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Mike's Keys to Game 5

I have one very simple key to Game 5 for the Sharks:

Play a full 60 minutes.

That's it.

Well, also shoot the puck, play the body along the boards, and get scoring outside of the Joe Thornton line. But it really comes down to playing intense for that full 60 minutes like Game 5 vs. Nashville. You play like that, then you'll get a chance to close things out on home ice. You don't play like that, hang your damn heads in shame because you could have won this thing but you let up and went into a defensive shell -- and that NEVER works.

My proposed lines for Game 5 (with Bill Guerin out):

Clowe/Thornton/Cheechoo
Michalek/Marleau/Grier
Brown/Pavelski/Rissmiller
Smith/Goc/Bernier

The idea about moving Milan Michalek to the Patrick Marleau line is to try and get some secondary scoring. As I mentioned before, I'm firmly in the belief that Marleau is nursing a variety of injuries, and hopefully the extra day off can restore some spring to his step. Marleau and Mike Grier have played well together, so this should create a little more depth. My alternate configuration is this:

Grier/Thornton/Cheechoo
Michalek/Marleau/Bernier
Brown/Pavelski/Rissmiller
Smith/Goc/Clowe

Not that Steve Bernier's done much to impress me during the playoffs, but that trio had such great chemistry last season and for the first part of this season that maybe it'll work again.