Certain names live in Bay Area sports lore, and Sharks legend Joe Thornton is one of them.
On Saturday, he reminded us why.
Thornton, 40, admitted earlier in the day to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz that he's tempted at the thought of joining a contender at Monday's NHL trade deadline. With the Sharks well out of the playoff picture, the team could look to help a franchise icon finally become a champion by dealing him elsewhere.
“You know, it is [tempting],” Thornton said to Kurz.
Thornton made it clear in his conversation with Kurz that he isn't ready to hang up his skates after this season, too. And in the Sharks' 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden later that night, Thornton showed he still has plenty left in the tank.
The 22-year veteran snapped a 50-game streak in the regular season without a goal on the road when he found the back of the net in the second period to tie it up at 1. The goal also was his first at MSG against the Rangers since Dec. 8, 2002, when he was 23 years old.
Jumbo ties the game 👏 pic.twitter.com/FMmu8GNCwg— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 23, 2020
Another look at Jumbo’s goal 🚨 pic.twitter.com/Gt31JpXT5C— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 23, 2020
Throughout his career, Thornton has been known as an assist specialist as opposed to potting goals. He's the Sharks' all-time leader in helpers with 803, but he was thinking goal the whole way in the first period.
"Yeah, I saw the D-man just kind of sliding over a little bit for Timo [Meier], so I just wanted to make it hard, make it on the net. You never know what's gonna happen," Thornton told NBC Sports California's Jamie Baker during the first intermission.
Thornton entered Saturday with a career-low two goals this season. In the second period, he doubled his season total with his second goal of the night to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.
💥 JUMBO DOES IT AGAIN 💥 pic.twitter.com/VTwdE57pFo— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 23, 2020
Thornton's two-goal performance made him the oldest to do it since Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins in October 2018. Thornton also became the third player in NHL history to be at least 40 years old and have a two-goal game at MSG.
Joe Thornton has 2 goal game for #SJSharks at 40 years, 235 days. Last player that old with 2 goal game was Zdeno Chara (41 years, 221 days) for Bruins vs Flyers 10/25/18— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) February 23, 2020
"The second one just -- Burns' shot just tipped off my knee pad, so just at the right place at the right time," Thornton humbly told reporters after the game.
Whether it's to help mentor San Jose's young roster during an injury-plagued season or if he joins a contender before the deadline, Thornton proved under the brightest lights that this Shark still can skate with the best of them. The legacy lives on, and it's far from over.
Programming Note: The "2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way Monday at 11:30 a.m. PT on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! How will the Sharks be impacted heading into the noon deadline? Don’t miss it!