Publication of Thornton comments a grey area

Joe Thornton scored the lone shootout goal in the fifth round, and Alex Stalock stopped all five tries as the San Jose Sharks overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night. (Rocky Widner/Getty)

There has been much hubbub about Joe Thornton’s comments on Thursday and whether or not they should have been published. I won’t republish them because if you haven’t read them yet, you’ve obviously suffered some sort of blackout and should go see a doctor.

With that in mind, the short of it is this:

Patrick Marleau was conducting a media scrum when the topic of Tomas Hertl’s brilliant goal versus the New York Rangers came up. When a question about whether or not he was showboating came up, Thornton chimed in from the background with his now infamous words. Thornton was not being interviewed at the time, but there is no doubt that every media member (maybe 20 people) in the room heard exactly what he said and there wasn’t one that I could see that wasn’t laughing at it. Now Thornton is known for being a sarcastic dude and this was definitely not the first time I’ve heard him bust up a scrum with a one-liner.

So, should his comments have been published? In my opinion, no. I felt that his comments were off the cuff, locker room stuff that were meant to be a joke and not for public consumption.

Jason Botchford of the Province is the one who filed the story and he felt they were fair game. Botchford’s been in as many locker rooms as I have the past five years and he had no problem printing them because he felt Thornton was totally on the record. More importantly, I guess, is that his editors had no problem with it. They totally backed his decision.

The San Jose Sharks were not happy. They felt it was a cheap attempt to generate page hits (and if it was, mission totally accomplished). As for Thornton – I’m guessing he’s a little ticked it got out – but in the end he’ll be credited for an all timer of a quote so he’ll get over it. Perhaps Thornton was being a little naive thinking it wouldn’t get out. I’m just not sure if anyone else would have reported it.

So who is right? Who knows? It certainly seems like a grey area when you see so many people publicly backing Botchford while many others are criticizing him.

Now for some other things:

I was totally on board with the fans in Rogers Arena giving Cory Schneider the “raspberry” on Tuesday night. I’m always crushing the Vancouver Canuck faithful for being so quiet so I want to give them props here. Schneider was giving a rousing, standing ovation before puck drop and he totally deserved that. But once the game got going he was a member of the opposition and should be treated as such.

Much has been made of Dan Hamhuis’s early season struggles. Or what appear to be struggles (more on that in a moment). I spoke with Hamhuis the other day and he knows he’s made a few bad reads that have led to big time chances. He says those will be cleared up because what he is being taught “totally makes sense” and it’s just a matter of having the system become second nature. While Hamhuis has failed the eye test at times, the numbers guys say he is as reliable as ever. This from our friends at Canucks Army (if you don’t follow them, you should. They are smarter than most of us).

Corsi is a proxy, which we use for possession that tells us the number of shot attempts directed at net. A score “close” situation only includes even strength shots during the stages of a game where it’s either tied, or if one team leads by only one goal in the first two periods. Games that turn into blow-outs with one team taking a big lead tend to paint a false picture when it comes to possession because the team with the lead usually sits back and tries to protect it, while the other team presses on and generates more shots.

That’s why Corsi Close % is such a useful metric. Anyways, in four games this season Dan Hamhuis has posted a 62.7% Corsi Close %, which leads the Canucks (Chris Higgins is second at 61.5%). That’s a fantastic rate, by the way. People have been suggesting that Hamhuis has been struggling to adapt to Tortorella’s system, and while he has looked uncharacteristically “off” in certain instances, the team has still done very well with him on the ice.

So there.

Finally, my apologies to those who were upset with me for spoiling the end of Breaking Bad with this tweet.

I thought enough time had passed from the end of the show and I really wanted to pump up by buddy Jason Strudwick for his scintillating opening ice dance in Battle of the Blades. I will also personally apologize to Sam Gagner who was home and recuperating from a broken jaw and probably had nothing else to do except look forward to the conclusion of the TV series.

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