Erik Karlsson is questionable for tomorrow night’s tilt against the Buffalo Sabres after suffering an upper-body injury in yesterday’s 6-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Jake Middleton, Karlsson’s defensive partner, also suffered an upper-body injury last night. Middleton left the game in the first period and didn’t return.
“Both are dealing with upper-body injuries,” San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner offered this morning. “We’ll try to get some assessments done today. We’re gonna have to see how they feel tomorrow. No decisions on if they’re in or out for tomorrow as of yet.”
Karlsson appears to have suffered his injury while winding up for a slapshot early in the third period, per The Athletic.
Erik Karlsson just wound up for a full slapshot from the high slot … and immediately grimaced. He went to the bench and is in some discomfort over there.
— Corey Masisak (@cmasisak22) January 5, 2022
You can see Karlsson (65) look down after this slapper.
Media members in Detroit believe that Karlsson was favoring his right side/ribs area for the rest of the contest.
Karlsson skated just three shifts in the last 13 minutes of the third period. In total, he played only seven shifts in the final frame, compared to 23 in the first two periods of the contest.
Erik Karlsson declined to speak with reporters last night and did not practice today.
Middleton also missed practice today, but his injury was less subtle than Karlsson’s.
This is a hit that was acceptable in the NHL years ago, but not anymore. Middleton turns his back, that's when Smith has to hold up. Smith instead drives into Middleton's numbers. Smith could've been trying to get some revenge after their fight earlier https://t.co/M8JUgUuqzx
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) January 5, 2022
Detroit’s Givani Smith received a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.
“He left the game, not feeling good at all,” Boughner said afterwards “The refs made the right call on the ice, it’s a head shot, and now we’re gonna have to wait and see how he feels.”
The potential losses of Erik Karlsson and Jake Middleton would be a huge blow for a San Jose Sharks squad just getting blueliner Mario Ferraro back from COVID protocol. Karlsson is enjoying a renaissance season, leading all Sharks blueliners with eight goals and 22 points. Middleton, a career AHL’er, has been a pleasant surprise by Karlsson’s side, making the team out of training camp after five seasons with the San Jose Barracuda.
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.