The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/17/11 at 11:58 AM ET
While speaking about the lack of impact in the literal sense provided by Sharks forwards Ryane Clowe, Logan Couture and Dany Heatley against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, the San Jose Mercury News’s Mark Purdy speculates that Clowe in particular may still be suffering from the after-effects of being “Kronwalled” during the Detroit-San Jose series:
Clowe entered Game 1 against the Canucks as the Sharks’ leading playoff scorer, with 13 points in 12 games. But on Sunday, he took just one shot, which was blocked. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Clowe is also the physical conscience of the Sharks’ forwards. But on Sunday, he delivered just one barely noticeable hit during his 18-plus minutes of ice time. Meanwhile, fourth-line scrappers Jamal Mayers and Scott Nichol each had three hits in less than six minutes of action.
Every hockey team has a barometer player or two. When those players are hot, the team is hot. When those players are cold with occluded fronts and fog, so is the team. Clowe is definitely one of the Sharks’ barometer players. Which makes you wonder if the barometer has a hairline crack in it, or something similar. Clowe’s unspecified ailment—perhaps a sternum or ribs issue—probably was caused by a crushing collision with Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall during the last series.
The Sharks’ official spin is that the Kronwall hit had nothing to do with the problem. Monday, Clowe said only that the mystery injury is healing day by day. Also, he felt better Sunday than he did in last Thursday’s game.
“I think from a physical standpoint, yes,” Clowe said. “But my legs felt better against Detroit in Game 7, for some reason.”
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