Joe Thornton's One Dangling Shark
The San José Sharks may be experiencing a power outage on offense lately, but every so often, rays of hope emerge that the worst is over.
Whether or not it's come from a spectacular shootout goal remains to be seen.
But when the stickhandling artist is big Joe Thornton, perhaps it's indeed an omen.
The goal was good for the extra point against Chicago, something San José badly needed. Too bad the Sharks couldn't get any more points for style:
Yes, trapping the puck with the stick blade's backside that segues into a toe-drag is the sort of creativity one would expect from Pavel Datsyuk, and Thornton isn't in the NHL for his finesse, but if there's a positive aspect about the gimmicky shootout to send fans home with a clear result, it's that they also see how versatile all players in the really are.
Of course, the likes of Datsyuk have flashed these moves at full speed during the course of a game, adding to the degree of difficulty.
A perennial Stanley Cup contender that falls short time and again in the playoffs, the Sharks find themselves in the midst of a disproportionately tough Western Conference race just to secure a post-season berth. And going eight periods without a goal, as the Sharks recently did, is not the way to advance their cause. What's more, this dry spell was suffered at the hands of teams that are frequent visitors to the Snark Rankings.
No wonder the coaches and fans are concerned.
They can but hope that Thornton's shootout magic is a sign for more fertile times ahead, as opposed to just an oasis in the desert.