Patrick Marleau

Sharks broadcaster Dan Rusanowsky lists some of his favorite wins among 1,000

Sharks broadcaster Dan Rusanowsky lists some of his favorite wins among 1,000

Editor's note: After the Sharks won their 1,000th regular-season game on Jan. 10, NBC Sports California asked Dan Rusanowsky, the voice of the Sharks, to write about his favorite wins. Rusanowsky has been the team's radio play-by-play broadcaster ever since the franchise began in 1991.

The question came up as the San Jose Sharks confidently strode toward the amazing milestone of 1,000 wins in their history: if a list of the best regular-season victories could be assembled, which games would be included?

Having been in the broadcast booth since that very first game -- a loss on Oct. 4, 1991 in Vancouver -- I thought I’d give it a try. However, in assembling the list, I found it was exceedingly difficult to narrow it down, due to the fact that so many memorable regular-season victories have been celebrated by the denizens of Sharks Territory.

Well, we had to get the list pared down, and after some serious consideration, I got it down to two groups: a top 10 list, plus six honorable mentions. These are 16 great wins in Sharks history, and I’m certain some that didn’t get to the final 16 deserve to be there.

Here are the six honorable mentions in chronological order. On Saturday, I'll reveal the Top 10.

Jan. 13, 1996 at PIT: Sharks 10, Penguins 8
After watching a 2-1 win in New Jersey from the stands, Ray Sheppard and Owen Nolan returned to the lineup in Pittsburgh with a vengeance.  Sheppard scored a hat trick and added an assist, Nolan had 2-1-3, and the Sharks withstood a four-point performance from Mario Lemieux to win at the Igloo in Pittsburgh. To the present day, it’s the most goals ever scored in a Sharks game by both teams.

March 30, 2002 vs. CLB: Sharks 10, Blue Jackets 2
It was the first time that the Sharks ever hit double digits in a home game. Teemu Selanne (2-2-4), Patrick Marleau (2-2-4) and Vincent Damphousse (2-1-3) had the big nights offensively. 

April 10, 2006 at ARI: Sharks 3, Coyotes 2
Jonathan Cheechoo became the first Shark to score 50 goals in a season as he later claimed the Rocket Richard Trophy. He had two goals, including the game-winner, and one assist.

January 4, 2007 vs. DET: Sharks 9, Red Wings 5
The Sharks scored a team-record six power-play goals in nine attempts. Joe Thornton tied a team record with four assists in the game. Marleau (1-3-4), Mike Grier (2-1-3) and Ryane Clowe (2-0-2) were the big producers.  

January 18, 2014 at TB: Sharks 5, Lightning 4
Two natural hat tricks were scored in this game. Joe Pavelski scored his three goals in the second period to propel San Jose to victory. Amazingly, Martin St. Louis not only completed a natural hat trick earlier in the period, but he also had another one earlier in the game for a four-goal night in the losing effort.

January 23, 2017 at COL: Sharks 5, Avalanche 2 
Marleau scored a natural hat trick in the third period, and after Colorado scored one goal, he picked up his fourth goal of the period. Other contributors: Brent Burns had 1-2-3, and Logan Couture had 0-2-2 and was plus-5.

[RELATED: How Burns, Karlsson have impressed NHL goalies]

Auston Matthews' Patrick Marleau jersey is signed by Sharks, going to charity

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USATSI

Auston Matthews' Patrick Marleau jersey is signed by Sharks, going to charity

SAN JOSE -- Auston Matthews didn’t win 2019 NHL All-Star MVP honors, but he won over Sharks fans simply by wearing a jersey.

Those same fans will like what the Toronto Maple Leafs star plans to do with the Patrick Marleau No. 12 sweater that he donned during Friday’s NHL All-Star Skills Competition at SAP Center.

“I got the Sharks guys to sign it,” Matthews said Saturday at the NHL All-Star Game, “and I think we're going to auction it off for the Leafs Foundation and raise some money.”

