Ray Ratto

Injured Clowe to play in Game 7


Injured Clowe to play in Game 7

May 12, 2011
UPDATED 5:17 p.m.: Sharks winger Ryane Clowe, who missed Game 6 and was a game-time decision for Game 7, will skate for San Jose, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Clowe is San Jose's leading scorer in the postseason.
Ray Ratto

SAN JOSE -- Ryane Clowe and his upper body injury that seems mostly like a concussion remains a game-time decision, if you believe Todd McLellan.

We suspect otherwise -- that after Clowes 20-minute on-ice session with assistant coach Jay Woodcroft, McLellan learned everything there was to learn, from Clowe, Woodcroft and trainer Mike Aldrich, and has decided. Hes just choosing to keep that decision to himself for the moment.

He said hes feeling pretty good, McLellan said after Thursday morning skate (Clowe was not made available to the media). But his health will be the deciding the factor. What he and Mike tell me.

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Clowes workout included tight turns, one-timers on goalie Antero Niittymaki and general awareness. There didnt seem to be a lot of truly taxing work or skills that required quick head movements, but thats indicative of nearly nothing. If it helps at all, Clowe never evidenced a thumbs-up or a smile to indicate that he was symptom-free, or so symptom-light that he knew hed be good to go.

He was also coy about whether he would revert to his normal line arrangement, with Joe Thornton between Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi, Logan Couture between Dany Heatley and Clowe (or Benn Ferriero), Joe Pavelski between Kyle Wellwood and Torrey Mitchell, and Scott Nichol between whomever and whomever else.

RATTO: Sharks face Game 7 amid sea of doubters

He did, however, acknowledge that the normal lines were better in the third period of Game 6 when Couture was returned to center as opposed to playing on the left side of the Thornton line. In other words, his lineup decision may be as simple as Clowe or Ferriero to Coutures right.

Either way, this is the Sharks biggest game ever because of whats at stake, both on and off the ice. For the players, the franchise, and the customer base.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

In retirement, Andre Ward will have days when he desperately wants back in


In retirement, Andre Ward will have days when he desperately wants back in

Andre Ward finally did what he said he would do – retire before the sport of boxing retired him.

Now we’ll see if boxing intends to leave him be.

Ward announced his retirement via Twitter Thursday morning, seemingly ending the career of one of the world’s greatest fighters in the elusive pound-for-pound category. He now plans to get into media, which is a battle of its own (ask Teddy Atlas when he talks with Stephen A. Smith how rewarding that can be).

But there’s that word “seemingly.” Boxers have a greater incidence of unretirement than any other sport because they miss what they do, they are typically surrounded by people who like the paydays the boxer’s fights provide, the unpaid tax debts some incur never go away, and sometimes they just don’t have anything better to do.

And then one day they find out they can’t do anything at all because of the punishments that come with violent sport, and then they become either tragedies or cautionary tales. Almost nobody gets to 95 like Jake LaMotta did.

Ward has said repeatedly that would never happen to him, that he was in control of his destiny and would remain so. And you want to believe him, because he would be that rarest of boxing stories – the unmitigated success.

It will be his toughest fight, however, far tougher than Sergei Kovalev. Boxing has this weird thrall upon its practitioners that can prove irresistible, if not outright necessary, and Ward will have to train as hard to repel its call as he did when he was neck-deep in it. It will not be easy, and he will have days when he desperately wants back in.

But retired fighters typically make poor unretired fighters, and the more one unretires, the worse the future becomes. So Andre Ward has to win this one more than any other fight.

And maybe it will be an easy victory for him – but it is a victory that will have to be achieved every day, almost like fighting alcoholism. Boxing is bad for you, and though it has been good for Andre Ward (as far as anyone knows), being an ex-boxer will be even better. He has done what needs to be done, and now he needs to do something else, one that doesn’t require putting his body and brain at risk for our amusement.

If this can be done, Andre Ward can achieve it. But neither he nor anyone else should think it will be any easier than understanding an Adalaide Byrd scorecard. Post-boxing will be difficult and rewarding business. All he has to do is master it every day for the rest of his life.

The time has come to draw your own conclusion

The time has come to draw your own conclusion

For the record, and just so you can’t say you weren’t told, these are the 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL and the 50 backups. Draw your own conclusions.

(Author’s note: We list these only because Joe Webb was just signed by the Buffalo Bills, whose starter and first backup, Tyrod Taylor and T.J. Yates, are still in the concussion protocol).


DENVER: Trevor Siemian (Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler)

KANSAS CITY: Alex Smith (Patrick Mahomes, Tyler Bray)

LOS ANGELES: Philip Rivers (Cardale Jones)

OAKLAND: Derek Carr (E.J. Manuel, Connor Cook)


BALTIMORE: Joe Flacco (Ryan Mallett)

CINCINNATI: Andy Dalton (AJ McCarron)

CLEVELAND: DeShone Kizer (Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, Josh Woodrum)

PITTSBURGH: Ben Roethlisberger (Landry Jones, Joshua Dobbs)


HOUSTON: Tom Savage (DeShaun Watson)

INDIANAPOLIS: Scott Tolzien (Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett)

JACKSONVILLE: Chad Henne (Blake Bortles)

TENNESSEE: Marcus Mariota (Matt Cassel)


BUFFALO: Nathan Peterman (Taylor, Yates, Webb)

MIAMI: Jay Cutler (Matt Moore, David Fales)

NEW ENGLAND: Tom Brady (Jimmy Garoppolo)

NEW YORK: Josh McCown (Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg)


ARIZONA: Carson Palmer (Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert)

LOS ANGELES: Jared Goff (Sean Mannion)

SAN FRANCISCO: Brian Hoyer (C.J. Beathard)

SEATTLE: Russell Wilson (Austin Davis)


CHICAGO: Mike Glennon (Mitchell Trubisky, Mark Sanchez)

DETROIT: Matthews Stafford (Jack Rudock)

GREEN BAY: Aaron Rodgers (Brett Hundley)

MINNESOTA: Sam Bradford (Case Keenum)


ATLANTA: Matt Ryan (Matt Schaub)

CAROLINA: Cam Newton (Derek Anderson, Brad Kaaya)

NEW ORLEANS: Drew Brees (Chase Daniel, Taysom Hill)

TAMPA BAY: Jameis Winston (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Griffin)


DALLAS: Dak Prescott (Cooper Rush)

NEW YORK: Eli Manning (Geno Smith, Davis Webb)

PHILADELPHIA: Carson Wentz (Nick Foles)

WASHINGTON: Kirk Cousins (Colt McCoy)

Again, draw your own conclusions. I know I’ve drawn mine.