[Editor's Note]: LurkerShark gives us a nice article on Patrick Marleau's postseason play. Enjoy.
Here we are in March with the Sharks in a funk and the postseason fast approaching. To help take everyone's minds off of our hockey related issues, I thought we could all use something fun to forget about our problems and relax. So why doesn't everyone gather round and g... What's that internet? You have something you want to show me? Oh. God. Dammit. Here we go already.
Sorry folks. Thanks to the internet here we're going to have to forget about the fun thing I had planned and talk some shop. This is just one of those things I can't stand. You see what you did internet? You ruined things for everybody here. I hope you're happy.
It's March and the playoffs are approaching. And if there's one thing the approach of the playoffs brings, it's the mainstream media talking about how Patrick Marleau chokes in the postseason. And if there's one thing I just cannot stand, it's the mainstream media talking about how Patrick Marleau chokes in the postseason. And since this is what I can only assume to be the first of many such statements, I thought I'd try and head them all off at the pass. I'm going to try and look at this as objectively as I can. (Well, as objectively as someone with a man-crush on him can at any rate.)
Our dear captain has made a grand total so far of 9 NHL postseasons. That works out to 86 games with 35 goals, 8 of them game winners, and 24 assists. But for the sake of this argument, I'm going to cherry pick just the seasons he's been the captain for since we didn't hear about this crap before Patty made captain. It also makes for a good comparison. Trust me, you'll see. So without further ado, here are Patrick Marleau's numbers for the last 4 postseasons.
So what do we see? Well 06-07 is really where this all started. Marleau just wasn't a factor, except for some incredibly costly mistakes, in that series. Ever since, the press has been on his case. Forget about the previous productive postseason he had. That one bad series got him labeled a perennial choker. Of course he denies it was a factor, but I have to believe that a separated shoulder contributed to his woes. As for last season, well, based on his past performance, I'm willing to write the whole thing off as an aberration. It was just a bad campaign all around for the captain. (Yes, I'm looking at you Ronnie.)
As for the results of those runs? Well I think we all know how they ended. Except for the 03-04 campaign you only have to look so far as the top of the site to figure them out. Is the lack of success all on the captain? I say no. Hockey is a team sport and it's too much to ask one man to carry the team all the way to glory and Lord Stanley's Cup. Has Marleau made an effort to try and get the Sharks there? His numbers say yes. And we all remember this and how Patty was really the only Shark to step up after that hit.
Now, take a look at this:
Whose numbers are those you ask? He wears 12 and sports the C. That's right. Jarome Iginla. Now aside from 2 games in 95-96, that's Iggy's entire NHL postseason career. Since a run to the Cup Finals, that went through us in the WCF, where they lost to the Lightning, the Flames haven't made it out of the first round.
These are incredibly similar performances from two men on two very different teams. Neither team has had much in the way of recent playoff success, but only one of them seems to have a target painted on his back by the press when this time of the year rolls around. Why that is, I honestly can't say. One bad series shouldn't wipe out 7 successful prior performances. Is it Canadian or east coast bias? Just the usual trashing of a California hockey team through it's captain? I don't know. What I do know is we're going to keep hearing this crap until Marleau puts together another good postseason.
So, please, join me when I say,
Go Patty Go Patty Go Patty Go Patty Go Patty