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Tuesday Tire Pump: Patrick Marleau

Jan 10, 2012, 3:26 PM EDT

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Patrick Marleau Getty Images

Every Tuesday at PHT, we’ll pump a player’s tire. Because every player likes it when nice things are said about them.

This week’s tire pumpee: Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

After scoring the winning goal and adding two assists in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Washington, Marleau has at least a point in five straight games. In his last 11, he’s only been held off the scoresheet once.

By no small coincidence, San Jose is 8-1-1 in its last 10, the best 10-game stretch going in the Western Conference. Only the Rangers (9-1-0) have a better mark overall.

It’s been a distinct turnaround for Marleau, who in early December was dropped to San Jose’s third line in the midst of a seven-game pointless streak.

The 32-year-old with one of the NHL’s highest cap hits ($6.9 million) is no stranger to criticism in San Jose. His numbers (33 points in 38 games) remain below what they should be given the money he’s making – only 18 players in the entire league have a higher cap hit – which is why it’s important to pump his tires when the opportunity presents itself.

Patrick Marleau, everyone.

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