San Jose Sharks: Why Patrick Marleau Will Score 40 Goals Again This Season

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San Jose Sharks: Why Patrick Marleau Will Score 40 Goals Again This Season
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Patrick Marleau is a very talented player. He's got blazing speed, a very high hockey IQ and a hard, accurate shot.

In his 13 seasons of hockey, Marleau has reached the 40-goal plateau only once. Forty goals is nothing to scoff at, but with Marleau's skill it's a bit surprising.

Marleau had the best season of his career in 2009-10 when he put up 44 goals for the Sharks.

Marleau slipped off a bit last year, still putting up a very respectable 37 goals. But this season, I'm sure Marleau will be able to get to 40 goals again.

At 32 he's still in his prime, putting up 38, 44 and 37 goals, respectively, in the past three seasons.

Last season, Marleau had a big scoring drought, going 10 games without a goal at one point in the season.

Patty's main flaw is that he struggles with consistency. If he can be consistent throughout most of the season, he'll score that many more goals.

Last season, after teams noticing Dany Heatley's slump on the second line, it allowed them to focus more on shutting down Marleau and Joe Thornton's line instead of having to worry about two lines.

With the acquisition of Martin Havlat, the Sharks will now have two deadly scoring lines. Marleau, Thornton and Joe Pavelski or Logan Couture would be on the first line.

Havlat, Clowe and Pavelski/Couture would be on the second line.

That will open up more chances for the top line, as the team's defenses will have another first-esque line to worry about.

With an improved power play, Brent Burns and Dan Boyle will most likely play the points, opening up more scoring opportunities for Marleau.

The keys to Patty scoring 40 goals are the power play, the improved second line and consistency.

If Marleau can shake aside his pet peeve and be consistent this season, he should be more than capable of carrying the Sharks offense on his back.

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