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Sharks’ coach McLellan: Slumping Marleau ‘a streaky player’

Feb 8, 2014, 6:16 PM EDT

San Jose Sharks v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

Goals have been hard to come by of late for the San Jose Sharks, and that includes forward Patrick Marleau.

His recent struggles to score are perhaps magnified because they coincide with his signing of a three-year contract extension worth $20 million with the Sharks on Jan. 24. Since then, he’s scored only twice, with another assist added in there as well.

Marleau did score Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. And he’ll now head to Sochi as a member of Team Canada, which also may have been an outside distraction in recent games.

“There’s more to Patty than we’ve seen over the last little bit,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area. “He’s had some things, the Olympics, the contract, a number of things that have occurred over the last couple weeks.

“Again, he is a streaky player, as well. We’ve talked about him and Brent Burns (no goals in 15 games). I think [Marleau] is skating well, it’s using his body and his size and his strength, and I think he can get better in that area.”

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 8, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Not to beat a dead horse but how is a player like Marleau (older, slumping, with less points) on Canada when Giroux isn’t? I don’t disagree with St. Louis getting the spot, but it’s guys like Marleau that bother me. Is it his size that gives him an edge? Well on international ice you’d think it’d be more important to have creative puckhandlers like G rather than straight-ahead “snipers”. That’s how Russia, Finland, and Sweden do it. But it’s all moot now.

    Let’s do it USA! Or even Finland or the Czechs… just not Canada or Russia.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 8, 2014 at 6:58 PM

      Also I’m aware of the winger/center argument, but Giroux played outside early in his career.

    • valoisvipers - Feb 8, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      @phillyphanatic77 I understand the just not Russia thing but not Canada…what’s up with the hate?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 8, 2014 at 7:34 PM

        I don’t hate Canada, in fact I’m a fan of most of the team members and country, but I’m American so they’re obviously my team. Secondly, I’m currently holding this petty grudge for Giroux being passed over in favor of inferior talent (partially, in my mind, bc he skipped the orientation to rehab his hand). And finally, I despise Sidney Crosby with every ounce of my being so I just can’t find myself supporting a team he’s captaining. If it was Toews I’d feel different.

        It may all sound like petty, sour grapes, but I just don’t like the way Canada is constructed and how they went about things. Plus, they’re essentially the favorites and everyone likes an underdog… so USA!

    • mrpinkca - Feb 8, 2014 at 7:39 PM

      Marleau is big and fast. He can play in all situations, and is a short handed threat on the PK. If he was on the east coast, nobody would be questioning his selection.

      I have no justification for Kunitz.

  2. canucks30 - Feb 8, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Why is he on Team Canada?

    I don’t get it.

  3. ejbigg - Feb 8, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    I’m a bit surprised at him being named to Team Canada. Not a bad player by any means but if Bobby Ryan can’t spell intense then Marleau probably couldn’t even find it in a dictionary.

  4. lowenni - Feb 8, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    He edged out players like Giroux for a TC roster spot because of being hot early, but mostly he has elite straightaway a speed. Also I think the thought of him getting hot in Sochi and scoring a lot like he’s capable of had to be a tantalizing idea for Canada management.

    Either way, by this point in the season I agree Giroux probably should’ve been on instead of him.

  5. hookersdontsnuggle - Feb 8, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    The international game is very speed driven. Marleau is still one of the fastest guys in the league. He also possesses experience and was at one time a captain.

  6. crushed49 - Feb 8, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Take or leave the Olympics….I swear people only have short term memories. If you look back, past ‘a couple of weeks’, you see different stats for Marleau. He’s not allowed to be off his game every now and again? Then explainto me why you all aren’t turning on the golden boy that hasn’t scored for awhile either. Pavelski is being pad pretty damn well also and he’s not producing.

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