Tag: Joe Thornton

Patrick Marleau

NHL on NBCSN: Sharks hope to keep playoff dream alive by beating Penguins


NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the San Jose Sharks host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the SAP Center at 10:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game and pre-show online.

With just 16 games left, the San Jose Sharks’ situation is desperate. They’re five points behind the Calgary Flames and third place in the Pacific Division and six points shy of the Winnipeg Jets and the second Wild Card spot.

Making up the gap necessary to get into the playoffs will be difficult enough in the time remaining, but they’re also trailing the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings among teams that don’t currently occupy a playoff spot. Given Los Angeles’ history of stepping up in clutch situations and its 10-3-1 record over its last 13 contests, the Kings could certainly end up making San Jose’s monumental task even more difficult.

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If the Sharks are to make the playoffs under these circumstances, they’ll need to crush their competitors over the last five weeks of the season. Even a 11-4-1 or 10-3-3 run to end the season would only bring them up to 95 points, which is the bare minimum they need to have a better than even chance of advancing to the postseason, per Sports Club Stats.

So they really do need a win tonight to kick off this final stretch on the right note, which is unfortunate because Pittsburgh isn’t a team you want to face right now if you’re desperate for two points. The Penguins have been strong all season, but they’ve been particularly good lately with six wins in their last seven contests. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is coming off of the ninth shutout of the campaign while forward Patric Hornqvist could also prove to be a thorn in the Sharks side after scoring seven goals and nine points in his last seven contests. That’s on top of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, who have the potential to be the difference in any given game.

The Sharks will counter with Patrick Marleau (four goals and six points in his last seven contests) and Joe Thornton (a goal and five points in his last three games). After the Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead to the Kings in the 2014 playoffs, there was rampant speculation about the possibility of one or both of them being dealt as the team looked to focus on their younger players going forward. Now that duo might be the Sharks best chance of staying alive in the playoff race this year.

Video: Wilson says he’ll never ask Thornton or Marleau to waive no-trade clauses

2006 NHL Entry Draft

That was Sharks GM Doug Wilson yesterday on Yahoo Sports Talk Live, saying he’s “never” asked veteran forwards Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau to waive their no-trade clauses.

And he never will.

“Players would have to come to me,” Wilson said, per CSN Bay Area. “The integrity of building that type of contract with those types of players, they would have to come to me. I’ve been very transparent on where this team is at, and where it’s going. They have a clause that’s in their contract, and I at no point have ever asked either one of them.”

The Sharks got a big win last night over Montreal and have two important games coming up against the Canucks, tonight in Vancouver and Saturday back at home.

GM Wilson thinks Sharks unlikely to make big deadline day splash

Patrick Marleau

The San Jose Sharks dealt forward James Sheppard to the New York Rangers on Sunday in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Sharks GM Doug Wilson might pull the trigger on additional deals before the 3:00 p.m. trade deadline today, but he doesn’t think a blockbuster trade is likely.

“We certainly will be in a position with some assets that might be needed to explore that type of deal, and we’ll have ample cap space to be able to do that,” Wilson told CSN Bay Area.

“If that shows up sooner, that’s great. But, the people I’ve talked to have indicated the ones that we’re interested in are probably more in the summer, potentially around the draft or going forward, and not in the next couple of days.”

Last summer there was a lot of speculation about the possibility of a major deal involving Patrick Marleau or Joe Thornton. With the team looking towards the future, the rumors are likely to persist after the 2014-15 campaign, but in the short-term neither appears likely to move. As of Sunday, San Jose hasn’t approached either player about waiving their no-trade clause, per the San Jose Mercury News.

It’s believed that Thornton isn’t interested in being traded anyways, but Marleau might be more open to the idea.

“If I’m not wanted, then that’s a different matter,” Marleau said when asked if his interest in staying has changed since the summer.

That’s worth keeping in mind after the Stanley Cup Final, but is it something that will be a factor today? Probably not, but then again, you never know.