now? This could have been it for them.
actually i think thornton will age well; he has so far. he's not an athleticism guy, he's very smart wuth the puck, and he'll always be able to protect the puck. i can see him playing forever like selanne, provided his heart is in it (remains to be seen).

i generally find couture's potential overrated, but if he can get close to turning himself into giroux, as some sharks fans seem to think he can, and if pavelski can continue to take the tough defensive assignments while putting up 25+ goals/year, sj is a number one d-man away from contending for the rest of the decade, with thornton playing the overqualified second line center killing easy minutes. if he ever wins a cup, it'll be the selanne way.

edit: actually, to be fair to teemu, i want to call that the '02 brett hull. if i'm doug wilson, and if i still have a job at the draft, i offer any and all wingers to land a boyle replacement (and i can see boyle re-upping on a vet's discount to play a smaller role). some combination of marleau, burns, or hertl for shattenkirk? do the blues say no to hertl and marleau for shatty and sobotka or schwartz, with picks to even out each side? and/or, buy out havlat and jump at the biggest ufa fish on the back end. old slow joe would kill easy minutes with two energetic youngsters (say, wingels and whatever young blood you get for hertl and marleau/burns). no pressure either.


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05-04-2014, 05:49 PM
  #42
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edit: actually, to be fair to teemu, i want to call that the '02 brett hull.
I challenge your edit and raise you a Robitaille or an Andreychuk. Which kind of accentuates my point. Not every player arrives to such a blessed situation as a Lafleur, Bossy or a Jagr - all generational players imo. Thornton, maybe a gp, but in a much more balanced league than in the past. What if Lafleur ends up a Seal and Dionne a Hab? They end up with opposite story lines to their careers even if Dionne only wins one. Anyway, I'm grasping at a lot of ifs. In today's more balanced league, there are far more opportunities for stars to seize the spotlight and win the big one. If Joe never wins one, I don't think he and Dionne can be categorized as the same type of player. Different eras.


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05-04-2014, 06:51 PM
  #43
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So when Thornton win the next season , his label is forgotten? More exaggeration, he win and choke heavily further, until retirement. Is he no more a choker because he won that one?
Or Boston Burque was weak playoff performer because he couldnt finish the job and that one lucky move to Colorade changes everything?
Or Hossa was a team cancer, suddenly viewed as a memorable thing in this era with four SCFs in 6 years?

Players either is (non)choker or not. The win doesn't change things that much.
Well, let's put it this way. Before 2008 when Datsyuk finally won a Cup (he did win in 2002 but was a bit player and a rookie) he constantly got categorized as a playoff choker. And it was justified. In 2007 he did alright, but the years before that he was awful. But a strong performance in 2008 and it softened the blow of those previous years. And he's done well since then.

So yeah, winning the big one and being a big part of it changes a lot. It isn't as if the Stanley Cup is an easy trophy to win as you seem to be alluding to.

By the way, no one in their right mind thought of Bourque as a playoff choker as a Bruin. Heck, he was the REASON the Bruins went that deep. Look at his production the years the Bruins went deep in the playoffs and all the way to the Cup final. He was their leader each time. An example like that would be Brad Park. No one thinks of Park as a choker despite no Cup. He did his part and then some. Bourque did too as a Bruin.

I never personally thought Hossa was a locker room cancer though. It wasn't as if he had the earmarks for being a choker. Good defensively, smart on the ice, great passer and shooter, etc. He just ran into some hard luck before Chicago.

And the thing with Thornton is that when these great San Jose teams have lost, he's quite often been absent. A big game or two in his career from Mr. Thornton and this could be a whole new ballgame. My big theory here is if you switched Thornton with Henrik Zetterberg straight up, would the Sharks have a championship? I think they just might, and while I will agree Thornton has had the better all around career, if you want to win you wouldn't pass up Zetterberg over him. That's the issue with me. Not just Cup counting, but how you contributed to a win and how much blame you deserve for a loss.

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05-04-2014, 08:10 PM
  #44
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I think Joe Thornton's this generation's Marcel Dionne. A very solid regular season player who could never get it done in the playoffs.

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05-05-2014, 04:50 AM
  #45
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Just my 2 cents here...

The Red Wings had a playoff rivalry with the sharks for half a decade. The Sharks advanced past the Red Wings a couple of times, in hard fought emotional series'. The kind of series where you would never want to see the team/players that beat you holding the cup in a few weeks.

Due to the temperment and conduct of their captain, the times we were eliminated by SJ, I wasn't the least bit worried that I'd have to stomach seeing them win the cup. Maybe sour grapes and a small sample size, or maybe it was that obvious that the guy hasn't tuned in to what it takes to win 16 playoff games.

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05-05-2014, 07:26 AM
  #46
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I think Joe Thornton's this generation's Marcel Dionne. A very solid regular season player who could never get it done in the playoffs.
Difference being, Dionne was never on teams as good as Thornton's. Very few times did Dionne's teams have high expectations going into the playoffs.

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05-05-2014, 09:35 AM
  #47
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Difference being, Dionne was never on teams as good as Thornton's. Very few times did Dionne's teams have high expectations going into the playoffs.
Very true. Dionne played mostly on shallow one line (his) teams.

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05-05-2014, 01:22 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
So when Thornton win the next season , his label is forgotten? More exaggeration, he win and choke heavily further, until retirement. Is he no more a choker because he won that one?
Or Boston Burque was weak playoff performer because he couldnt finish the job and that one lucky move to Colorade changes everything?
Or Hossa was a team cancer, suddenly viewed as a memorable thing in this era with four SCFs in 6 years?

Players either is (non)choker or not. The win doesn't change things that much.
Agreed. Chara was considered a choker by many on this forum before Boston's Cup run in 2011. I think his Game 7 record was something like 0-7 at that point.

I think history will remember Thornton as a guy who couldn't get it done, but I think the 'choker' label will be used less frequently.

Yes, he never carried a team to a Cup, but his poor play in the post-season has always been exaggerated by his detractors and other factors ignored (the loss of Vlasic in the LA series, for example).

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05-05-2014, 03:33 PM
  #49
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To me, he is a textbook choker. On those stacked Shark teams... No excuse.

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05-05-2014, 07:23 PM
  #50
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I think it's the way he choked it away, and that he choked it away in similar lead situations a few times already. Sounds like the recipient to be a great player forgotten outside of a small fan base.

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