Kings Gameday: Joe Thornton, Woolly Mammoth Enthusiast

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I don't know if you saw this quote, but I did and I spent way to much time considering its ramifications.  The set up is that the Sharks were in Washington, D.C.  and they had some spare time.  Of course Joe Thornton wanted to go to the Smithsonian, not because he's cultured and wants to learn about history but because...

"I’m a woolly mammoth guy, but there are so many cool things," Thornton said. "I’d definitely recommend going to see it."

Did you catch my favorite part?  Here it is again, in case you missed it:

I’m a woolly mammoth guy

Jesus Christ, Joe, you make it too easy.  First off, the idea that Joe Thornton loves things that are big, thick and hairy is not surprising to anyone, I don't think.  Secondly... I mean, the guy loves woolly mammoths?!?!?  So much so that he considers himself a "woolly mammoth guy?"  Who the fuck says things like that?  Especially multimillionaires that are elite athletes to boot.  What the hell is wrong with him?  The greatest thing about that quote is that I can totally picture it.  Can't you see Joe Thornton rounding up Ryane Clowe, Devin Setoguchi and Kent Huskins and excitedly leading them through the Museum of Natural History and then listening with rapt attention as the docent talks about the Mesozoic Era while the other 3 guys check their watches?  Why doesn't Thornton speak in cliches and make commercials that show how cool he is instead of talking up woolly mammoths and making ventriloquist commercials?  WHY AREN'T YOU LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE????

Joe Thornton is simultaneously the best and worst superstar ever.

(Full Disclosure: When I was in 8th grade I went to D.C. with my class and you better believe I was stoked to go to the Natural History Museum.  I was in England this past summer and I spent like 8 hours at their Museum of Natural History, drawing the ire of my brother when I excitedly exclaimed, "The Rosetta Stone!  Cool!"  I hate Joe Thornton because I hate myself.)

The Kings take to the ice tonight against weird ass Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks.  Justin Williams is still out with a nasty herpes outbreak so Wayne Meat Train will once again skate with Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth on the top line.  It'll be a difficult game for the Kings because they usually don't do well at the Shark Tank.  The past two years, the Kings have played the Sharks fairly even at home (combined score: 11-11) while generally getting rocked when they play the Sharks at their house (combined score: 5-11).  This is most likely because the Kings usually get to match Michal Handzus and Matt Greene up against Joe Thornton at home, while the Sharks get to match up Thornton against Kopitar when they're at home.  They won that match-up consistently in the past, but Kopitar's been a different player this year.  It'll be interesting to watch how he handles Woolly Joe Thornton tonight.

***

When Terry Murray met with Jonathan Quick to talk about his game last week, he had to have talked to Quick about coming out of the net to play the puck more often.  Murray didn't mention it, because why would you give your opponents a head's up about something a tactical change, but since that talk Quick has been much, uh, quicker getting out of the net and relaying the puck to his defensemen.  Quick's not a good stick handler and usually when you're not a good stickhandler you'll generally stay in the net because you're afraid you're going to mess up, but the Kings need Quick out there a lot because their defensemen aren't the fleetest of foot and need help.  I think it's improved the Kings' breakout immensely.  Good call, Terry Murray.

Prediction: Kings lose, 3-1.  After the game, Joe Thornton says, "We did a good job tonight of getting on their shafts and really grinding it out until we were satisfied."  Then there is 3, 4 seconds of awkward silence.

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