SAN JOSE, Calif. — The game has always slowed for Shawn Thornton in the moments before a fight. The moments when he’s circling another player, eyeing him to determine exactly when the gloves should come off. That slow-motion effect has generally been the clue for a great athlete — when the pitch comes in, as the football nears the fingers, as the goal mouth yawns open wide.
Thornton asked teammate Jarome Iginla, who has scored 543 career goals, about it recently. Iginla said when he crosses the blue line, everything settles. Iginla sees the goalie, the way he’s leaning. He sees the space, and the possibilities.