When the Sharks were rolling the first seven games of the season, he was at the top of his game. Along with Patrick Marleau, he was on fire.
Since then, however, the Sharks have dropped 8 out of their last 9 and are struggling. They’re searching for answers, and that may be about Joe Thornton.
Joe Thornton needs to shoot more. It’s as simple as that. He isn’t using his moves to get open, he looks to pass, and he just isn’t getting a clean look at the goal.
He makes his team better by shooting more, because when he shoots, he opens up opportunities for his teammates to get the rebound score. It doesn’t matter how many shots he’s shooting without making, he needs to give the puck a chance of getting to the back of the net.
Being the captain, he needs to set an example, slicing through defenders like he used to do. Unfortunately for him, it hasn’t been like this in recent games. His offense has gone cold, and as a result, so has his team.
Losing to teams like Columbus isn’t something that the Sharks want to have on their conscience. After all, the Sharks are a superpower in the NHL, and while they are on a lengthy road-trip, they’ve missed their opportunity to capitalize. It’s not too late to make an attack to catch up to some of the leagues’ leaders.
If Thornton starts to shoot more, veterans like Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski know exactly where to be. When they’re in those positions, they are in good place for some rebounds and put that puck in the net. The problem isn’t the Sharks’ defense, it’s their offense. Last night, they lost to the Blackhawks after being up 2-1. They struck first, but then didn’t really get a rhythm going. It was over after the first period, even though the Sharks lead.
With Thornton being the centerpiece of the Sharks’ offense, he has to be a playmaker so he can give the Sharks that extra boost of confidence they’ve been searching for the past couple of games. Thornton needs to start shooting that puck.