San Jose Sharks veteran left winger Patrick Marleau is having an underrated season. With 28 points in 40 games, Marleau is just shy of his career points per game average of .745, clocking in this season at .70. However, Marleau is currently sporting a shooting percentage less than half of his career average so far in 2014-15. In fact, you could make the case with his normal puck luck, Marleau would be having one of his better seasons. This season Marleau is still averaging right around three shots per game with 122 in 40 games but has just seven goals. If he were converting goals at his typical rate, he would have 16 goals and 37 points in 40 games. Marleau, known for his speed and quick release, didn’t all of a sudden forget how to shoot. If he weren’t getting the shots off at his usual 3-3.5 per game pace (a pace that has seen him score 30 goals in prior years), then there would be reason to concerned if father time was catching up to him. With just one goal in his last 18 games, Marleau is going through a severely unlucky drought. In the most recent Sharks contest against Winnipeg, Marleau had a one time look from the slot that he would typically bury nine times out of ten but instead he shot it wide. The goals are going to start coming, Marleau has always been known as a streaky scorer. Sooner or later he is bound to have a five goals in 10 game type stretch, it’s only a matter of time. Perhaps remembering some of his past brilliant flashy goals will get him his mojo back. Without further ado, the top 10 flashiest goals of Marleau’s brilliant career.
10. Breakaway Insurance in a Classic Game vs Detroit 2009
Both the speed and release on display in this awesome breakaway goal. Getting in behind the defense and timing his zone entry perfectly to stay onside, just perfect execution all the way around.
9. Breakaway vs Vancouver 2009
Yet again, hands and speed on display here. Marleau has one of the most powerful strides of any player in the league. If you zero in on his legs at the 48, 49 second mark, those of you who have watched a lot of hockey will be able to appreciate just how much force and push off he gets on each stride.
8. Breakaway Insurance in WCF vs Vancouver 2011
Marleau blocks a shot and just two strides later he is gone. Alex Edler is no slow poke of a skater and Marleau makes him look like Brooks Orpik trying to backcheck. As commentator Brian Engblom astutely points out, “when Patrick Marleau gets a step on you, you’re not going to catch him.” Not to mention, the hands and smart shot selection as the other commentator Darren Pang points out, Marleau uses the heel of his stick to get off a quick release that Luongo had no chance to react on. It either hits him or goes in and it went in.
7. Hand Eye Coordination vs Minnesota 2010
It may look easy with an empty net and a floating puck moving at not the fastest of speeds but it is actually a very difficult thing to do when expecting a pass along the surface. Terrific hand eye.
6. Blows By Ian White vs Detroit in 2011
Wow, just look at those crossovers! To quote Darren Pang, “holy jumpin’!” Marleau blows by Ian White, another defender who is no slouch when it comes to skating speed. Marleau is just faster.
5. Catches Lob Pass From Thornton vs Blues 2008
The ability to reach back, chip the puck up and find it in his skates is one thing but then to make a stick handling move to avoid the poke-check and stash it upstairs? Filthy.
4. Falling Down Five Hole WCQF vs Vancouver 2013
The second goal in the video above Marleau is able to jet through the zone with blazing speed and despite taking a vicious chop from Edler, Marleau is somehow able to fire it through the five hole while falling down. Gorgeous goal.
3. Short-handed Goal vs Phoenix 2011
Chips it by Keith Yandle and Joe Pavelski, chips it past Kyle Turris, fights off Turris’ backcheck and then puts the quick release in the back of the net for the go-ahead shorty late in the third period.
2. Short-handed Goal vs Pittsburgh 2014
Dekes Evgeni Malkin out of his pants and buries a short-handed backhander through the seven-hole to tie the game in the third period. Fantastic individual effort.
1. Game 5 Game Winner vs Detroit WCSF 2010
In my opinion the biggest goal in Sharks history and the flashiest of Marleau’s career. One time goal down to a knee off the far post and in, talk about a beauty.
Andrew has been credentialed to cover the Sharks since 2010 and the 49ers since 2012. He graduated with his BA in Broadcast Electronic Communication Arts in 2013 from San Francisco State University.