ST. LOUIS – The San Jose Sharks will be without star archers Erik Karlsson, captain Joe Pavelski and key center Tomas Hertl as they have to retire on Tuesday evening in the sixth round of the Western Conference in St. Louis.
Karlsson and Hertl failed I did not travel with the team on Monday and had no nameplates in the Sharks locker room. Pavelski was officially excluded a few minutes before the start of the match, after he had not participated in the morning skate. All three players failed to end the home defeat of Sharks' Game 5 against the Blues on Sunday, with Hertl and Karlsson missing the entire third period.
"All three of these guys are important guys," said coach Peter DeBoer. If we did not, it's the next guy and we have to find a way to get the job done. "
Hertl (10 goals, 5 assists in 19 games)) and Pavelski (4 goals, 5 assists in 13 games) were injured in Game 5 on hits of the Blues. Hertl was hit by striker Ivan Barbashev in the first half. DeBoer felt that this should have been a big punishment. Nothing was said on the ice, and the NHL Player Safety Division believed that the amount of head contact and the strength of the strike did not justify additional discipline for Barbashev.
Pavelski was hit by blues defender Alex Pietrangelo against the boards with his head banging against the glass behind him. Pavelski previously missed six playoff games in the second round following a concussion in Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights.
DeBoer stated that the nature of Pavelski's injury prompted him to make a decision in the season.
Karlsson's injury was more systematic. As one of the best skating defenders in the NHL, his mobility was hampered by alleged inguinal injuries. His status for Game 5 was challenged after he had missed eight minutes of Game 4's third period. He tried to go and was responsible for the blues' first and third goals. After 7:29 in the first period, Karlsson only played 3:03 in the second period and did not return for the third.
"Hindsight is 20/20, you know, we're making these decisions based on our reports from the player and the doctor [staff]," DeBoer said after the game. "The report said he felt like he could play and get through the game, it's easy to sit here and say, 'Yeah, sure, you regret it.'
Defender Tim Heed will join Karlsson as Dylan Gambrell is inducted into Hertl's lineup.
The Blues could not help but monitor what happened to the Sharks before Game 6. Some players asked reporters what they had heard about the people who were on the team flight or not St. Louis.
Center Ryan O Reilly said he could not help wondering which Sharks team they would face.
but the focus is personally on my game and as a group what we need to do, "said Reilly," we can not look at her and what they will bring. "
For the sharks it's a challenge in addition to the challenge they already face: avoid elimination and force back a game 7 San Jose.
Forward Logan Couture said the mission, no matter which parts are missing, remains the same. "It does not change my personal Attitude. There are a lot of people in this room who count on us to make our team win, but without a full team you can not win a hockey game, "said Couture, whose team has just generated a goal in the last two games. "Guys who will join the lineup will be counted as contributors. Guys who have paid all the way are also counted as contributors.
"With guys who are offensive in helping us, our line, score a few goals and help us, we'll try and do that."
There were two rally screams in the Haie's locker room. They believe that they are deep enough to endure these injury losses and their postseason experiences – including a rally to defeat Vegas in the first round – give them hope in Game 6.
"It's tough, but everyone here has a goal, "said Striker Kevin Labanc. "We have so much depth in this team that it is." No big deal for us. Only another guy comes to the plate and does his job. We have been in this situation before. Even worse situations.
"The Vegas series was a big one for us – we were 3-1 in the series and 3-0 in game 7. The way we fought back shows the kind of team we are know what we need to do, we have already done so. "