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Slumping Sharks shake up the lines

Dec 8, 2011, 12:24 PM EDT

Brad Winchester AP

Tonight is your night, Brad Winchester. According to MercuryNews.com, San Jose’s tough guy is likely to skate on the first line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski against Dallas at HP Pavilion. Meanwhile, struggling forward Patrick Marleau will be dropped to the third line with Michal Handzus and Jamie McGinn.

The Sharks have lost four of their last five, and with three of those losses coming at home, it’s no surprise coach Todd McLellan felt the need to shake it up.

“Patty, Jumbo and Pavs have been outscored by the other team’s lines the last three games in a row,” McLellan said. “That has to change.”

Jumbo, Pavs and, uh – Winchy? – could be a tough trio for the Stars to handle from a physical standpoint.

“[Winchester] has a way of burrowing himself right in the blue paint,” McLellan said. “Maybe that’s an ingredient that Pavs and Jumbo need right now.

  1. jrod691 - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    How about altering the offensive zone strategy so the opposing goalie actually has to move a little bit to make a save? Especially on the power-play. If I hear Jamie Baker talk about how the Sharks ran into a hot goalie again my head might explode.

    • danphipps01 - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      In fairness, most of the goalies they’ve faced recently have been pretty high in the standings. Price and whoever Chicago ran that night weren’t, obviously, but they won those matches.

      That said, holy Christ, why can they not move the puck into open or screened shooting lanes. I thought Joe Thornton was GOOD at setup. I thought that was pretty much his thing. What the hell? This is NOT a team that should be firing every puck into the goalie’s logo.

      • jrod691 - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:25 PM

        For some reason the Sharks absolutely refuse to use the entire zone. All three forwards are ALWAYS crammed fairly close together on the same side of the ice and more often than not at least one (a lot of the time it’s two) of them are behind the freaking goal line. I understand doing that every once in a while but doing it every time you have the puck is idiotic.

        I’ve seen enough of the Sharks passing the puck about 8 feet back and forth while the opposing goalie just hugs the near post and is able to take away the angle of both players without ever moving.

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