The rap against Joe Thornton as captain of the Boston Bruins was that he could be too laid-back. He didn't show enough intensity. His internal fire didn't burn bright enough, or hot enough.

More than five years after his trade to the Sharks, and with Thornton now wearing the "C" on a Teal jersey, that perception remains. But Thornton, and those around him, say reality is much different from the image.

Easygoing Jumbo Joe is perfectly capable of screaming and throwing gear around.

"Oh yeah," Thornton said. "But understand something: We don't show you guys anything. You guys only see the top of the iceberg. I keep it that way on purpose."

In his view, the media -- and by extension, the public -- doesn't need to see what goes on behind closed doors.

"It's our room, and it should stay that way," said Thornton, who will be making his third visit to the city he called home for eight seasons when the Sharks face the Bruins in a Saturday matinee.

The discussion of Thornton's passion has become topic fodder again because the Sharks (27-19-6) have been maddeningly inconsistent in his first season as team captain. Despite their current 6-0-1 hot streak, the Sharks still are 16 points off last year's pace at the 52-game mark and find themselves fighting for a playoff berth.