Fitting that Thornton and Marleau, the two men many fans wanted run out of town after last year's dismal playoff performance, combined to create the goal that clinched not only Game 5, but also the series for the Sharks. Earlier in the contest, Thornton got San Jose on the board after finally figuring out the front of the net is the place to be -- imagine that! -- but it was the gift-wrapped pass that led to Marleau's winner that really suggested this year might be different for the chronic underachievers. Sure, both men still have a lot to prove -- no one's skated the Cup with eight victories in more than 40 years after all -- but tonight was another huge step on their path to redemption.
The nod could just as easily have gone to