Demers out, but who's in?

Demers out, but who's in?
April 29, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Todd McLellan is holding out hope that Jason Demers could be available to him for Game 2 between the Sharks and Canucks. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

SAN JOSE – Jason Demers will not be available when the Sharks open their first round series with Vancouver on Wednesday. Demers, still recovering from a sprained left ankle, did not practice on Monday at Sharks Ice.

Demers was hurt on April 18 against Minnesota and missed the last four regular season games.

The defense pairs for the Sharks on Monday appeared to be Dan Boyle-Matt Irwin; Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Justin Braun; and Brad Stuart-Scott Hannan. Rookie Matt Tennyson could also be an option in place of Hannan.

Todd McLellan was asked his thought process on which defense group he chooses to play.

“We have Tennyson, who we think is a puck-mover, and we have Scottie Hannan, who has a lot of experience and he is a heavy, physical d-man. So, we have options there for Game 1. Then, maybe by Game 2, we have two puck movers and one heavier guy if [Demers] is ready to go. We’ll make some decisions over the next day or two, and go from there.”

The 34-year-old Hannan obviously has the edge in experience over the 23-year-old Tennyson, who was recalled on April 1 and played in his first four NHL games, the most recent coming on April 24 in Phoenix. Hannan, acquired at the trade deadline, is closing in on 1000 games played in his NHL career (941).

McLellan was an assistant coach on the 2007-08 Detroit Red Wings, and when asked about the importance of experience mentioned then 46-year-old Chris Chelios, who was on the roster and was frequently scratched in the playoffs. He seemed to suggest that experience isn’t a be-all end-all when it comes to who gets in the lineup.

“[Experience] can work for you, it can work against you, and you don’t even have to listen to that old theory if you don’t want to.”

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There were no surprises among the Sharks' forward lines in practice on Monday. Joe Thornton centered Brent Burns and TJ Galiardi; Logan Couture was between Patrick Marleau and Marty Havlat; Joe Pavelski skated in the middle of Raffi Torres and Tommy Wingels; and the fourth line was Scott Gomez, who missed the last two games, with Adam Burish and Andrew Desjardins.