Joe Thornton on track to play in Sharks’ season opener

SAN JOSE — The Sharks began their practice Friday with a simple one-on-one battle drill. One player possesses the puck facing the boards, the other tries to take it away.

Tomas Hertl drew the unenviable task of trying to steal the puck from Joe Thornton. Hertl did all he could, using his considerable 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame to try to outmuscle the taller but similarly heavy Thornton.

Hertl didn’t have much luck.

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