San Jose Sharks: Settling the Argument on Whether Patrick Marleau Is Clutch

Michael DeSantisSenior Analyst IMarch 4, 2012

San Jose Sharks: Settling the Argument on Whether Patrick Marleau Is Clutch

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    Over the years, the San Jose Sharks have had their share of early playoff exits. Many analysts and some fans point fingers at the big guys like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

    Marleau has been labeled as a choker before. But, the fact of the matter is, he is no such thing.

    Let's start with some numbers. This season, eight of his 26 goals have been game winners, which is fourth best in the league. Marleau leads the league in game winners since a few seasons ago.

    He has 76 game winners in his career, as a matter of fact.

    More importantly, he is a clutch playoff performer, like some people refuse to believe. He has 13 game-winning goals in 124 games. He has 52 playoff goals total, so 25 percent of his playoff goals are game winners. Of course, those don't include tying the game and hat tricks he's scored.

    In both the regular season and playoffs, he's scored many timely goals, whether they won the game in regulation or overtime. Some of his goals have even tied the game late for the Sharks.

    A lot of Sharks fans probably do agree with me, but there are some people out there who still think Marleau is not a big game player.

    I'll link some of his clutch goals in the upcoming slides and give a brief explanation on each.

    Just so you guys know, most of these videos will be recent because it's hard to find older videos of Marleau's goals.

1. Game Winner Against the St. Louis Blues in 08-09 Season

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    In this game, Marleau scored with just 5:03 left to propel the Sharks to a 5-4 win against the Blues.

    It was his second goal of the game and was a very nifty, timely goal.

2. Patrick Marleau Ties It Twice Against the Kings in Three Minutes

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    Patrick Marleau scored the tying goal twice for the Sharks in the final three and a half minutes against the Kings.

    He tied it once at 2-2 with 3:32 remaining. The Sharks gave up the tie game, but Marleau was there to tie it again with 3.2 seconds remaining.

    How clutch is a player when he scores two game-tying goals in such a quick span?

3. Marleau Scores to Beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 in Overtime

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    Patty scores on the breakaway in overtime to give the Sharks a 2-1 victory to end a successful road trip.

    We'll be getting into playoffs in the next slide. Woo!

4. Marleau Wins It in Overtime Against the Red Wings in Game 3

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    Every Sharks fan remembers this goal. Marleau puts the Sharks up three games to nothing with his two-on-one goal with Joe Thornton in a game where the Sharks had to fight from behind to beat the Red Wings.

    This was a couple of seasons ago, but it was nonetheless a huge goal.

5. Marleau Scores Game Winner in 3rd Period Against Wings in Game 5

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    Sorry about this video, I could only find this on a game recap.

    Skip to about 4:50 to see Marleau's goal. This goal secured a 2-1 victory for the Sharks and was the series winner as well. 

    It was an absolute bullet with 13:01 left in the game to help the Sharks advance to the next round in the 2009-10 playoffs.

Conclusion

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    Just to recap, the Patrick Marleau is a big-time player.

    There are so many other videos I could have put up here, but everyone probably gets the point by now.

    The argument is settled, Patrick Marleau is indeed a clutch player. He's a big-game guy and knows when to step his game up to the next level.