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The Invincible M.A.E.


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Thorty 2
harleymae

Left buttocks cheek

Drew and Randy, Sharks announcers extraordinaire, discussed the phrase "left buttocks cheek" for quite a while tonight. Plus, there are professions of love:

RANDY: If I had to choose between drinking martinis and eating shrimp cocktails, and having you as a partner, I would choose you.

DREW: If I can't read to my kids, I'll read to yours.
RANDY: You are a full-service hockey personality.

Also, while Mark Smith was talking about his goal, he explained that "everyone just conjugated there". Leading Drew to declare, "We'll have a conjugation celebration won't we!"

There is so much Joe Thornton spam, it's ridiculous.


Already, he's no average Joe

THORNTON'S FIRST HOME GAME IS CAUSE FOR MEDIA FRENZY

By Victor Chi

Mercury News

The Sharks' Monday morning practice attracted a swarm of cameras and notebooks usually not seen until the Stanley Cup playoff bandwagon gets rolling. Who knew there'd be so much interest in a weeknight match in December against the Atlanta Thrashers?

Seriously, the acquisition of Joe Thornton has generated a buzz -- not to mention consecutive Sharks victories for the first time in four weeks -- from coast to coast. Thornton makes his home debut in teal tonight.

``I don't know if this franchise has ever had a player that is viewed the way Joe is,'' Sharks Coach Ron Wilson said. ``We never saw the media hordes that were following us around up in Buffalo and Toronto. And he's going to bring a little more attention to us here, and that should also bring some of the attention that Patty Marleau deserves.''

Patrick Marleau has been the most prominent beneficiary of last week's mega-deal that brought Thornton from Boston for Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau.

The NHL honored Marleau as its offensive player of the week for consecutive three-point games after the trade.

``His presence alone has made a difference,'' Marleau said.

Thornton had two assists in each of his first two games. The Sharks have tried to make his transition as smooth as possible by putting him on a line with his cousin, left wing Scott Thornton, and right wing Jonathan Cheechoo, whom he met through a mutual friend four summers ago at a water-skiing and golf outing.

Joe will be staying at Scott's house until he finds his own place.

``We got him a comfortable bed and he can get a few home-cooked meals by my wife,'' Scott Thornton said. ``He's bigger than me so I can't lay down the law too much.''

Joe Thornton said he plans to meet with a real-estate agent this week so he can start the process of getting his stuff shipped from Boston. He had just bought a penthouse condo in Boston, pegged at between $2.75 million and $3 million by local papers.

Thornton's family is planning to visit for the holidays, he said. Then they'll head back East to prepare for his return to Boston on Jan. 10 with the Sharks.

The Sharks are hoping Thornton will have already gone through whatever transition he needs by then. He has a head start because he played five seasons with defenseman Kyle McLaren on the Bruins as well as with Marleau, Scott Hannan and Alyn McCauley on various Team Canadas.

``If he has to get introduced to anything, it's our flight plans,'' McCauley said, alluding to the heavier travel loads teams in the West must bear.

After an overnight flight from Toronto, Thornton relaxed Sunday by getting a brief tour of the area. The Bruins have visited San Jose just four times since he entered the league in 1997 and Thornton said he usually just went back and forth from the rink and the hotel.

``Scott Hannan and my cousin took me around some beautiful areas,'' he said. ``Sunshine. So I like California a lot so far. But it's really about being on the ice, and that's where I really like us. The transition game is a little better here than Boston. We have some quicker skaters.''

Thornton said he will be ``jacked up'' for his first home game in the Tank. He certainly was ready for his first game with the Sharks on Friday at Buffalo. Within 10 seconds, he had cut loose a wicked shot -- and hit a post.

When he got back to the bench, Thornton said, Wilson gave him a mock order. ``Those go in from now on.''


More air time ahead for newcomer Thornton

The Joe Thornton media tour continues this morning with an appearance on Jim Rome's radio program.

``It should be fun,'' Thornton said. ``I've been on a couple times before, and he likes hockey, so that's good.''

The show is carried locally on KTCT (1050) beginning at 9 a.m.

This is another example of how much juice Thornton's name carries. He is believed to be the first Sharks player to be a guest on Rome's show since the 2001-02 season, when Bryan Marchment appeared.

General Manager Doug Wilson is scheduled to be interviewed on KNBR (680) at 12:35 p.m. today.

Thornton has started house hunting but will stay with his cousin, left wing Scott Thornton, in the meantime.

Scott Thornton said his children, Nash and Zoe, are thrilled to have a special guest in the house.

``My kids are acting like he's a show-and-tell gift and want to take him to school,'' Scott Thornton said.

• Alyn McCauley extended his points streak to five games. During this run, he has nine points (four goals, five assists) after compiling just five points in the first 22 games of the season.

