Patrick Marleau doesn't have a single point through five games against the Detroit Red Wings. Heck, the Sharks' left wing only has eleven shots on goal through said five games, a rather low number for a player who looked good in the regular season and is depended on often by his team. In game five, Marleau did not look good at all, squandering one scoring opportunity with a painfully bad pass around the back of the net that lost steam halfway there and becoming Pavel Datsyuk's latest victim on the game-winning goal.
Datsyuk spun and made Marleau look really, really bad in doing so, before getting the puck to Nicklas Lidstrom, who put it toward the net, allowing Tomas Holmstrom to score on the deflection and give the Red Wings the 4-3 lead that they'd not relinquish. How much can you blame Marleau for the loss, if at all? Jeremy Roenick seems to think you can blame him plenty, saying in the postgame:
"A gutless, GUTLESS performance by Marlaeu tonight. But we'll talk about that later."
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Those are harsh, harsh words, but they're not necessarily gratuitous as far as how much blame you can actually place upon Patty. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that they're not deserved for this isolated incident, considering everybody in the NHL stands the chance of being outright victimized by Datsyuk, but that JR calling him out in this way isn't really meant to cover only tonight's game.
Yes, he does say "tonight," but JR frequently vents his frustration about this team, and it seems as though this somewhat poor performance was just the straw that broke the camel's back in regards to Marleau and his level of play in these playoffs. He has been invisible for five games now, and wasn't exactly prevalent in six games against the Los Angeles Kings. Some users on Fear The Fin seem to feel the same way as Roenick, including ElvisVF101:
Patrick Marleau, you are on notice. You probably should have been traded after your disasterous 2007 series against Detroit. The Franchise chose you, and let the coach go. You probably should not have been signed for the money you were after last season. The Franchise chose you and let the goalie go. ... Your play is soft, lazy and inexcusable for a man of your pedigree. (The rest of the comment can be found here.)
Very strong words, especially when you read the whole comment and see the bit about burning jerseys. It just goes to show you that Sharks fans are fed up right now. Is there a little bit of overreacting going on at this point? Yes, there definitely is, but the last sentence makes a world of sense, he's too good to disappear like this. Marleau needs to get his act together.