NHL News & Notes: Thornton, Matthews, Tkachuk

In today’s News & Notes, the San Jose Sharks received good news on Joe Thornton’s knee injury, the NHL announced their three stars of the week and Brady Tkachuk made his NHL debut.

Sharks Receive Good News on Thorton Injury Front

The Sharks received some very good news Sunday night as the team found out that Thornton’s knee injury didn’t include structural damage.

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Joe Thornton has been one of the best playmakers over his career. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“Nothing structurally. It looks like an infection, put him on antibiotics,” head coach Pete DeBoer said Monday “He should be fine.”

This is great news for the Sharks who are undoubtedly a better team with Thornton on the ice than they are without him. It’s also good news considering Thornton’s knee has been the subject of discussion recently with the veteran center missing half of the 2017-18 season due to a torn ACL and MCL – injuries he suffered the season prior and actually played through in the postseason.

The Sharks still placed Thornton on the injured reserve and will be without the 39-year-old for a little while. Still, this is encouraging news to say the least.

Auston Matthews Named NHL’s First Star of the Week

The NHL has released their three stars of the week. Coming in with third-star honors was Dallas Stars goaltender Ben Bishop. Jonathan Toews was the recipient of the second star of the week and the first star was won by Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews.

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Matthews scored a very impressive five goals and eight points in the Maple Leafs’ first three games this season in what has already proven to be a very lethal forward group in Toronto. The addition of John Tavares has opened up opportunities for Matthews and the Maple Leafs have reaped the benefits – specifically with their fierce power play that features Matthews, Tavares and Mitch Marner on the same unit.

This likely won’t be the last time Matthews will be picked as one of the NHL’s weekly stars and it almost certainly won’t be the last time a Maple Leafs forward is chosen in general.

Tkachuk Makes NHL Debut

Though injury kept Tkachuk out of action for the Ottawa Senators first two games of the season, his debut probably couldn’t have come against a better team. Tkachuk’s first game action in the NHL came in the Boston Bruins’ home opener against the Senators – a fitting debut for the fourth-overall pick from 2018 after he spent the 2017-18 season at Boston University.

Brady Tkachuk Senators
Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa Senators, 2018 NHL Draft, Dallas, TX, June 22, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Tkachuk was on the losing end of this contest and would end the game without a point and two shots on net in 14:33 of action.

The 6-foot-3, 196-pound forward should be a major part of the Senators future. He did everything he needed to do in training camp to prove to the team that he was worth a look early in the season and he’ll likely remain with the team all season long if he can prove he’s consistently learning and improving. In the end, he’ll probably get more out of playing at the NHL level than he would in the CHL anyway.