Joe Thornton just hit one career milestone last night and is on the precipice of hitting another. The San Jose Sharks captain just potted his 1,100th career point in the 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators, getting to that milestone by helping Dan Boyle score on the power play to open the scoring for the night.
But in just three games’ time, he will also have appeared in game number 1,100. Todd Bertuzzi recently hit that marker with the Detroit Red Wings, but no one else comes close–save for Marian Hossa, who actually just surpassed 1,000 today against the Red Wings. Some other players are aiming for game 800 or game 900, though.
Among all active players, Thornton is third only to Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne for total points. He has a little while to go before meeting Selanne’s total of 1,423 or Jagr’s leading 1,667, but he is younger than Jagr and Selanne, so he has time. Plus, he hasn’t been in the league as long as either of those two fantastic Finns, seeing as Jagr’s rookie season was 1990-91, Selanne’s was 1992-93 and Thornton’s was 1997-98. But in terms of assists among all active players, Thornton takes second place with 772, trailing only Jagr at 996.
On the all-time points list, which of course also includes retired players, Thornton is 57th with his 1,100 so far.
Many players hit the big milestones away from home. Hossa’s 1,000th game was in Detroit. Zdeno Chara played game 1,000 in Los Angeles. But after a quick back-to-back two-game jaunt up to Western Canada early this week, the Sharks will be back at home for a matinee on March 9, which will be Thornton’s 1,100th game if all goes to plan. He also hit point 1,100 at home and got to be the first star of the night.
Look for that matinee–well, 4 p.m. Eastern–to be a big game. The Sharks will, no doubt, want to do something special to salute Jumbo Joe’s big games-played milestone. Considering that his former team, the Boston Bruins, congratulated him when he hit 1,000 games just one game before a Bruins/Sharks match in Boston in October 2011, his current team can clearly find something great to do for 1,100.