Jeremy Roenick had some biting criticism of his former San Jose Sharks teammate Patrick Marleau following Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Marleau has come under fire for his lack of production through the first five games of the Western Conference Semi-Finals, but he drew the ire of Roenick during VERSUS’ post-game coverage when the former player turned commentator called Marleau’s Game 5 performance “gutless”.
Marleau was nearly invisible most of the night, which is all the more dumbfounding given the fact that Dan Boyle was the only Sharks player who saw more ice-time on Sunday. It was Marleau’s sloppy defensive play and lack of effort on the eventual game winning goal by Tomas Holmstrom that led Roenick to question his heart and take shots at his performance in both Game 5 and the series. “An unbelievably poor effort from Patrick Marleau. A gutless, gutless, performance by Patrick Marleau,” Roenick said. “Count them– zero points in this series. And he had a game like that.”
Marleau getting schooled by a wounded Datsyuk and some subsequent barbs from Roenick, video via Puck Daddy:
Roenick’s job as a ‘rock star’ commentator is to provide some balance between analysis and entertainment, but the attacking nature of his Marleau comments didn’t sit so well with Sharks fans or the CSN Bay Area crew. Still, it’s Roenick’s right to call the game as he see it, even if that means throwing some jabs at former teammates.
Marleau’s offensive struggles should be a concern for the Sharks, despite their relative success thus far in the playoffs. Mike Babcock had Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk on the ice most of the night against Marleau, which can help provide some explanation for the the Sharks regular season leading scorer’s vanishing act of the offensive side of things. Marleau was actually one of the better Sharks players in terms of possession in Game 5, but his Yashin-esque effort on Datsyuk is just inexcusable.
So what is it, were Roenick’s comments on Marleau out of line or right on target?