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Fast starts not uncommon for Sharks forward Marleau

by Dan Rosen

San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau is off to another strong start. This is not a surprise.

Marleau enters the Sharks' game Tuesday at the Boston Bruins with four goals and three assists for seven points in six games. Two of his goals and three of his points have come on the power play.

It's his most productive first six games of the season since last season, when he had six goals and three assists in the first six. That was his best start since, you guessed it, the season before, when he shot out of the lockout with nine goals and five assists in the first six games.

Patrick Marleau
Left Wing - SJS
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 7
SOG: 16 | +/-: 1
"There is no 'Wow, look what he's doing' factor because that's what we expect from him day in and day out," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "He showed up in camp in real good condition, like he always does. His mindset was very good, very determined. He's playing with a couple good players right now that help him out. It's not a surprise to anyone in the locker room that he's playing the way he is."

Marleau has been playing with Logan Couture and Matt Nieto, neither of whom are off to a hot start. Couture has one goal and three assists; Nieto has one goal and two assists, but he hasn't had a point in the past three games.

That's probably one reason why McLellan is shaking up the lines for the game Tuesday against Boston. Tommy Wingels will join Marleau and Couture; Nieto is moving to play with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.

Regardless, Marleau has been an early-season standout so far for the Sharks, as is typical for him. He credits his strong starts to his offseason conditioning and familiarity with the system. McLellan has been the Sharks coach since 2008-09.

"That layoff has a lot to do with it," Marleau said. "You want to get back out there, you want to have some fun with it. Our coaching staff does a great job of getting us prepared for the season system wise. We still have a lot of the same guys so being able to have that comfort level helps everybody."


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