For Week 5 Joe Thornton captain of the San Jose Sharks is the mentally tough performer of the week. While things have not started as they would want in Vancouver, the Sharks showed courage to come out in Game 7 vs. Detroit and play with aggression and confidence. Joe Thornton led his squad by playing what I think was his best in the playoffs ever. Thornton showed the grit that is needed to win against great teams. And, his pass for the first goal of Game 7 was not only awesome but kick started the Sharks on their way to securing some playoff history and not becoming history.
Thornton has always been skilled but at times in big games was not always noticeable. Not the case this year. He has been dominant at times and has provided the leadership his team needs to move past the Conference Finals. Is it possible that having the "C" on the jersey has helped Thornton in these playoff games? Cannot be sure about that, but I would speculate that it may help him focus more on the team under pressure and he can get the focus off of his own game and pressure to play well.