Entries with the tag: patrick marleau
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what does that mean in the age of today’s Google Image Search? Well, it probably means that you’ll find a hodge-podge of randomness when you type a player’s name in and hit “Search”—most of it good (action shots or media photos), some of it not, and some it just downright bizarre. Join me on a journey through search-engine fun as we take a look at how Google views your favorite hockey heroes. All of the following pictures are on the first page of Google Image Search when you typed a player’s name in.
We have to start with Ed Belfour, whose photo isn’t worth a thousand words; instead, it’s currently valued at a billion dollars. This lovely photo (which I’m sure we’ve all seen before but who can get sick of this one?) was number two in search results. I’m sure The Eagle’s glad that’s what he’s known for.
He’s been their best player so far this season, and was the team’s MVP from last year. He’s the all-time leader in franchise points, a consistent short-handed threat, and one of the team’s faceoff leaders. Tally that all together and it makes sense for the Sharks to re-sign Patrick Marleau before he hits unrestricted free agency status this July. Of course, logic doesn’t always come into play in the salary cap world; more importantly, does Marleau even want to stay in San Jose?
Since the beginning of his NHL career, Marleau’s been in and out of the Sharks doghouse, either with the fans or his coaches. Both Darryl Sutter and Ron Wilson had their moments with Marleau, though Wilson at least recognized how to properly develop Marleau to his full potential. Fans and media have slagged him off and on throughout his career, usually for either being too soft or too quiet. The bulk of the blame from last year’s first-round defeat against Anaheim was shared between Marleau and Joe Thornton, despite most objective pundits’ views that the series was far from the usual 1 vs. 8, and that Marleau was playing with a bad MCL.
That being said, Marleau didn’t talk publicly about his no-trade clause or contract status this summer other than telling season ticket holders that he wanted a chance to “prove the naysayers wrong” in San Jose. He’s lived up to his end of the bargain, but is he simply driving up his asking price this off season?
Several years ago (pre-lockout), a friend and I debated what Patrick Marleau’s actual upside was. This was when he still floundered in 40-point brilliant-one-game-awful-the-next land, pre-captaincy and with the life being squeezed out of him by then-coach Darryl Sutter. We finally agreed that under the right coach and with the right circumstances, he could ultimately turn into a Mike Modano-style player: 80-90 points per season, a good penalty killer because of his speed, and a threat for 35+ goals each season.
It seems fitting, then, that like Modano a few years ago, Marleau was stripped of the captaincy. While Todd McLellan has left open the possibility of the C returning to his chest, reports out of the San Jose Mercury News make it seem like that won’t happen. McLellan hinted at a decision come training camp based on work ethic and focus, but that just seems to pave the way for Dan Boyle being named captain. He’s skilled, signed long term, honest without Roenick-style foot-in-mouth disease, and brings a genuine intensity to the team, along with Stanley Cup experience. It’s a logical choice, and as a fan of Boyle since his Tampa days, I fully support it.
(The dark horse candidate is Joe Pavelski, in a move that might mirror Dallas’ choice to make Brendan Morrow captain.)
But I continue to find fault with people who make it seem like Marleau’s head deserved to be on every possible chopping block from here to Saskatoon. It’s funny, not in a “ha ha” kind of way but in a shake-your-head-in-bemusement kind of way. It seems like everyone forgot about the year that Marleau had.
Injury news is starting to trickle out of the Sharks locker room, and while no one should use injuries as an excuse for the loss, everyone had basically known that captain Patrick Marleau was skating with some sort of knee injury through the last few weeks of the season. Now the truth is revealed: a sprained MCL, something that could take 4-8 weeks of staying off the knee depending on the severity of the injury. It does explain how Marleau, who was on a better than a point-per-game pace for about 3/4 of the season, dropped off at the tail end of the year.
In 2004, Joe Thornton played in Boston’s first-round series with bruised ribs and was basically run out of town for being ineffective. Will the Bay Area media give Marleau a little more leeway knowing that he had this injury or will this be the end of the line for the long-time Shark? He did score the game winners in both wins against Anaheim, and other than one bad series against Detroit a few years back, has generally been the Sharks’ most effective playoff performer since 2004.
Tangential to this, Milan Michalek and Joe Pavelski are now representing their countries at the World Championships. The Sharks’ secondary scoring failed to come through after a great regular season but these guys are obviously healthy enough to play in international competition. Knowing this, solely targeting Marleau for the team’s loss seems a bit overreactive.
There still seems to be some chatter in Sharks and Red Wings circles about Saturday night’s game. While some of it is falling into the always entertaining category of “You’re dumb” vs. “You’re stupid”, there’s also the debate about whether or not Patrick Marleau was on side for the game-winning goal.
This was sent to me earlier today. Not sure who did the original screencap, so hat tip to whoever did this. This screencap clearly shows Marleau onside (and how bad standard-def TV can look when blown up).
With a victory over Columbus, the San Jose Sharks have gotten off to their best start ever and Todd McLellan’s short coaching record remains unblemished. It’s difficult to judge things this early in the season but anyone who’s seen a Sharks game so far can tell you that this team is far, far different from any previous Sharks team. There’s a swagger to the whole squad, a confidence that was never there under Ron Wilson.
Under Kevin Constantine (Sharks v1.0), the Sharks were a defense-goaltending squad that overachieved on the backs of miraculous Arturs Irbe saves and Sergei Makarov/Igor Larionov chemistry. The Darryl Sutter days (Sharks v2.0) were about grit and power, almost to the point where skill was being squeezed out—ask Teemu Selanne about that. Even in 2003-04, when Ron Wilson (Sharks v3.0) transformed a bunch of speedy second-liners into Conference Finalists, that was more about system and synchronicity, the proverbial lightning in a bottle. The post-lockout Wilson squads were hit and miss but even at their best, everything seemed like a controlled affair. And these guys under Todd McLellan (Sharks v4.0—hey, the tech speak works, we are talking about a Silicon Valley team, after all)? There’s just a different shine to the whole package, a feeling like all the parts are finally working cohesively together.
The ever-vigilant Dave Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News has posted that the Sharks will open training camp with Patrick Marleau on Joe Thornton’s wing. The duo will be flanked by Ryane Clowe, not Jonathan Cheechoo:
Here’s how the top forward lines will look on Day One:
Patrick Marleau-Joe Thornton-Ryan Clowe
Milan Michalek-Joe Pavelski-Jonathan Cheechoo
Marcel Goc-Torrey Mitchell-Mike Grier
Tomas Plihal-Jeremy Roenick-Devin Setoguchi
I’m personally not a fan of putting Marleau and Thornton on the same line together except for the power play.