"SHARKS (10-8-0) at FLYERS (6-8-4)
TV: CSN-CA, CSN-PH
PHILADELPHIA -- San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau will attempt to become the 83rd player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points when the Sharks play the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.
It's no secret to regular readers of this blog that Patrick is my favorite active Sharks player and one of my top five all-time Sharks players. He is a consummate good guy, even when Jeremy Roenick called him out in his autobiography. He wore the 'C' from 2004 to 2009. Patrick is the leader in many categories for San Jose, including goals, even strength goals, power play goals, shots, points, and games played. He was a member of the gold-medal winning Canadian Olympic team in 2010 and 2014. He represented the Sharks in the All-Star games in 2004, 2007, and 2009. All of this has been accomplished while playing on the same team. This is remarkable in a time where even the great Wayne Gretzky spent his career on with multiple hockey clubs.
He will score that momentous number. If not tonight, then soon. Congratulations to a great hockey player. I hope when he retires, the League will see fit to induct him into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Good luck, Sir. I'll be cheering you on!
Marleau said the thought of reaching the 1,000-point milestone hasn't completely sunk in yet.
"I think it's easier to keep the focus on playing the game and playing hard, and those things usually happen," he said. "Or you get those points when you're playing hard and playing within a certain structure."
What makes Marleau's chance at history that much sweeter is he'll have done it all with one team. Selected by the Sharks with the second pick of the 1997 NHL Draft, he's the franchise's leader in games played (1,347), goals (462) and points (999), among other categories.
"That's pretty rare, to be able to have done that," he said. "It's definitely special to be all with one team."
Marleau has goals in two straight games after scoring once in his previous 12. Part of that coincides with a return to center.
"It's nice to get some results," he said. "Keep trying to do the same things game in and game out, and give yourself a chance to score. Started to go in the last couple games and looking forward to continuing that way."
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said the move to the middle has allowed Marleau to take advantage of his speed.
"I think it frees him up to skate a little bit more," DeBoer said. "His best assets are his legs still at 36. I think it allows him to get his speed going a little bit. It's out of necessity; when we get [Logan] Couture back he'll go back to the wing. But he's comfortable there."
Marleau's teammates certainly are excited to see him this close to history.
"We're happy for teammates to set things like that," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "It's pretty cool to be part of that. As a young guy to be able to play with him ... he was one of my first linemates. My first game I got put on with him, so that was exciting as a younger kid and he's flying around. You take things that you can from him and you try to get better. He'll help you along the way."
Sharks forward Joe Thornton said the game plan doesn't change to help one player reach an accomplishment.
"But if [Marleau] is open I'm always going to give him the puck," Thornton said."
Patrick's career stats (from San Jose's website):
|Season||Team||G P||G||A||P||+/-||PIM||PP||SH||G W||S||S%|
|1993-1994||Swift Current Legionnaires-SMHL||53||72||95||167|
|1994-1995||Swift Current Legionnaires-SMHL||31||30||22||52||18|
Career Playoff Statistics
Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game :
Melker Karlsson - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto - Patrick Marleau - Joel Ward
Joonas Donskoi - Tomas Hertl - Tommy Wingels
Micheal Haley - Chris Tierney - Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Paul Martin - Brent Burns
Mirco Mueller - Brenden Dillon
Injured: Logan Couture (leg)
Scratched: Nikolay Goldobin, Matt Tennyson
Brayden Schenn - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Wayne Simmonds
Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Sam Gagner
Michael Raffl - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Chris VandeVelde
Michael Del Zotto - Radko Gudas
Nick Schultz - Luke Schenn
Brandon Manning - Shayne Gostisbehere
Injured: Ryan White (upper body), Mark Streit (detached pubic plate), R.J. Umberger (foot)
Scratched: Vincent Lecavalier, Evgeny Medvedev
Stand with me in wishing Patty good luck and many more points this season.
Go Sharks and best wishes to #12!
Stay safe out there!