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Ask the Sharks: Marleau's Answers

by Alison High / San Jose Sharks
Forward Patrick Marleau is known for his speed on the ice. But off the ice, he’s just as quick.

After a practice, the Sharks captain can take off his hockey gear -- that’s gloves, skates, shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants and shin guards -- in about 45 seconds. So when went to interview Marleau after Thursday’s morning skate, the 29-year-old was already off to the showers.

Needless to say, “Ask the Sharks” got moved to Friday.

Below are “Patty’s” responses to your best questions.

San Jose Sharks' Patrick Marleau celebrates after scoring during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues Thursday, March 12, 2009, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
How important is it to win the race for the first place against Detroit? – Andre
It’s a comforting feeling to know you’re going to have home ice all the way through the playoffs. It’s something that we’re focused on and want to obtain.

What responsibilities do you have as a captain that are different from the rest of the team? - Caryn DeFrees
Sometimes they ask about scheduling, practices and travel time. Sometimes I get asked about what I think the group needs about practices and flight times. The coaches want to know if they should try and get us into a city earlier or something like that.

Sometimes I’m looked upon to say something or do something on the ice at certain points of time. I’m not a big “rah-rah” guy, just little bits here and there. As far as being the captain on this team, it’s pretty easy. You’ve got a lot of previous captains, a lot of leaders, so just when you’re about to say something there’s probably three other guys thinking the same thing and they say it.

How has the different coaching style of Todd McLellan brought out the best in you (as you are having such a great year)? – Andrew
I think he challenges his players every day. What’s so different for me is that there’s always something he sees in my game that I can get better at. As a player, you want to try and get better and it helps to have somebody talking to you like that.

What has been your most enjoyable moment in your hockey career and your most enjoyable season? – Rich
Just playing in the playoffs has been my most enjoyable moment. And this year…the whole season has been great. I think getting off to such a great start and winning as many games as we have has made it a fun atmosphere. The guys are great to be around.

San Jose Sharks' Patrick Marleau, right, lines up a shot on Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, from Finland, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
I just wanted to express real admiration for not only your achievements as a Shark, but the class, dignity and real integrity that you display on-and-off the ice and the way you portray yourself as a pro athlete. This got me thinking that clearly you’ve had great support over the years from your family, coaches and teammates. I just wanted to ask what’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given and what advice would you pass on to the next generation of young hockey players?– Jason Dunn
Try not to think too much on the ice. Just make sure you play hard and compete and good things usually happen. It’s something I’ve learned over time. As far as the young kids, make sure they’re having fun. And if they’re having fun and enjoying it, then work hard as well.

What advice do you have for new dad Travis Moen about how to balance being a father and playing in the NHL?
Just be really nice to your wife.

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