Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

McGinn avoids ban, but will he play?

Categories: San Jose Sharks, VAN vs. SJS, Vancouver Canucks

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Jamie McGinn, right, won't be suspended, but will he suit up for Game 4? (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) Jamie McGinn, right, won't be suspended, but will he suit up for Game 4? (Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
San Jose's Jamie McGinn is available to play Sunday after the NHL decided not to suspend him for his hit on Vancouver's Aaron Rome Friday night.

Now the question becomes whether he will play anyway.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan did not address his fourth line situation Saturday, and since neither he nor Vancouver's Alain Vigneault have messed with their first three lines between games in this series, the fourth line has gathered an inordinate amount of attention.

Especially San Jose's.

McLellan has made changes in each game on his fourth line, going for a wholesale change in Game 2 that brought McGinn and Andrew Desjardins to the fore. Desjardins committed two penalties in 2:05, creating a 5-on-3 upon which the Canucks could not capitalize.

McGinn though ended up being the player of the match for both teams, knocking both Rome and Christian Ehrhoff out of the game and perhaps out of Game 4 as well.

Vigneault didn't say definitively that they would not play, but his hints were as definitive as hints can be.

As for McGinn himself, he presents the same issue Ben Eager did in Game 2. He brought speed and energy, but he also brought and element of fear into a game that was seemingly salted and dried.

The last time that happened, Eager sat and made room for, yes, McGinn.

In short, San Jose practiced everyone except Jason Demers (still out with an injury), including the Black Aces, and the identity of the fourth liners for Game 4 remains if not a game-time decision, then certainly a game-time revelation. It's hard to know who else McLellan can employ to change a game from left wing on the fourth line, but he is two for his last two, if that helps at all.

Patrick Marleau-Joe Thornton-Devin Setoguchi
Ryane Clowe-Logan Couture-Dany Heatley
Torrey Mitchell-Joe Pavelski-Kyle Wellwood
Jamie McGinn-Andrew Desjardins-Jamal Mayers

Douglas Murray-Dan Boyle
Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Niclas Wallin
Kent Huskins-Ian White

Antti Niemi
Antero Niittymaki