Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Sharks' Clowe a game-time decision

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

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Ryane Clowe, centre, is dealing with what the Sharks are calling an upper-body injury. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Ryane Clowe, centre, is dealing with what the Sharks are calling an upper-body injury. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ryane Clowe skated for 20 minutes Thursday morning to test out his symptoms and reaction to what the Sharks are still calling an upper body injury, and while there was no "Eureka! I shall play!" moment, neither was there a depressed, mopey reaction.

Clowe, the important second-line wing and team leader for the Sharks, worked with assistant coach Jay Woodcroft on tight turns and one-timers to see if he was sufficiently symptom-free, or at least symptom-light, to go in Game 7 against Detroit.

Head coach Todd McLellan called it, as you might guess, "a game-time decision," but as most game-time decisions rarely are, one can feel relatively safe that McLellan got as much from Clowe, Woodcroft and trainer Mike Aldrich to convince him of the right way to go.

"His health will be the deciding factor," McLellan said, after also citing "Game 7, and his impact on the game both positive and negatively" as potential influences on the decision.

Either way, it seems likely that the Sharks will return to the lines they used in the first 11 games of the post-season, Clowe or no Clowe. That would mean Patrick Marleau back on Joe Thornton's left with Devin Setoguchi, and Logan Couture between Dany Heatley and either Clowe or Benn Ferriero.

McLellan acknowledged that the lines he tried in the start of Game 6, with Couture and Marleau changing spots, didn't work very well, and seemed to learn toward reverting.

San Jose lineup (speculative)

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

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

Antti Niemi
Antero Niittymaki