Reasonable Expectations: Patrick Marleau 2010-11

CHICAGO - MAY 21: Patrick Marleau #12 of the San Jose Sharks shoots the puck as goaltender Antti Niemi #31 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save in overtime of Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

How often does a player go from being maligned on a daily basis and stripped of his captaincy to scoring five of his team's seven goals against the eventual Stanley Cup winner before signing a four-year, nearly $28M contract?  Just about never?

Well, that's Patrick Marleau's story.  He's always been the same guy - he just hit the biggest streak of bad luck we've seen from just about anyone and now has four good seasons since the lockout.  But expectations are also higher for him - are they reasonable?

 

GP G A P Shots Age
Marleau 2009-10 82 44 39 83 275 30.3
36 Comps 82 44 42 86 268 30.2
Next Season 74 34 32 66 227
3-2-1 79 32 34 66 252
Vukota 78 35 38 73 -

 

It's pretty unlikely that Marleau crosses the 80-point barrier again next year for just the third time in his career, and 66 points will seem like a huge drop-off from what he's done recently.  But, again, a guy crossing over 30 is not one we look to for a breakout season.  It's a testament to his abilities that he projects for 30+ goals no matter how we look at him.

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