After game one of the playoff series between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues, it was the latter who was having the knee-jerk reactions and shuffling lineups that probably didn't need to be shuffled. That is to say, the Blues were set to make some changes as a direct response to a very, very close loss in double overtime.
As it turns out, the Blues decided to scrap the changes and roll with a mostly-unmodified lineup and gameplan going forward. Now, instead of being down, they're leading the series 2-1, with a dominating performance in game three. And now Brian Elliott is in net, too. So that's not good.
Now it looks like the Sharks might be eager to make some changes of their own. As noted by Kevin Kurz of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the Sharks could be changing some things, most notably with their forwards:
That will almost certainly include some tinkering to his forward lines, as well, which we got a little preview of in Game 3. Joe Thornton skated with Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe at one point late in the game, while Joe Pavelski was with Marty Havlat and Patrick Marleau.
McLellan said after the game the changes wouldn't necessarily be just shifting his top six around, either. Some of his so-called "bottom six" could also be on the move, as the coach desperately seeks more offense against St. Louis.
In the piece, Ryane Clowe notes that not much is likely to actually change - he says it's "pretty simple hockey" going on in this series. What he says is pretty true, and the Sharks are simply getting beat. This is beyond the point of citing the intermittent "bounce" going the other way - this is the Sharks getting beat by a team that matches up well against them, whether the players want to admit it.
That being said, should the Sharks be making big changes? This writer doesn't think so ... especially to the "bottom six." There's been plenty of scoring opportunities from those lines, the top is where the problems actually are. While the Sharks aren't finishing their great opportunities with the bottom lines, the top lines aren't even starting them.
It's not all bad - the Sharks have another game at the HP Pavilion up next - they just need to capitalize. Making changes isn't all-that necessary ... we'll see if there's as much to this as the Blues' "changes."