What Happened to Patrick Marleau?

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Through the first five games of this lockout-shortened NHL season, San Jose Sharks left winger Patrick Marleau led the NHL with nine goals.

After coming out of the gate firing on all cylinders, Marleau has fallen off the map.  He’s scored just one lonely goal in his last nine games, and the Sharks have certainly felt his lack of production.

After starting the season 7-0-0, San Jose has lost seven straight.  During that span, the Sharks have scored just eight goals.

The Sharks have struggled mightily on offense as a unit; Marleau isn’t entirely to blame.  But Marleau has to get going again.  Typically, when a leader like Marleau kicks it into gear, the team will follow.

So what does Marleau need to do to get back on track?

It all starts with getting pucks to the net.  In San Jose’s first seven contests, Marleau shot the puck 33 times.  In his team’s last seven, he’s pulled the trigger just 15 times.

You can’t score unless you shoot.

Marleau, and the Sharks as a team, need to get more pucks on net.  For Marleau, the key is to get to the dirty areas of the ice.  The best way to break out of a slump is to keep working hard.  What Marleau can’t do is try to force the issue.  Stay patient, play team hockey and the goals will come.

Marleau has the talent to score tons of goals this season.  He has exhibited this throughout his career and especially in this season’s early going.  He has a solid team around him that will give him opportunities to score.

Marleau simply needs to stay aggressive and keep attacking.  The goals will come if he continues to work for them.

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