• Defenseman Rob Davison scored to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead and to end his streak of 93 games without a goal.

Patrick Marleau won an offensive-zone draw in the left circle. McCauley moved the puck back to Davison, who uncorked from the left point for his first goal since March 13, 2003.

• Rookie forward Grant Stevenson has changed to No. 37 from No. 55.

``Fifty-five was just a number they gave me in camp the last two years,'' Stevenson said. ``I wanted to wait a little bit before I asked to change because I didn't want to step on any toes.''

He wore No. 19 in college and the minors, but that belonged to Marco Sturm and now Joe Thornton.

In his first morning skate as No. 37, Stevenson sustained a cut over his right eye when his shot deflected off goalie Evgeni Nabokov and came back at him.

• Milan Michalek returned Tuesday to face Atlanta after missing one game because of a knee injury. He bumped rookie Ryane Clowe up to the press box.


Thornton is no savior, but only misses by a bit

By Mark Purdy

Mercury News Staff Columnist

Joe Thornton did not sell out HP Pavilion on Tuesday night in his first home game as a Shark. He also did not cure cancer, fill all the potholes on Interstate 880, lower the price of arena beer, or adopt any children with Angelina Jolie.

But dang, the guy can create hockey goals.

And dang, a new era of rock-and-roll offense has arrived.

And dang, Thornton is going to have a lot of other people saying ``dang'' before his work is done here.

When he was traded to the Sharks last week, there was much speculation about whether Thornton could become the larger-than-life Bay Area sports figure with megawatt star power that the franchise has never really had.

Um, people, that's not the mission. More goals than the other team every game, leading to the playoffs, is the mission. No matter what Thornton does, he will never be as big around here as a famous 49er or Raider or Giant or Athletic. This is, after all, hockey. And this is, after all, Northern California.

But dang, Thornton will be hard for your eyes to ignore.

Did you see him Tuesday night? Less than three minutes after he put his skates on the ice, Thornton whipped a perfect backhanded pass to give Jonathan Cheechoo a perfect setup for a perfect goal. And about nine minutes later, he scored his first goal in teal, flipping in a doorstep goal on a power play to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead in a game they would go on to win 5-3, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 15,812.

``It was nice to be welcomed that way by the fans,'' Thornton said, in a soft voice.

As advertised, he is not an intense or excitable lad. Over and over since his arrival, Thornton has explained that he just wants to be perceived as one of the guys, not The Guy.

``What are you expecting tonight?'' someone asked him before the game.

``Just to win the game,'' Thornton said. ``That's all I'm expecting.''

Which is the point, right? And to win, the goals generated by Thornton must be backed up by better defense and goaltending than we saw in the season's first two months. Thornton is no savior. He is not Saint Joe. But think about it. If he actually were Saint Joe, and if he were Spanish, we know what his name would be.

San Jose might be Joe Thornton's destiny. More and more, you are beginning to think that. When he left his former team, the Boston Bruins, the rap that followed Thornton from the East Coast was that he was too laid-back. Here in California, we consider that an entrance requirement.

Hockey is a violent game, so being laid-back is supposed to be bad. But the best and most celebrated athlete in Bay Area history was Joe Montana. And what was his nickname? That's right. Joe Cool. If you can stay calm and produce magic when all about you is madness, that's an asset.

Dang. Did we mention that Thornton makes the scoreboard light up? And that because he attracts an opponent's top checkers, the Sharks' other top-tier offensive player, Patrick Marleau, can skate with more room? And that Marleau has been ripping up teams, with nine points in the past three games? And that the offense has gotten a jolt from other players who previously seemed to be sedated?

Before the Thornton trade, our beloved Los Tiburones had scored five goals or more in just four of their first 24 games. Since the trade, they've scored at least five goals in all three games they have played. Coach Ron Wilson credits increased energy and jump from everybody, but he also notes that when he coached the U.S. national team there was another player of similar bent.

``Joe reminds me of Mike Modano, in the sense that he never seems to have a bad day,'' Wilson said. ``He's a very positive guy. That's a nice thing to have on your team, I think. You hear that Joe doesn't have any intensity, whatever that's supposed to mean. In our league, I guess you're supposed to eat glass and spit nails in order to function.''

Really, it could be as simple as this: Sharks opponents used to know that if they stopped Marleau, they would probably win. No more. Mark Smith, for one, is loving it.

``Patty's been doing a great job,'' the forward said. ``But to take some of the pressure off and deflect some of the responsibility . . . it's just kind of what this club needs right now. We'll follow those two guys all the way to the grail.''

Look, three games is just three games. The Sharks have a long climb back into the postseason picture. They are not going undefeated between now and April. Let's not get carried away.

But dang.


My favourite bits:
``We got him a comfortable bed and he can get a few home-cooked meals by my wife,'' Scott Thornton said. ``He's bigger than me so I can't lay down the law too much.''


