It all started so positively, with Joe Thornton, Milan Michalek, Craig Rivet, and Marleau signing contract extensions, and the team eager to rectify their playoff collapse the previous spring. The team has played maddeningly inconsistent since then, though they have a good record, and currently sit atop the Pacific division standings. Much of Sharks fans frustration with this team springs from their atrocious home record this year, where they are 7-9-4 (or, to translate, where they have only won 7 of 20 games). On the road,
however, the Sharks are one of the top teams in the league, with a record of 16-3-2. That's why we can say that this team is "maddeningly inconsistent" while sporting a winning record and being in first place in their division.

Why call out Patty Marleau for the team's failings? Firstly, well, he's the captain, and therefore he, fairly or not, takes on the sins of the entire team. Secondly, he has, to put a fine point on it, sucked this season. At home. On the road. Night games, day games, games played on days that end in "y." Statistically, he's flirting with career lows in goals, points, plus/minus, and shooting percentage, and he's playing his tenth year in the NHL. His disinterested and distracted demeanor on the ice sure hasn't helped make the fans forget his lack of offensive production.