Friday, July 3, 2009

Joe Thornton's giveaways: bad for the Sharks?

Joe Thornton made one particularly egregious giveaway this season. Unfortunately, it was at 14:04 of the 3rd period in Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs, making the score 3-0 Ducks and dashing the Sharks' hopes of evening up the series.

Here's the footage:,3,154&event=ANA623


So I set out to figure out how often Thornton made giveaways like that:

"Thornton, though? He spends most of his time skating slowly, fighting for the puck behind the opposing team's net, out-muscling guys along the boards, pushing defensemen out of the way as he carries the puck between them. He's a finesse player, no doubt, but he plays a strength game, and it can at times look almost effortless. Unfortunately, with all that puck possession comes a lot of giveaways. Thornton, because he skates slowly, is never in position to recover his giveaways, which leads to a lot of plays where an opposing player's streaking down the ice, while Thornton is stuck in the offensive zone.

At least it seems that way to many observers, and I've been frequently asked to figure out how many goals Joe Thornton's giveaways cost the Sharks."


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