Thornton dished out two assists in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the visiting Sabres.
Thornton has now recorded points in five straight games, putting up a goal and six assists during that span. He's only put the puck in the net six times this season, but his 41 assists are tied for 12th in the NHL, so he's still holding above-average value despite not producing anywhere close to last year's prolific 82-point output.
Thornton collected the 1,000th assist of his career during Monday's win over Winnipeg.
The 37-year-old veteran entered elite company Monday as just the 13th player in NHL history to record 1,000 assists. While no longer a dominant fantasy asset, Thornton's 56.7 Corsi For percentage at 5-on-5 over the past four seasons highlights that he's still a difference maker and go-to player in the real game.
Thornton dished out an assist in a 6-5 overtime loss to Florida on Wednesday.
Despite the less-than-desirable outcome, Jumbo Joe continued his run of improved play with his fifth point in his last four games. While he's well off the pace of last year's whopping 82-point showing, Thornton has improved his play with 12 points across his last 15 contests, so owners that had been largely disappointed with his early results have some reason for optimism in season's final two months.
The big veteran was instrumental in beating the Kings, grabbing the primary apple on Brent Burns' first-period tally before setting up Joe Pavelski's power-play marker in the second. With just 29 points in 45 games, however, Jumbo Joe has taken a significant step back from last year's 82-point effort, and it seems unlikely at this point that he'll be able to get back to his formerly typical point-per-game production by season's end.
Thornton has just one point in six games since the calendar flipped to 2017.
Jumbo Joe's decrease in productivity isn't limited to the new year, as his 26 points in 43 games are way off last season's eye-popping 82-point effort. It's not tremendously surprising considering his age (37), as well as the fact that he had a shortened offseason thanks to a deep playoff run that ended a couple wins short of Lord Stanley's prize in June, but that doesn't lessen the blow for owners that selected him early in drafts last fall. That said, it's interesting to note that he's actually averaged more ice time than last year (18:37 vs. 18:22 in 2015-16), but over a minute less on the power play (3:35 vs. 4:38), which has reduced his scoring opportunities.