Patrick Marleau scores career goal No. 500

Patrick Marleau scores career goal No. 500

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scored his 500th career goal on Thursday night in Vancouver, whipping a wrist shot past Ryan Miller at 9:30 of the first period at Rogers Arena.

“Feels good. Definitely good to get that milestone,” Marleau told CSN at the first intermission. “When you get close you just want to get it done and over with. Able to get the first one here tonight, and feeling good.”

The goal, which came on the power play on a cross-ice pass from Joe Pavelski, gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Marleau showcased his patented uppercut fist pump, and was mobbed by his teammates while the rest of the Sharks’ bench leaped in celebration. Brent Burns notched the secondary assist, firing a tape-to-tape pass up to Pavelski from deep in the defensive zone up to the offensive blue line.

“Quick up there on the power play, and Pav slid it over to me, and was able to get a quick shot off,” Marleau said. “I knew [Miller] had to move side-to-side, so I was trying to beat him short side.”

The franchise’s all-time leader in points and games played, Marleau became just the 45th NHL player to reach 500 career goals.

All of Marleau’s goals have come with San Jose, after he was drafted by the club second overall in the 1997 draft. He is just the 18th player to score 500 goals with the team that originally drafted him.

In 1463 career games, all with the Sharks, Marleau has 500 goals and 564 assists for 1064 points. He is one of just three players to have a game-winning goal against 29 other NHL teams (Brendan Shanahan, Mats Sundin). He is the second Sharks player to score his 500th goal in a Sharks jersey, joining Jeremy Roenick, who did it in 2007.

He thanked his parents and family for the sacrifices they’ve made in helping him to a long and distinguished NHL career.

“[My parents] put in all the hard work growing up, driving me to games and had to travel an hour from practice each way, things like that. The sacrifices that they made for me to be able to play in the NHL is just mind boggling,” he said.

“Sacrifices my family at home in San Jose they’re making, always being on the road, things like that. Makes it all worthwhile when you reach milestones and you win. Things are going good.”

Only one other player to reach 500 goals took longer to get there than Marleau, as Ron Francis reached the mark in his 1533rd game.  Marleau’s first goal came on Oct. 17, 1997 against the Coyotes.

Marleau’s longtime teammate, Joe Thornton, is closing in on a milestone of his own. Entering Thursday night, Thornton is just seven assists away from 1000 in his career, and would be just the 13th player in league history to reach that mark.


Game #1                             Oct. 1, 1997                    San Jose vs. Edmonton

Game #1,000                       Jan. 17, 2011                  San Jose at Phoenix

Game #1,400                       March 19, 2016               San Jose vs. NY Rangers

First NHL Goal                    Oct. 19, 1997                   San Jose at Phoenix (Khabibulin)

First NHL Assist                  Oct. 11, 1997                   San Jose vs. Boston

First NHL Hat Trick              April 6, 2002                    San Jose vs. Detroit

1,000th Career Point             Nov. 21, 2015                  San Jose at Pittsburgh

500th Career Point                Nov. 15, 2007                  San Jose at Phoenix

500th Career Assist              Oct. 23, 2014                   San Jose vs. Columbus

100th Career Goal                 Nov. 13, 2002                  San Jose at Atlanta

200th Career Goal                 Nov. 22, 2006                  San Jose vs. Los Angeles

300th Career Goal                 Dec. 26, 2009                  San Jose vs. Anaheim

400th Career Goal                 March 10, 2003                San Jose at Colorado

500th Career Goal                 Feb. 2, 2017                    San Jose at Vancouver

Paul Martin rewarding Peter DeBoer's faith in NHL return


Paul Martin rewarding Peter DeBoer's faith in NHL return

When Sharks defenseman Paul Martin confirmed reports in January that he was willing to go elsewhere for more playing time, his head coach was insistent that the team would need the veteran blueliner. 

"I really believe we need eight NHL defenseman here," DeBoer told reporters in January (via The Mercury News). "If it happens that he isn't here, then that'll be disappointing for us. I'm not hoping that's where this goes. I'm hoping this goes to a place where he can maybe go down, play some games and keep himself ready, because I know we're going to need eight defensemen."

That's pretty much exactly what's happened.

After clearing waivers in January and playing with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, Martin was called up ahead of the Sharks' four-game road trip at the end of February. He did not play until last Saturday in Vancouver, when an upper-body injury to rookie defenseman Joakim Ryan, whose play pushed Martin down the depth chart in the first place, created an opening alongside Brent Burns. 

