By Guest Contributor Kyle McLorg
The Sharks may have had some trouble making pucks find nets lately, but the pucks certainly haven’t had trouble finding the Sharks.
The last few games have seen several San Jose skaters go down to injuries, and each have been puck-related. Luckily, it seems that for now they may have avoided major casualties coming into their matchup with the Blue Jackets tonight in Columbus.
First to go down was Douglas Murray, who deflected a pass off of his skate that ricocheted into his neck. He was taken to the hospital for observation where it was found that he suffered a broken Adam’s apple – an injury I didn’t know was even possible. Coach Todd McLellan told the media that he expects to get an update on Murray’s status in “the next day or two.” The timeline for Murray’s return is still unclear, but he’s been ruled out for the game tonight.
Then it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who took a puck to the face against the Red Wings and left the ice severely bloodied. He went in for a CT scan to check for broken bones in his cheek and got three stitches. Vlasic was out skating with the rest of the team this morning, wearing a full cage to protect his face. CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz is reporting that Vlasic will play in Columbus tonight.
Then there’s Joe Pavelski, who took a slap shot off of the side of his helmet in Sunday’s loss to the Red Wings. There was initial concern around a possible concussion for Pavelski, but after a day of recovery he said he’s feeling no ill effects. Chances are that he will be on the ice when the puck drops in Columbus at 4 pm PST today.
More on Marty
Martin Havlat is on schedule to return in March as expected. He suffered a partial hamstring tear in December and missed taking the road trip with the rest of the team. He has resumed skating in San Jose for the meantime.
McLellan is optimistic that Havlat will be ready to go, providing a trade deadline-like boost to the team when he returns. The ultimate goal, however, is that Havlat makes a difference for the playoffs, according to Kurz:
“We’re counting on that. He’s going to have to take great pride in his fitness and his preparation and I think he’s that type of guy,” McLellan said. “His opportunity to play in games down the stretch is going to be real important. He’ll have to be sharp, his practice time will be important, but we need him. He’s an important piece and fills out our top six.”
“The difference with Marty when he comes back is he hasn’t been playing. He’s going to have to find his game, and find it quickly.”