It remained unclear forward of the game-day morning skate whether or not the Sharks can be with out three key gamers – defenseman Erik Karlsson and forwards Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl – as they attempt to keep away from elimination Tuesday night time in opposition to the Blues in Sport 6 of the Western Convention Ultimate in St. Louis.
Coach Peter DeBoer was tightlipped Monday concerning the well being of the gamers, all of whom had been banged as much as various levels in Sunday’s 5-Zero loss in San Jose.
“I’m not giving any injury or travel updates today,” DeBoer advised reporters Monday (by way of NHL.com) earlier than the group left for St. Louis. “We’ll dress whatever lineup gives us the best chance to win, so you know that’s the best way I can answer that.”
The Blues appeared to go notably arduous in opposition to the three on Sunday, in no small half as a result of Karlsson is tied for second on the Sharks with 16 factors (two targets, 14 assists) within the postseason, Hertl has 15 factors (10 targets, 5 assists) in 19 video games and Pavelski, injured earlier within the Western playoffs, has 9 factors (4 targets, 5 assists) in 13 video games.
Hertl was shaken halfway via the primary interval Sunday on a success by Blues ahead Ivan Barbashev, however stayed within the recreation till he did not come out for the third interval. DeBoer stated Sunday he thought a five-minute main might’ve been referred to as on the play, however the NHL’s Division of Participant Security on Monday opted to not subject any supplemental self-discipline on Barbashev.
Karlsson, who labored late in Sport 4, continued to battle in Sport 5 with an accumulation of hits within the sequence. Stricken by leg and groin points since January, he left Sunday’s recreation with 7:04 to play within the second interval after logging 10:32 of largely unproductive ice time. Pavelski was damage 1:21 into the third on a success by Alex Pietrangelo.
“You want to get in on the forecheck, you want to hit guys as much as you can, spend as much time in the offensive zone as possible and wear them down. … As the series goes on, you hope you’re wearing them out,” Blues heart Tyler Bozak stated of his group’s hard-hitting technique (by way of the St. Louis Submit-Dispatch).
That leaves DeBoer to look to his bench: “Next man up. … Joe Thornton got suspended in the Vegas series, we played without him. We played without Joe Pavelski for six games in the Colorado series.”
If Karlsson, Hertl and/or Pavelski cannot go, then ahead Marcus Sorensen, who has performed in 17 playoff video games this 12 months however was scratched in two of the previous three, is an possibility, together with Lukas Radil (six 2019 playoff video games) and Dylan Gambrell (one). So is defenseman Tim Heed (two).
“It’s all about depth this time of the year,” stated Sharks ahead Joonas Donskoi, who missed 11 minutes of the third interval Sunday with an damage earlier than returning with 5:49 to play. “That’s playoff hockey. And it happens sometimes. Just have to live with that. … I feel good about our depth. I feel like we have had a lot of guys out of the lineup too that I feel are great players and can play in this league, so it’s not a problem.”
There’s additionally this vivid spot, NHL.com factors out: The Sharks are 4-Zero when dealing with elimination in these 2019 playoffs.
“We’ve dealt with this before and guys have stepped in and got the job done, so you know, people can write us off,” DeBoer stated. “But I know in our room, we know we’ve got guys that can get in there and get this done.”