The Sharks got whooped 7-3 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals Wednesday night in Vancouver. When it wasn’t Canucks fans flashing the opposing players in the penalty box, it was Kevin Bieksa and Patrick Marleau throwing down to provide the entertainment. The decision for Marleau to fight was a strange one — it was his first since 2007, and it was against a more physical opponent in Bieksa. Marleau predictably got worked in the fight. Here’s the video:
Some Sharks players ripped on Bieksa for picking on a guy like Marleau, but if anyone is in the wrong it’s Marleau. Marleau’s the one who initiated the fight, asking Bieksa if he wanted to drop gloves in the second period. The fight kept Marleau out of the game for the next five minutes, and Vancouver outscored San Jose 4-1 after the fight.
What’s sad about this whole thing is that Marleau may be listening too much to media criticism. Analyst and former Shark Jeremy Roenick ripped him after Game 5 against the Red Wings, saying he was gutless and had no heart. Marleau responded with the winning goal in Game 7 against Detroit, and a goal each of the Canucks games. But he took himself out of Game 2 by getting into a fight when he shouldn’t have, and one has to wonder if this is all a response to Jeremy Roenick. If it is, that’s sad, and Marleau should just stick to what he does best — playing hockey. Leave the fighting to everyone else.