Originally posted on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 1/26/13
San_jose_sharks_dd8e
When making your MVP predictions for the 2013 NHL season, did you include Patrick Marleau on your list? You can be honest - I didn't either.  Marleau, as well as the bulk of his San Jose teammates, carried rather small expectations into the year following the lockout. For the first time in a long time, seemingly no major outlet considered San Jose to be a true Stanley Cup contender. Now, just a handful of games into the new season, Marleau and his squad are making things look easy and making many NHL experts rethink their predictions. Just how good has Marleau been? Historically good. After adding two more goals to his total on Saturday, January 25th, Marleau became the first player since the NHL's inaugural season in 1917-18 to start the year with four consecutive multiple-goal games. On the year, Marleau now has an incredible 11 points in just four games. By comparison, Marleau didn't even light the lamp for the first time in 2011-12 until his sixth game. He didn't notch his 11th point in 2011-12 until his 13th game of the year.  As if Marleau's contributions weren't enough of a story, nearly the entire San Jose roster has started 2013 on the right foot. Joe Thornton also has 11 points with two goals and nine assists. Joe Pavelski (8 points), Logan Couture (7 points) and Dan Boyle (5 points) aren't too far off the pace.  The Sharks have dominated their first four games, winning by a margin of 19-7. Their power play has been clicking at a rate of 41.7%. Is it time to change our Stanley Cup predictions and our MVP predictions? Maybe not quite yet.  The Sharks have busted through the gate but there are plenty of factors doubters can point to. San Jose's penalty killing unit has been pretty subpar, killing off just 68.8%. One has to imagine there offense will cool and unless they pick up their defensive play, this could be a weakness that other, stronger opponents will exploit. You can also make an argument that the opponents they have faced - Calgary, Edmonton, Phoenix and Colorado - aren't exactly NHL heavyweights. Finally, you can point to the fact the Sharks have had one luxury most NHL teams haven't had - rest.  San Jose's early schedule played out like this: Jan. 20th (@ Calgary), Jan. 22nd (@ Edmonton), Jan. 24th (vs. Phoenix) and Jan. 26th (vs. Colorado). While the Sharks play on Sunday, January 27th, you'll note that they haven't exactly been tested in terms of schedule. They haven't had a game on back-to-back nights during their 4-game streak and they haven't had to deal with that difficult of a schedule in terms of travel.  As we always say in articles of this type, it's early. Marleau's play is incredible and there's no need to downplay it or dispute it. However, as for San Jose as a whole, let's give it a bit more time before we consider them to be among the NHL's elite.  [follow]

This article first appeared on Puck Drunk Love and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul George extremely critical of Pacers following trade deadline

Chris Bosh joining TNT as analyst

Cameron Payne will have chance to shine with Bulls

Danny Ainge opens up about why Celtics didn’t make a trade before deadline

Kevin Durant wants to be NBA GM or owner after playing career

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Mavericks discussing buyout with Deron Williams

T-Wolves reportedly backed away from Ricky Rubio-Derrick Rose trade

DeMarcus Cousins calls duo with Anthony Davis ‘Fire and Ice’

Reasons why 76ers got so little for Nerlens Noel emerge

John Lynch: 49ers ‘absolutely’ need to improve at QB position

Report: Raptors trade Jared Sullinger, two future picks to Suns for P.J. Tucker

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker