Re: Joe Thornton, 2004 Playoffs
posted at 6/27/2013 10:30 AM EDT
Again how many players can speak of being a Patrice Bergeron in work ethic? This is not the point. The point is that Thornton did sacrifice greatly in 03-04 and he was crucified because the end results were zero for a team that was very talented. My point is injuries to star players lead to one thing--not much from that player. Bergeron might have been inspirational in Game 6, or maybe he wasn't? He played 17 minutes and he didn't do a whole helluva a lot. He was very injured, he should have been in the hospital, so should have Thornton in '04. You single out Thornton as this cancer, but you weren't working B's games during the 03-04 season in particular. 1125 games, 1118 points, in a day and age where guys are considered good for potting 60 points in an 82-game reg. season, Joe averages a point a game in his NHL career.
In 00-01, Thornton scored 71 points in 72 games, 37 goals, and 19 on the power play...19...that's a cancer huh? In '02-03, 101 points in 77 games, '05-06, the year he was traded 125 points....you don't want that on your roster? He was thrown under the bus for '04, he was exploited and ESPN showed the highlight 7,000 times of the faceoff and OT goal in his final B game..Perfect Timing to trade him is how the B's and O'Connell saw it. He wasn't hired to be a 2-way player, he was brought in to be a top playmaker, and he was terrific on the PP, and he was as good as a passer as they've had in the past 25 years rating right behind Savard and Oates, two of the best B's passers I've ever seen.
This isn't supposed to be a Bergeron v. Thornton debate, it's really a litmus test as to see how many people forget how different it was for the NHL's best reg. season team in 03-04 and the fact it choked a 3-1 games lead with Sullivan coaching and Gonchar and Nylander brought in as hired guns to add to a great group and the NHL's best rookie goalie Raycroft--they had to find a scapegoat--fans, media, and back then sadly the organization--so it was Jumbo Joe, a guy who was high-priced, but earning his pay as an elite NHL all-star, and the fact that he had broken ribs and PLAYED with them v. Montreal. That's considered weak and what Patrice did is heroic, and I don't buy that. They were both doing the same thing for their respective teams--being leaders. You can sit there and try to paint Joe out to what you want based on his post-Boston days, but he deserved a hell of a lot better from guys like KPD, his GM who certainly had a directive to trade him after the lockout, and the fans who still hate him.