Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Clowe a no-go for Sharks

Categories: Detroit Red Wings, SJS vs. DET, San Jose Sharks

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The San Jose Sharks will attempt to close out their series against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night, but they'll have to do it without playoff catalyst Ryane Clowe, who is sidelined with an upper-body injury. Clowe has four goals and 13 points in 11 post-season games. (Duane Burleson/Associated Press) The San Jose Sharks will attempt to close out their series against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night, but they'll have to do it without playoff catalyst Ryane Clowe, who is sidelined with an upper-body injury. Clowe has four goals and 13 points in 11 post-season games. (Duane Burleson/Associated Press)

Ryane Clowe did not make the trip to Detroit for Game 6 (an upper body injury that Todd McLellan said was not related to Niklas Kronwall's hit on him 90 seconds into the third period of Game 5), leaving McLellan to adjust his lines either with two moves or many.

While Mike Babcock already dropped Johan Franzen (ankle) and replaced him with Mike Modano, McLellan wasn't saying what he might do sans-Clowe. One possibility, the least disruptive, would be to move Benn Ferriero onto Logan Couture's second line, and pick a suspect to take Ferriero's fourth line spot on Scott Nichol's flank.

The other, which may also be under consideration, could change the Joe Thornton, Couture and Nichol lines, potentially moving Couture up front with Thornton and moving Patrick Marleau back to the second line.

The only safe bet is that the Joe Pavelski-Torrey Mitchell-Kyle Wellwood line would stay intact.

Clowe's absence keeps Marleau in hot seat

As to the rest of the morning, it was spent by the players and coaches dismissing the last few shards of the Jeremy Roenick-Marleau danse macabre, claiming they controlled most of Game 5 (save the most important 10 minutes, as it turned out), and trying to minimize Clowe's absence.

Clowe's absence "puts more pressure on the other players, because he's a good player," McLellan said, "but it also reinforces the fact that the players who are on the ice are more important than the ones who aren't."

"We just made mistakes there," McLellan said. "The one (by Kronwall 53 seconds after Joe Pavelski's goal made it 2-0) came off a defensive mistake, and the other one, we kill a penalty right after the (Logan Couture) goal, and then just make an error in our own end."

McLellan said he has the impression that San Jose is better with low-scoring games, which makes sense given that the Sharks have won the two 2-1 games but lost two of the three 4-3 games. But over the past 18 games covering the last two seasons, there have only been six games in which the winning team had fewer than four goals, and San Jose is 4-2 in those.

San Jose lineup (speculative)

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Devin Setoguchi
Benn Ferriero - Logan Couture - Dany Heatley
Torrey Mitchell - Joe Pavelski - Kyle Wellwood
Jamie McGinn - Scott Nichol - Jamal Mayers

Douglas Murray - Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Jason Demers
Ian White - Niclas Wallin

Antti Niemi
Antero Niittymaki