May 20, 2011
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GAME 3 PREVIEW
With the Stanley Cup Western Conference Final perhaps only a weekend away from being over, here are some things you havent thought of -- mostly because nobody in their right mind would.
1. WHITHER CLOVELSKI?
Two of San Joses most important players, Joe Pavelski and Ryane Clowe, have struggled so far in this series, on the forecheck, in neutral ice and offensively. And because they have struggled, their linemates have struggled as well.
We felt going in, especially after the first two series, the way we played down the stretch, that the Pavelski-(Torrey)Mitchell-(Kyle) Wellwood line had really contributed to our success, helped us get to this point, and were factors. They haven't played that way the first two games.
But with that being said, the (Logan) Couture line hasn't either. We have two lines that we have to find a way to get going. Jumbo (Joe Thornton), Patty (Marleau), Seto (Devin Setoguchi) for the most part, their line has been competitive, involved in the game. They're playing against the other team's checkers.
We've got a group of six forwards there that have to find a way. Logan's game has been good, too. We have a group of six forwards that has to find a way to leave its mark on the game.
2. WHITHER SETO? WHITHER GUCHI?
Wait, didnt McLellan just say nice things about Setoguchi? Yeah. Wait.
If you look at what Devin does well, Devin puts himself in a position to shoot the puck. That's the first thing that he does. He ended up with zero shots on goal last night and a minus-three. The second thing that he does well is he skates, he's quick, he hunts pucks, he stays in battles. When he's doing that, he's very effective. He didn't do much of that last night as well. So he can be better.
3. WHITHER DEMERS?
Defenseman Jason Demers, who has missed the first two games with an unannounced upper body injury, is going to miss tonights game as well. He didnt skate Thursday, and barring a miracle cure that allows him to skate this morning, he is doubtful for Sunday afternoons fourth game as well.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.