My dream Stanley Cup finals is Bruins-Sharks, because regardless of the outcome, one of two increasingly legendary players will win the Stanley Cup for the first time.
Look, I know it's been nine years since the Bruins sent Jumbo packing to California, where he subsequently won the Art Ross and Hart Trophies. But I will always have a soft spot for the big man, and would like nothing better than for him to shake that annoying reputation of being a playoff non-performer and hoist the sacred mug at least once before he calls it a career.
The whole notion that he doesn't show in the playoffs is straight balogna, actually.
In 126 career playoff games, Thornton has scored 23 goals and added 75 assists, good for a 0.78 PPG average. Much maligned for his performance during the 2004 playoffs with the Bruins - 0 points in a seven game defeat at the hands of the Monreal Canadiens - it came out later that THE MAN WAS PLAYING WITH TORN RIB CARTILAGE.
Still, that goose egg gave him a reputation for not being able to step it up in the postseason, one that has followed him through San Jose's various playoff failures (despite registering 17 points in 18 games during the team's trip to the Western Conference finals in 2011).
Thornton's playoff success this year is, of course, secondary to that of the Bruins and, more specifically, Jarome Iginla.
Here's been in Boston for an entire regular season, and it still takes me aback to see him in black and gold.
Anyway, Iginla has actually played more NHL regular season games than Thornton (1310 to 1207) but fewer playoff games because, you know, Calgary.
In 69 playoff games, however, he has registered 32 goals and 29 assists. He came within one win of a Cup with the Flames back in 2004, scoring 12 goals and adding 9 assists along the way (and, of course, fighting Vincent Lecavalier).
That trip to the finals and an Eastern Conference finals appearance last year with the Penguins (a run in which he scored four goals and added eight assists in 15 games) mark the only times Iginla has been past the first round in his career.
But based on a recent comment about the Bruins, he believes he has his best shot yet at raising the Cup in June.
LOL Penguins. "@DanCagen: Iginla on winning the Cup: 'This is as good a chance as I believe I've had.'"— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) April 17, 2014
Iginla, of course, has fit in quite well on the Bruins' top line, scoring 30 goals and adding 31 assists alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
Considering the fact that Krejci always seems to elevate his game in the playoffs, it's a strong bet that this kind of production will not only continue but heighten, giving him a shot at finally winning that elusive "best trophy in sports."
If Iginla and the Bruins can't get it done, though, a win by Joe and his #SHORKS would be a decent consolation prize for this long time Bruins fans.