Heading into this season, the over/under of goals scored by Patrick Marleau was 40. He currently has 18 and will need to raise his play if he is to get his second career 40-goal season. This time last season, he had the same 18 goals and finished the season just about as expected with 37 goals.
However, with Martin Havlat returning within the next month from injury, Marleau's stock will only rise. Also, any trades for a winger made by GM Doug Wilson will only contribute to Marleau's offensive touches on the ice. With Havlat returning, we are sure to see that top line of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Marleau return to form.
With Havlat in the lineup on the second line, Marleau put up 10 goals in the first two months of the season. When Havlat went down with injury, Marleau had a terrible offensive December (three goals), and the team played awful because of it.
When Havlat returns in early to mid-March, Marleau will see more pressure applied by their opponents towards that relentless line of Ryane Clowe, Logan Couture and Havlat and see more opportunities come the way of his first line.
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