Joe Thornton recently exited the Stanley Cup Playoffs with his team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. After getting a 3-1 lead in the series they couldn’t get it done and lost three straight to the Canadiens. The Blackhawks once stopped Thornton from winning it all too.
The 2010 season was a year removed from the San Jose Sharks winning the Presidents Trophy, and it was about six years before the eventual run to the Stanley Cup Final for San Jose. This Sharks’ team was good, but the Blackhawks were better.
At the age of 41, Joe Thornton has played a lot of hockey. While he has not won it all yet, he has gotten close. Thornton with San Jose went to the Conference Final four times and only advanced to the Stanley Cup Final once out of those four opportunities.
On one of his four trips to the Conference Final, Thornton and San Jose ran into the Chicago Blackhawks, a team ready to take the next step.
After winning games one and two in San Jose, the Blackhawks came home with a mission to end the series quickly. They got a big overtime win in game three and pulled together as a team to win game four. Here is a look at the series-ending game from May of 2010.
When the Blackhawks faced Thornton, they were at the top of their game. The team’s top line of Toews, Kane, and Byfuglien combined for five goals and ten assists. Oh but Byfuglien had four of those goals.
San Jose is a good example of what the Blackhawks could have been if they did not win their three Cups. San Jose definitely had the skill to win it all, but they always ran into a bigger better team along the way.
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If the Blackhawks did not get the rest after sweeping the Sharks, the only sweep of that entire playoff run, maybe the Stanley Cup Final against Philadelphia would have ended differently. Hopefully, Thornton gets another crack at winning it all next season. When looking back at his career there have been a lot of close calls and times when things could have gone differently. That 2010 team was a good team in San Jose, and if they could have gotten past Chicago it would have been his best chance at a cup.