Patrick Marleau helped out the San Jose Sharks take down the Chicago Blackhawks in his first game back in teal.
The 40-year-old lit up the stat sheet competing hard in all three zones of play. He compiled 2 goals, 6 shots on net, and 5 hits while logging 15:30 in playing time. Whether it was adrenaline or a good fit Team Teal desperately needed the boost from their 2nd overall pick in the 1997 NHL Draft.
Marleau was a factor all over the ice but especially in front of the opponent’s goal crease. On both of his goals (specifically this first one) he was able to get involved in the dangerous areas of the ice which helped him filter pucks towards the net.
The Sharks faltered early but as the game settled down looked like a completely different team towards the second half of this match-up. Despite the few costly mistakes due to their aggressive high-risk style of hockey San Jose looked refreshed with skaters like Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier, and Brent Burns having their best games of the season.
Patrick Marleau’s presence on this team made a huge impact on and off the ice and it was definitely noticed by newly dubbed captain Logan Couture who got asked about the 40-year-old’s performance on Wednesday night by NHL.com Staff Writer Tracey Myers
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"“I mean, he played great,” Couture said. “I told him, ‘It’s great to play with you.’ It felt like he hadn’t left, like [it was] three years ago when he and I were together for a couple of years. I knew where he was on the ice, I think he felt he knew where I was. Just felt comfortable with him out there. I thought he looked great.”"
Bringing back Marleau is paying off early for the Sharks front office. It’s hard to anticipate this level of performance from the 22-year veteran every night, however him just being back in the fold appears to have ignited something within San Jose’s locker room. In this game alone San Jose scored as many goals as they did in their 4 previous contests.
The Sharks have a few days off to rest up before they take the ice on Sunday against the Calgary Flames at the SAP Center. This will give the old man a few days to rest before being greeted by an electric home crowd.
Expect an energized Team Teal as well with their grueling road trip out-of-the-way. This next few days will get used to help formulate some more chemistry between the group. Make sure to look out for how Pete DeBoer decides to use Marleau especially with the bounce back game by Kevin Labanc.