Those “Sharks guys” are Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns, who posed for a picture with Matthews on the ice while he wore the Marleau sweater. Marleau spent 19 years in San Jose and perhaps is the most beloved figure in franchise history, despite leaving for Toronto two years ago.

Matthews’ decision to recognize Marleau, who didn’t make the NHL All-Star roster, in such fitting fashion made memories for both the Leafs star and the fans in attendance.

“I was expecting some sort of reception, but nothing like that,” Matthews said of the roaring ovation the SAP crowd gave him after he pulled off his No. 34 jersey to reveal Marleau’s No. 12. “And like I said yesterday, it really struck me inside, and I got so nervous for the accuracy shooting that I just butchered the whole thing.

“I think that's also a testament to just Patty himself, and what the people and fans think of him here, and all that he brought for this organization and this city. … It was a pretty special moment to be a part of.”

Maybe that autographed Marleau jersey will become a special memento for a lucky Sharks fan, too.

How Auston Matthews made Patrick Marleau star of NHL All-Star Skills

How Auston Matthews made Patrick Marleau star of NHL All-Star Skills

SAN JOSE -- On the night before the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, Auston Matthews had an idea. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs superstar, voted as captain of the Atlantic Division team by fans, was set to participate in the accuracy shooting portion of the event. Once it was his turn, he would take off his blue No. 34 Maple Leafs sweater to reveal another. 

A white No. 12 Patrick Marleau, in the building where the former Shark made his name. 

“I thought it was a pretty good idea,” Matthews said Friday night. “Last night, I was at dinner with my family and just kind of thought about it. Lucky enough, they were able to make up a jersey quick this morning and have it ready for me when I went out there.”

Matthews put his surprise sweater on during the intermission between the third and fourth events of the night at SAP Center. It was a good call, he said, because he was getting hot wearing two jerseys at the same time until the final event. 

When it finally was Matthews’ turn to shoot, the SAP Center crowd rose to its feet once the 21-year-old’s tribute became clear.

“It was amazing, I wasn’t expecting that,” Matthews said. “I think that’s just a testament to how much of a legend he really is here. It’s pretty amazing, and everything he’s done for the city of San Jose in his career here.” 

[RELATED: How Coyne Schofield broke barriers at NHL All-Star event]

Marleau remains the Sharks' franchise leader in just about every category, and No. 12 jerseys still can be found among the home crowd on any given night. His former teammates still rave about him, too.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said he didn’t immediately realize what Matthews was doing, until former San Jose teammate and current NBC Sports broadcaster Jeremy Roenick clued him in. Once Pavelski knew, he was cheering along with everyone else.

“Incredible,” Pavelski told reporters. “I looked at [Sharks teammate Brent Burns] and was like, ‘We gotta get a picture with him.’ We probably should have turned him around, we just wanted [Marleau’s] name on the back.

“Patty means a lot to everyone who’s come through this organization, and he’s left his mark …  I think it was pretty cool of [Matthews] to do that.”

Marleau means a lot to Matthews as well. Matthews, along with young Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner, have developed strong bonds with the 39-year-old during his Toronto tenure. In parts of two seasons, Marleau has become a popular figure in the Leafs dressing room, as his teammates see what made him one in San Jose. 

On Friday, the crowd's support quickly turned to nerves, Matthews said. He briefly skated away before hitting the fifth and final target. Ultimately, he completed the event in nearly 36 seconds, finishing eighth among his All-Star competitors.

Still, Mathews said Marleau was appreciative of the sweater swap, even if he initially was kept in the dark.

“No, I didn’t [tell Marleau ahead of time],” Matthews said. “I try not to bother him. I know he’s on vacation. But he texted me when I get off the ice, and just said, ‘Thanks, that was awesome.’ 

“I can’t explain how great of a guy he is, and how close we are in our relationship. He’s just an unbelievable person.”

Based on their reaction Friday, Sharks fans couldn’t agree more.