Hearsay: Hodgson shining on Sabres’ top line

January 22, 2013, 1:34 AM

It may be a shortened season, but CSNBayArea.com asserts it could be vitally important for one of the faces of the Sharks franchise. Fortunately for Patrick Marleau, it’s off to an excellent start, even though there’s only been just one lonely game played so far.

Marleau scored two goals in the season opener in Calgary, pacing the Sharks to a 4-1 win, and was noticeably strong on his skates for the duration. He was quick on his feet, found open ice, and used his stick and body effectively along the boards. It was perhaps a first step in putting last year’s dire second half performance behind him.

“You want to have a good season. You don’t really think about what’s gone on in the past, just focus on what’s at hand and the games we’re playing right now,” said Marleau, whose parents, sister and two nephews were at the game at the Saddledome on Sunday night.

“Very good start last night,” head coach Todd McLellan said. “For a guy that hasn’t played during the lockout, I thought he looked very strong skating, very powerful, didn’t fatigue very much, skated to holes and to open ice. He’s just that good a skater that he can do that.”

McLellan offered his opinion on what makes Marleau a valuable player when he’s on his game.

“For me, when Patty’s involved, on a – I don’t want to say physically – but when he’s involved in the battles and really using that big body, he’s effective,” McLellan said. “When he’s kind of just half-there, it doesn’t really happen for him, and he knows that and has been told that. When he uses it, it’s a good tool.”

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