Erik Karlsson still hurting enough not to play?
The San Jose Sharks hosted a heck of party over the All-Star weekend. By all accounts, the event was a resounding success and a good time was had by all. And by "all," I'm including defenseman Erik Karlsson, who participated in the event.
Despite playing in the game, it sounds like Karlsson is not healthy enough to return to action when it actually means something. I'm a bit surprised by this news. I think most people not named John Gibson are too.
San Jose went on their bye-week immediately following the All-Star festivities. That's more than enough time for those annoying bumps and bruised to heal up. If Karlsson's ailment was little more than a nuisance, I would be inclined to believe that he'd be back in action when the Sharks hit the ice on Saturday. That doesn't appear to be the case.
Head coach Pete Deboer said Karlsson is "questionable" with a nagging lower-body injury/ The same injury that kept him out of San Jose's last three games. The Sharks went 1-2, allowing 18 goals against in the process.
I'm hoping this is nothing more than Deboer being careful with what he says or nothing more than a precautionary measure. Let's hope it's not due to some kind of lingering ailment that could slow him down for the remainder of the season.
Karlsson has been a workhouse and bog factor in the Sharks rise in the standings. No. 65 shook off a slow start and has been pretty darn good for the better part of two-plus months.
San Jose has to have EK at 100% for a long playoff run. Right?
The tin foil wearing, conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe the Sharks are trying to keep him healthy enough to trade at the deadline. Karlsson will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and some have wondered out loud if Tampa Bay may try and take another crack at acquiring the two-time Norris trophy winner.
The Lightning pushed hard at last season's deadline. I definitely sound nuts, but Tampa may have a salary cap nightmare on their hands very soon. The Lightning may be extra motivated to make a God Father-like offer for a chance to win the Stanley Cup this season.
But's that just crazy talk....right? Right?
- San Jose starts the "unofficial" second half of the season in second place with a 29-16-7 record (65pts), trailing first-place Calgary by six points. The Flames have a game in hand.
- The Sharks are 1-1-1 vs. the 'Yotes this season and jave been outscored 13-11. Arizona doubled up San Jose, 6-3, on home ice in the clubs previous meeting.
- The Coyotes only have 10 wins in their last 33 trips to SAP Center.
- Logan Couture and Timo Meier each need one goal to hit the 20-goal mark this season, joining Joe Pavelski (27), Tomas Hertl (22) and Evander Kane (21) in that cool kids club.
Thanks for reading,