Sharks' Joe Thornton suspended one game in NHL playoff series vs. Vegas

Sharks' Joe Thornton suspended one game in NHL playoff series vs. Vegas

Sharks center Joe Thornton has been suspended for Game 4 of San Jose's Stanley Cup playoff first-round series against the Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL announced Monday.

Thornton faced a hearing Monday for his illegal check to the head in the Sharks' Game 3 loss to Vegas. Clearly, the final call didn't go in San Jose's favor. 

The 39-year-old veteran was called for an illegal check to the head after he hit Golden Knights forward Tomas Nosek with just over three minutes remaining in the second period Sunday night. 

"It's important to note that the head is clearly the main point of contact on this hit, and that the head contact is avoidable," the NHL's department of player safety said in a video announcing Thornton's suspension. "While Nosek is low, having just made a play on the puck, he does not materially change the position of his head -- or body -- just prior to contact in a way that contributes to the head being the main point of contact on this hit.

"If Thornton does choose to deliver this check, he must take an angle of approach that goes through Nosek's shoulder and core, rather than picking his head and making it the main point of contact." 

Thornton said after the game that the hit to the head wasn't on purpose, as he defended his actions. 

"I honestly thought I barely touched him," Thornton told reporters in Las Vegas. "He came right back. It was just one of those plays. It is what it is. I think my son hits me like that six times a day. It was just a weird position [Nosek] put himself in, that's all."

This is the second time Thornton has been suspended in his NHL career. He was suspended two games during the 2010-11 season for a hit to the head on St. Louis Blues forward David Perron, and the NHL department of player safety cited that suspension in its announcement Monday. 

Golden Knights winger Ryan Reeves, who found himself in quite the tussle with Sharks winger Evander Kane during the game, felt much different about the hit than Thornton did. Reeves went as far as calling Thornton "gutless" to reporters Monday.

[RELATED: How the Kane-Reeves beef has escalated]

The Sharks are down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. They'll look to even it up Tuesday night in Game 4 in Las Vegas.

Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'


Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'

Just over a year after losing their daughter during pregnancy, Sharks forward Evander Kane and his wife, Anna, welcomed another daughter into the world.

The Kanes announced the birth of their daughter, Kensington Ava, on Thursday on social media. Evander Kane said his daughter was born on July 3. 

"My wife Anna is a rockstar, the strength and love she has displayed over the last 18 months," Kane wrote on Twitter. "We want to thank everyone who has reached out during this period in support of our family and (we) appreciate the kind words throughout this journey. I'm so proud of my daughter, it's tough to put into words how much she means to me."

Kane thanked the Sharks, their fans, his friends and family "for their overwhelming love" during a difficult time. Last March, Kane announced that their daughter, Eva, passed away 26 weeks into Anna's pregnancy.

"You gave us all, especially your mom and I, something to be excited about," Kane wrote of Eva on Twitter on March 14, 2019. "And though we are devastated that you couldn't stay with us longer, your mom and I will always cherish the time we had with your beautiful soul. Your spirit will give us strength, your love will give us comfort. We will love you forever."

The Sharks, San Jose teammate Mario Ferraro and Hockey Diversity Alliance co-founder Akim Aliu all commented on Kane's Instagram post on Thursday.

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Sharks' Tomas Hertl explains funny, simple reason why he wears No. 48

Tomas Hertl has a huge year ahead of him. As he returns from ACL and MCL surgery, he and his wife Aneta are expecting the birth of their first child in November.

Sharks fans everywhere can't wait for No. 48 to get back on the ice. But how did he pick that number? It’s quite simple.

“They give it to me,” he wrote in a recent NHLPA questionnaire.

Enough said.

But before Hertl was the Sharks’ All-Star center, he had other aspirations.

Believe it or not, he wrote in the questionnaire that he wanted to be an architect if he wasn’t going to be a hockey player. But he was born to play hockey.

His dad, Jaroslav, during the winter in his native in Prague, would create nets (measuring the perfect size) on the frozen ponds near where he lived. Hertl’s dad would even kick off skaters if they were recreationally using the area where he wanted to play hockey.

[RELATED: Sharks avoid nightmare scenario in 2020 NHL Draft lottery]

As much as Hertl could have thrived as an architect, his career as a hockey star was destined.