Thornton said he will be ``jacked up'' for his first home game in the Tank. He certainly was ready for his first game with the Sharks on Friday at Buffalo. Within 10 seconds, he had cut loose a wicked shot -- and hit a post.

When he got back to the bench, Thornton said, Wilson gave him a mock order. ``Those go in from now on.''



Scott Thornton said his children, Nash and Zoe, are thrilled to have a special guest in the house.

``My kids are acting like he's a show-and-tell gift and want to take him to school,'' Scott Thornton said.



San Jose might be Joe Thornton's destiny. More and more, you are beginning to think that. When he left his former team, the Boston Bruins, the rap that followed Thornton from the East Coast was that he was too laid-back. Here in California, we consider that an entrance requirement.

And finally, from Scott Thornton laughs even when joke's on him:
After Scott Thornton left the locker room to take the ice for the morning skate Thursday, the Sharks' equipment staff got busy.

They took down the ``Thornton 17'' nameplate above his locker stall and replaced it with one that read ``Joe's Cousin.''

When the Sharks returned to the locker room, they laughed like kindergartners when they saw the new plate.

``Pretty funny, guys,'' Thornton said, laughing along with the rest.

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Mark Smith is a hot peice of ass with his skunky-rodman hair.

He is the enemy though. I must refrain from stalking him and wanting to shove my hand down his pants.

He plays the guitar and has his own band. I think he even has his own label, actually. *enables*

Yeah I read. I did some research. Yes. I feel dirty being on the Sharks page. Don't tell other Shark fans, they may stone me to death for even stepping on their territory.

I love how he said if he didn't play hockey he'd be unemployed. I laughed. I want to have his babies.

Too late, the Sharks fans know, but we'll forgive you anyway. :)

Another funny Smith quote: a few years ago when asked what he would be doing if he wasn't playing hockey, he said "Probably working at 7-11."

OH NO! I'M RUINED!

Dude he's genius. What exactly he's genius about, I have no idea. I want to find out though.

Seriously though. How come this is the first time I've heard about this guy? I know the Sharks, yet I've never heard of him before. Is he new to the team or up from minors?

He's been up here for a few years. He used to be on a line with Bradley and Harvey as the "energy line" a bunch.

He's kind of having a breakout year, considering his previous season high was 4 goals, and he's already got 5 this season. :P

I guess since he barely scored and didn't shoot the knees out of our players, I didn't notice him. ;)

I can't even hate the Sharks anymore. That is fucked up. Especially since Marchment and Harvey are gone. I had a love/hate relationship with Nolan. Only because he would always take on Pronger and everyone knows I HATE PRONGER.

*weeps* god i miss that line. energy line and THE BEST THIRD LINE IN HOCKEY. i'm gonna go curl up with my nostalgia, now.

dude, you can't have his babies, i'm having his babies!

he's even tinier in person. in, like, a completely awesome way.

aw, hell, we can all have his babies!

That's no fair!

oh no. he's tiny? that's no good.

hooray!

SHOW AND TELL!!!! That is too adorable.

Haha I know! That totally killed me. I wonder if Zoe tries to braid his hair.

Oh, Mae. You do realize that you are single-handedly responsible for my Scott Thornton love, right? Sigh. *facepalms*

Joe still looks like a hobo.

They took down the ``Thornton 17'' nameplate above his locker stall and replaced it with one that read ``Joe's Cousin.'' Hee! And the show and tell thing: cuuuute!

Awwwwwwwwwww!!! *is proud*

They can be scary homeless guys together. :P

But he cut his hair! He's a less scary hobo now!

/vaguely weird Thornton-pushing

Did you know I watch Sharks games not to see them play, but for the witty reparte between Drew and Randy? It's better than Christmas!

Eeeeeee!!! They're a (California) Emmy winning crew, you know? :P

They took down the ``Thornton 17'' nameplate above his locker stall and replaced it with one that read ``Joe's Cousin.''

*giggles!*

That reminds me of back in 2000 when they labeled Tony Granato's stall with "Cammi's Brother". :)

Oh, and hey, if I'd read the article before commenting, I woulda known they already mentioned that. ;)

I didn't include that one because it was a really short one and I thought that they might add more to it this morning. *goes to check on it*

*giggles* <3 Thorty

I want to know how you guys ended up with the gayest announcers in the history of gay announcing!

Sounds to me like someone is maybe beginning to like Joe a little bit? Hmmm? *pokes you with a grin*

ocie was so amused by the conjugated comment he texted me at work about it. he seemed impressed that he was at least reaching for a big word. :p

seriously, all i needed to do to get into hockey was watch mark smith. that boy plays hockey the way it's meant to be played.

you're going to write thorton squared, aren't you? i can tell.

Conjugated killed me. It's like he was doing the slashing for us.

*shrieks*

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