Joe Thornton skated on the Sharks' fourth line and Twitter had a field day.
It's the preseason for everybody. Even the internet.
We were reminded of that on Friday afternoon when Sharks beat writer David Pollak passed along the team's line combinations from the day's pre-game skate. One of those combos featured the team's beleaguered former captain Joe Thornton slotted between Andrew Desjardins and Mike Brown. Eye catching? Sure, but the information was immediately followed by this qualification: "That last group in orange likely sitting tonite for #SJSharks."
Now, if a player who finished second in the league last season with 65 assists last season was saddled with a pair of plumbers for a regular season game, that would be worthy of some lively online discourse. But Pollak made it clear this was a unit that likely would not be used in the game.
Didn't matter. Social media went bonkers, digging its teeth into Pollak's "story" and giving it a good shake. Guess you can rage about Ebola and jailed reality stars so much ...
Joe Thornton is San Jose's free U2 album— George Marshall (@GMarshall3) October 3, 2014
The San Jose Sharks treatment of Joe Thornton is classless. Insulting him in every way possible to try and get him to waive NTC. Shame.— Ryan Allen (@allen_26er) October 3, 2014
San Jose and Joe Thornton is that episode of Seinfeld where George tries to break up with his girlfriend but she just says no.— Luke Peristy (@LukePeristy) October 3, 2014
Joe Thornton shows up tomorrow morning to find they've nailed his private bathroom shut— Anthrax Jones (@AnthraxJones) October 3, 2014
A Toilet Brush -Joe Thornton-An Old Sponge is a line that is really going to do some damage to SAP Center bathrooms this year.— Robert Paredes (@RobertJFTC) October 3, 2014
So, so good. Welcome back, hockey!