Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Thornton's Consecutive Game Streak Over at 201

Things are looking really grim for the San Jose Sharks as the playoffs approach. Joe Thornton, the de facto heart and soul of the club, has been ruled out of Tuesday's game at the SAP Center due to a left knee injury. Thornton, 37, injured the knee during the Sharks 3-1 win over Vancouver on Sunday night. He rammed his left leg into Vancouver's Michael Chaput during an exchange along the boards and gingerly skated off the ice on one leg before heading to the dressing room.

Thornton has missed just nine games for San Jose since coming over in a trade in 2005. He had not missed a game since January 10, 2015. The Sharks are also without another key center, as Logan Couture is out of the lineup after taking a shot to the face during a game against the Predators on March 25th.

He has still not skated.

Thornton and Couture are No.3 and No.4 on the Sharks in scoring, respectively. They have combined for 102 points and will be missed sorely down the stretch as the Sharks battle for playoff seeding.

Thornton had an MRI and is expected to talk to reporters on Wednesday.

Head coach Peter DeBoer says he expects to get both players back. When is the larger issue, and DeBoer could not say.

“I expect them both back. I don’t have a timeframe, and until then we’ll call it ‘day-to-day,’” DeBoer said to the media. “So that could be Saturday, it could be a month from Saturday.”

The NHL playoffs begin a week from tomorrow. The Sharks have won just two of their last ten and find themselves in third place in the Pacific after leading the division for most of the year.