Joe Thornton: ‘I know I’m a great player’

San Jose Sharks alternate captain Joe Thornton comments after the Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues in Game 3.

Joe Thornton is one of the best players of his generation. He’s a great player. You know it. I know.

And Joe Thornton knows it.

One of the best possession players and slick passers in the NHL today, Thornton had another great game on Thursday night as the Sharks took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues. Thornton earned two assists and was named the third star of the game.

Afterwards, he spoke to the press and — well, you can’t say he wasn’t honest.

“I know I’m a great player,” Thornton said as his teammates and the press laughed. “I love to play and I just, I feel good playing with who I’m playing with on our team. I feel good. I just feel really good about my game. I feel good about my linemates’ game and our power play and just our whole team game. I’m just really, really conformable with it.”

No kidding. The Sharks have dominated the Blues up and down in this series and, if not for Brian Elliott‘s performance in Game 1, they’d be way ahead in this series. Meanwhile, the combination of Thornton with Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl has been mighty, with Hertl scoring two goals in Game 3.

Thornton’s two assists Thursday were his first two points of the series, but he’s left his mark in other areas and has been one of the more influential players through the first three games.

Between that answer and his antics with some young Blues fans in Game 2, Thornton is just out there soaking it in and having more fun than anyone.

Jason Gold on Twitter