Even before the NHL’s controversial decision to suspend Raffi Torres for the remainder of the Western Conference semifinals came out, the San Jose Sharks were already tweaking lines for Game 2 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Now they might just have to do so for more than a game or two.
Either way, CSNBayArea.com has the lowdown on the changes the Sharks are making with Torres suspended and fellow forwards Adam Burish and Martin Havlat injured.
- Joe Pavelski will move back to the top line as a winger with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau after centering the third line.
- The productive second line of Joe Thornton, T.J. Galiardi and Brent Burns remains intact.
- Scott Gomez moves to Pavelski’s spot as the center of a third line with Tommy Wingles and James Sheppard while Tim Kennedy, Bracken Kearns and Andrew Desjardins make up the fourth group.
Pavelski spoke about the difference between playing with Thornton vs. Couture.
“Jumbo obviously demands the puck and gets it, and Cooch is everywhere, creating turnovers and has the puck all the time. You like playing with both of them, and the opportunity is going to be good,” Pavelski said.
Head coach Todd McLellan explains how Gomez might fit on the third line.
“He’s doing a lot of the right things right now for our team, and he deserves to be promoted into that spot,” McLellan said. “You look at his linemates (Wingels and Sheppard), you have a left and a right-handed shot and they both have a little bit of size and puck protection skills. Maybe it will compliment what Gomer has.”
The Sharks sure hope so. They play the Kings in Game 2 on Thursday, which you can watch on NBC Sports Network beginning at 10 p.m. ET.