Sharks captain Patrick Marleau already owns every major franchise mark for scoring. His 223 goals and 276 assists rank first all-time and so are his 499 points. Not to mention his 736 games played and his 41 game-winning goals.
With Marleau’s unassisted goal against Dallas (he also potted the shootout winner, although that doesn’t count in the stats), he moved to 499 points, one away from hitting the magical 500.
The Aneroid, Saskatchewan native is only 28 years old and playing in his 11th NHL season. Had it not been for the lockout season (which counts in the 11 years), Marleau likely would have been the fastest player in NHL history to reach 500 games played.
As one of the fittest players on the Sharks, it is not out of the realm for Marleau to play another nine-plus seasons and dream of a 1,000-point career. Playing for an organization that is traditionally at the top of the NHL in terms of talent developed, Marleau is the standard bearer for San Jose.
“He was drafted in 1997 and years later he is still here,” said Sharks Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager Wayne Thomas. “That is good for the fans and doesn’t happen all the time in today’s sports world.”
While off to a slower start than usual, Marleau has been extremely consistent the past few seasons with regards to points and games played. The past two campaigns, he has scored 86 and 78 points in 82 and 77 games respectively.
“Any organization that has a point-a-game player as durable as he’s been over the years is blessed,” said Thomas.
Of the top 75 active points leaders heading into 2007-08, Marleau is just one of seven to have spent his entire career with the franchise he started with. Five hundred points will come soon enough, possibly tonight, and then Marleau will then quietly continue re-writing the Sharks record book with each point scored and game played.
FAMILIAR FOES The Sharks will play Phoenix for the third time in four contests Thursday night, but for Phoenix, it will mark their third consecutive contest against Team Teal. San Jose faced a similar situation more than ten years ago when they played Chicago in three successive games in February of 1994. The Sharks won all three battles, which helped propel them to the NHL’s greatest single-season turnaround.
MULTI-POINT STREAKS Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier's five points last night was the sixth consecutive game in which he scored at least two points. Since the start of the 2006-07 season, the only other NHL player to record six straight multiple-point games was San Jose’s Milan Michalek, who did that late last season (March 13-22, 2007). The last player with a longer streak of multiple-point games was Mario Lemieux (seven in a row, Oct. 22-Nov. 6, 2002).
NEXT GAME San Jose will play at Phoenix tonight (6:00 p.m.) and the contest will be available on FSN Bay Area, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.