Back on February 8, the Jets had just defeated the Maple Leafs by a 2-1 score at home. The Jets had 56 points with the win, but were still searching for some consistent scoring. Chris Thorburn had finally snapped a long goalless drought as he notched his second of week and of the season for the Jets on that night, and it prompted some funny comments from head coach Claude Noel in his post-game press conference about Thorburn's offensive output.
"Sniper? I couldn’t remember who Thorburn was. I call him 'Sniper' now," Noel joked while cracking a smile. "It was a good goal. It was nice to see him score, too, again, so that’s good for him, because he's endured enough for the first 50 games. That line's been really reliable for us."
That line, consisting of Thorburn, Tanner Glass, and Jim Slater, has been embraced by Winnipeg fans as the "GST line". Like the majority of the people in the stands, the GST line is a crew of blue-collar, hard-working guys who give it 100% when they are sent onto the ice. They may not score a ton of goals, but they are the living embodiment of the energy in the stands that Winnipeg fans bring each and every game.
Tonight, though, the Buffalo Sabres got a first-hand look at Chris Thorburn's scoring prowess. The name dubbed "sniper" by his coach is now being called "Score-Burn" for his displays of finesse despite being a rough-and-tumble guy. Check out the speed, hands, and the superb move that Thorburn puts on Robyn Regehr before undressing Ryan Miller.
Did you see that toe-drag by Thorburn?!?
UPDATE: Thorburn came clean in an interview with Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press, stating, "I got lucky, I gotta be honest. One, to get one step around the defenceman and then, two, I got a shot and then the rebound came right back on my stick. It's unfortunate for Miller but lucky for me." So no toe-drag, but still a pretty impressive goal for the guy!
Led by Blake Wheeler's breakaway goal just three minutes earlier, I'm pretty sure that the MTS Centre is one of the worst places to play for anyone not in a Jets jersey. It was louder than I've ever heard, and the ol' barn is becoming a difficult place to play for opposing teams.
Add Chris Thorburn's incredible goal tonight to the Goal of the Year candidates, kids. That was incredible, and Thorburn's goal nearly blew the roof off the MTS Centre tonight. While it appears that the New York Rangers could be Winnipeg's first-round matchup in the playoffs, do any teams really want to endure a couple of home games in front of 15,000 hockey-mad fans?
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!