Leader hopes to keep San Jose humming

Captain hopes to keep San Jose humming

Joe Thornton is currently on one of the worst goal-scoring paces of his distinguished career. Still, that doesn’t prevent San Jose’s 37-year-old forward from finding other ways to contribute.

Fresh off another multiple-assist performance, Thornton leads his team into battle against the upstart Oilers tonight. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the host Sharks odds of -150 to emerge victorious. Conversely, Edmonton enters SAP Center as a +130 underdog.

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Not only did Thornton’s two helpers key a 4-1 triumph over Calgary on Tuesday, they also came in his 1,400th NHL game. Even though the London, Ontario, native hasn’t lit the lamp since Nov. 8, he boasts 22 points on the season. Among San Jose skaters, only two (Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns) can claim more.

Edmonton (18-12-5), of course, possesses the league’s top scorer in Connor McDavid. Nonetheless, the teenage sensation’s searching for his first goal in seven contests. Credit Leon Draisaitl for having carried the load lately, with seven markers and seven assists so far this month.

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In the end, we rarely stray from the Sharks (20-12-1) when California provides the backdrop. Peter DeBoer’s troops pace the Pacific Division with 11 home wins. McDavid may solve netminder Martin Jones a time or two, but that won’t be enough to curb San Jose’s insatiable appetite.

 

FRIDAY NHL FREE PICK: SHARKS -1.5

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