Patrick Marleau scored a huge goal in the San Jose Sharks' game against the Vancouver Canucks last night. The 37 year old Center activated the red lamp for #500 (19 for the season to date) in the first period. Ever so humble, Patrick credited his teammates for helping him to reach this point in his career. To help those of you who don't follow hockey, Marleau is the 45th player in NHL history to reach 500 goals and only the 17th player to accomplish the feat with same team. Pattie has been with the Sharks since being drafted from the minors at 18.
Will this be enough to earn him a place in the hollowed Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF)? Some critics say no due to the Sharks failure to win a Stanley Cup and Patrick's lack of hardware. He hasn't won any scoring titles which is a crucial part of the qualification process. Marleau has been criticized for his post-season performance by other hockey writers and former teammates (Jeremy Roenick called out Patty in his autobiography). Still, no one can dispute his contribution to the Sharks franchise over the years. Opponents lauded #12 for his speed and offensive skills.
Three other Sharks players are on the watch list: Justin Braun needs one more goal to reach 100, Marc-Edouard Vlasic needs three points to reach 200 assists, and Joe Thornton is six points from hitting 1000 career assists.
Brent Burns remains on track to win his first year-end award. He is first among defensemen for goals (22) and points (55) and third OVERALL (Connor McDavid is ranked one and Sidney Crosby is second). Either the Norris or Selke are within his grasp if he continues on track with his point and goal scoring.
In other hockey news, the newest member of the NHL family: the Las Vegas Golden Knights is almost set to start wheeling and dealing for players. Once the Team makes the final payment to the NHL, the General Manager George McPhee can start the process of obtaining players for the team. This past week the team hired Jay Mellette as the Director of Sports Performance and Athletic Training.
Sharks are locked in a tight race in the Pacific Division. San Jose, Anaheim, and Edmonton are all jockeying for first place in their division. To date, the Sharks sit atop the top spot but we're
half-way through the season and anything can happen. League-wise, San Jose is in fourth place. The guys still need to work on the special teams. The penalty kill and power play are in the upper part of the pack. The face-off percentage could be higher. At least they rank in the top five for least amount of goals allowed.
Sharks hockey is exciting and the tunnel to the end's result looks bright this season.
Las Vegas Golden Knights website:
Stay safe out there!