San Jose will be without winger Ryane Clowe
for Game 6 against Detroit. Clowe is currently tied for second in the NHL in playoff points (13). It’s a big game to be without Clowe’s services, but it’s not the first time San Jose has ever dealt with an injury in and it won’t be the last, so it will be all hands on deck to close out the series.
“Ryane won’t play tonight, he has an upper body injury and stayed at home in San Jose,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “As we move forward we’ll update everyone on his availability.”
Moving forward includes everybody doing a little bit extra.
“Everyone has to pick it up that much more,” Patrick Marleau
said. “He’s a big part of this team, but it’s a big opportunity for someone to step up.”
“I think during the course of the year you’re going to have a guy that’s out and different guys have to step up and that’s been the case all year. We just have to pick up the slack,” Captain Joe Thornton
The players aren’t hiding that they will miss Clowe, but they are adamant they won’t let the loss of one player affect them.
"There are no excuses, regardless of who is in the lineup or not. We could have five guys out and it’s not going to matter,” Joe Pavelski
said. “At the end of the day, it's about wins and losses."
Even though Clowe leads San Jose in points, the Sharks are not built to rely on one individual player. They will continue to rely on everybody to be prepared to chip in. Team Teal had seven 20 goal scorers in the regular season and even without Clowe, they still have a pretty potent attack.
“We are so deep, we have three lines and someone is going to get the opportunity to play more minutes,” Couture said.
McLellan said he would decide on lines for the game later in the afternoon.
“It puts a little more pressure on other players, but we’re taking the approach that the players that are involved in the game and dressed are more important than the ones that aren’t,” McLellan said. “It’s not about the ones that are out of the lineup, it’s about the ones that are in. We’ll make a choice on some of the guys we’ve been shuffling in and out. Ben Eager, Jamal Mayers, Jamie McGinn, one of those guys will fill in.”
“During the season the lines were shuffled around,” Pavelski said. “We know what we want to do. We have a structured set and we want to do it the right way.”Logan Couture
had played a good chunk of the season with the power forward, but will work with whoever is alongside him.
“I’ve played with everyone on this team at least once during a game,” Couture said. “We’ll get come chemistry quick because it’s Game 6 and they’re going to be hungry in their own building.”
With or without Clowe, it is an opportunity to close out the series.
“We want to get that fourth win and we’ve had some success in this building in the past so we’ll draw upon it,” Marleau said. “We’ll come out and have a good game tonight. We’ve got to play our system to a T. We want to come out on our toes, play loose and have some fun out there. It’s a great opportunity and that’s how we have to look at it.”
“When the puck’s dropped you forget about a lot of stuff,” Pavelski said. “This time of the year everyone is banged up a little bit or tired here or there. It’s just getting there and getting that next chance.”
The players learned they’d be without Clowe when they flew to Detroit.
“It’s tough, I didn’t find out until yesterday when I got on the plane that Clowe wasn’t coming,” Couture said. “You feel for him off the ice first. I wanted to make sure he was doing all right and I’ve heard he is doing a little better which is good.”
So how did the injury happen? McLellan was asked if the incident occurred on or off the ice and he was quick to acknowledge it was game related.
“Unless his wife slashed him at home and I didn’t know about it,” McLellan joked.
Mike Babcock confirmed that Johan Franzen won’t be playing in Game 6. It sounded like Mike Modano could be stepping in.
Game 6 will be at 5 p.m. on CSN California, 98.5/102.1 FM and www.sjsharks.com.