The San Jose Sharks find themselves in the Second Round against the Vegas Golden Knights after sweeping the Anaheim Ducks all without an essential piece to their offense, Joe Thornton.
Veteran Center Joe Thornton suffered an injury to his MCL in his right knee on January 23rd against the Winnipeg Jets and has been out ever since.
In recent weeks Thornton has returned to practice, however he still appears to be suffering some sort of discomfort, and has already been ruled out for Game 1 tomorrow night against Vegas.
Although Thornton may be in his later years of his career and not producing points at the rate he used to, he still plays a huge leadership role in the locker room and is a physical presence on the ice.
Thornton only played 47 games this season due to this injury and was still able to record a solid 36 points.
One of the biggest questions I think about this playoffs is what can San Jose do if Thornton were to make a return?
I don’t think having the Veteran Center back will guarantee a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, or even to beat Vegas, but no one can deny his return to the line up would help San Jose’s chances.
With having to beat Vegas next on their agenda, the Sharks will need to have all men on deck to keep their hopes of a Stanley Cup alive.