San Jose Sharks Player Critiques: Rob Blake

June 1st, 2010 by MJ Kasprzak Leave a reply »
After Patrick Marleau had the captaincy taken from him, it was given to the team’s third-most important player facing unrestricted free agency, veteran Rob Blake.

Blake is 40 years old—and at midseason it looked as if his age had finally caught up to him. He was a step behind, and when he did not have the fleet-footed Marc Edouard Vlasic to cover for him, there were breakaways and odd-man rushes taking place. Even on offense, he frequently was late getting to the puck when pinching down and not able to get his powerful slapshot on net.

However, after missing several games, he came back revitalised. By season’s end, he had seven goals, 23 assists, and a plus-14 rating in 70 games, each of which was second among the team’s defensemen.

But even more importantly, as captain he was relied on for leadership not only on the ice, but also in the locker room. He performed admirably in these roles, helping to provide a steadying influence for a team that had two losing streaks of six games among just 31 losses (although one could put ...

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