Martin's now played three straight games with Burns, his defensive partner for the vast majority of the previous two seasons. It's the first time Martin's played in three consecutive NHL games all season, and although he hasn't played much (11:53 in average time-on-ice), he's acquitted himself nicely in a sheltered role.

His five-on-five possession numbers (52.78 percent corsi-for; 53.33 percent fenwick-for) are the second-best marks among Sharks defensemen over the last three games. Burns, too, has posted better possession numbers with Martin (47.62 percent corsi-for; 50 percent fenwick-for) during the last three contests than without his longtime partner (43.40 percent corsi-for; 41.67 percent fenwick-for). 

The Sharks have also outscored (3-0) and outchanced (17-16) opponents with Martin on the ice, neither of which was the case in Martin's first three appearances earlier this season. The former is owed to a decent amount of puck luck, as the Sharks have converted on 17.65 percent of their shots with him on the ice, but the latter is an extension of his solid underlying numbers. 

Martin's played the least amount of total minutes among Sharks defensemen since coming back, even as Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed time in two of the last three games, and has barely been used in special teams. His days of averaging 20-or-more minutes a night are likely behind him, but the 37-year-old has played well in a limited role. 

Considering Martin's NHL days appeared to be behind him as recently as last month, his play has been a pleasant surprise. With the exception of his head coach, that is. 

Couture scores in OT, helps Sharks make up ground on Golden Knights

Couture scores in OT, helps Sharks make up ground on Golden Knights


SAN JOSE -- Seconds after almost costing the San Jose Sharks a game with a turnover, Logan Couture ended it with his backhand.

Couture scored 39 seconds into overtime after getting bailed out by goalie Martin Jones and the San Jose Sharks won their season-high sixth straight game, 2-1 over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.

"I was able to make a move on their guy," Couture said. "(Marc-Edouard Vlasic) did a good job of driving their backchecker back and I was able to go far side."

Couture's goal came at the end of an opening shift of the overtime that started with him losing the puck in his own zone, giving Jonathan Marchessault a chance alone in front. Jones got enough of the shot to stop it, and then Vlasic sent the puck ahead to Couture for the winning goal that moved San Jose within seven points of first-place Vegas with eight games remaining in the regular season.

Brent Burns also scored and Jones made 24 saves to help the Sharks open a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with a game in hand as the Sharks close in on home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"For us to get a win tonight was important," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Plus, just plant that seed. If we stay hot, you never know, we might be able to catch them and get home ice. We took care of business tonight and we'll try to keep playing well."

Tomas Tatar scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights, who were kept in the game by a sterling performance by goalie Malcolm Subban. He stopped 42 shots but it wasn't enough for Vegas to come up with the win, although he helped earn a point that gave the expansion team 100 this season.

"It's impressive," forward James Neal said. "It's a great season for our guys. Guys came together real quick. A great job so far but we're not done yet."

The Golden Knights struck first on a pretty passing play early in the first period that ended when Marchessault found Tatar cutting through the slot ahead of Justin Braun. Tatar skated past Jones and backhanded the puck into the open net.

Vegas has been dominant when getting off to a lead, posting an NHL-best 31-5-1 record when scoring first heading into this game. But the Sharks carried the play in the second period, outshooting the Golden Knights 18-4 and getting the equalizer on a blast by Burns from the point after another strong shift by San Jose's fourth line.

"We want to be playing really good hockey this time of year and heading into the playoffs. I think that's the goal," coach Peter DeBoer said. "Whether we would have won tonight or lost, I like how we played for most of the game, so that's what I'm concentrating on."

Vegas managed to keep it tied despite the lopsided shot totals, killing off a four-minute penalty to Colin Miller and another late power play that started late in the second.

That penalty carried over until the third period and the Sharks got 25 seconds of a two-man advantage after Brayden McNabb was called for throwing his stick but still couldn't get anything past Subban.

The Golden Knights squandered a power-play chance later in the period when Miller was called for cross checking with the man advantage. That nearly led to a power-play goal for San Jose but Subban appeared to get a piece of a shot from in close to Joe Pavelski to keep the game tied at 1.

"He's the main reason we got the point," coach Gerard Gallant said. "He looked comfortable."

NOTES: Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury didn't make the trip to San Jose with an undisclosed injury but is expected to join the team for Saturday's game in Colorado. ... Burns became the 15th player to play 500 career games with the Sharks.

Golden Knights: Visit Colorado on Saturday.

Sharks: Host Calgary on Saturday.