April 26, 2009
Patrick Marleau Is A Playoff Stud
Great game last night between San Jose and Anaheim. The Sharks staved off elimination thanks to Patrick Marleau's OT goal and strong performance.
San Jose is still in real trouble here, as the Ducks still lead the series 3 games to 2 and have been the better team. Thoughts of yet another San Jose playoff failure have heaped heavy criticism on the Sharks top players - Joe Thornton, which is much deserve, and Patrick Marleau, which is not.
I'll comment on Thornton another day. As the resident superstar, he takes a lot of heat for his poor playoff play. Marleau, as team's long time captain, too often gets grouped together with Thornton. To do so is to spread a serious falsehood.
True Patrick Marleau hasn't been able to lead the Sharks to playoff success, but he has played well in the playoffs.
Marleau's OT goal last night was his 32nd playoff goal since 2002. He is the highest goal scorer in that time period:
Patrick Marleau - 32 goals in 69 games
Henrik Zetterberg - 31 goals in 66 games
Joe Sakic - 28 goals in 58 games
Daniel Alfredsson - 28 goals in 69 games
Jarome Iginla - 27 goals in 51 games
Chris Drury - 26 goals in 69 games
Marian Hossa - 26 goals in 65 games
Daniel Briere - 23 goals in 62 games
Martin St. Louis - 23 goals in 45 games
Tomas Holmstrom - 23 goals in 85 games
Not only is he the leading playoff goal scorer in the last 7 years, but he also leads in game winning goals. Marleau has 10 game winning goals, one better than Drury and two better than Alfredsson and Johan Franzen.
In that same time frame he is also tied for the lead in short handed goals (3), second in even strength goals (18), and tied for third in power play goals (11).
So do not be so quick to put Patrick Marleau in the same playoff-failure boat as Joe Thornton. Marleau has proven to be a good playoff player.