SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose forward Joe Thornton was scratched for the Sharks’ game Sunday against Colorado with a lower body injury.
Thornton, the leading scorer on the Sharks with 66 assists and 85 points, had played 398 consecutive games.
He was hurt Saturday night when he was hit by Vancouver’s Alexander Edler near the Canucks’ net late in the second period. As he was hit, Thornton went forward and his legs buckled. He hit the ice and then slid into the boards.
The last time Thornton missed a game was Oct. 18, 2005, when he sat the last of three games with a back injury.
“Jumbo always wants to play, he’s pretty committed to playing, he wanted to keep his streak alive,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said.
“He takes a lot of pride in playing through bumps and bruises. He’s wired to played every game. But what’s right for him today is not to play.”
Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley lead the team in goals, but Thornton is the Sharks’ leader.
“What this does is put a greater load on the whole (team) not on certain parts,” McLellan said. “It doesn’t mean that Paddy Marleau or Dany Heatley has do more. It’s one game and the whole (team) to contribute.”
Thornton was unavailable for comment.
Ryane Clowe who saw Thornton go down was surprised that Thornton didn’t get back up and start skating.
“It was just one of those bang-bang plays,” Clowe said. “Joe, since I began to play with him, has never missed a game. I never have seen him go down very much. So when he stayed down we all just reacted.”