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Playoff Watch/Lines #40: Labanc, Karlsson React to Trade Deadline Rumors

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The sixth-place San Jose Sharks are three points behind fourth-place Arizona, two games in hand. Fifth-place St. Louis, a point behind the Coyotes, plays Minnesota tonight.

San Jose Sharks (18-17-4)

Los Angeles Kings (15-18-6)

This is how the Kings lined up last night. Expect Jonathan Quick to draw the start. Also, Olli Maatta will be available after being activated off IR:

Where to Watch

Puck drop is 7:30 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it on NBC Sports California, Bally Sports West, or NHL.tv.

Morning Skate

As the Trade Deadline nears, Devan Dubnyk is one San Jose Sharks domino down:

Dubnyk Traded, Sharks Looking to Add Goalie?

Who’s next? A couple days, San Jose Hockey Now learned that Kevin Labanc is “available for the right price.”

Source: Labanc “Available for Right Price” | SJHN+

Labanc didn’t react to this specific rumor, but to the Trade Deadline hoopla in general.

“There’s always going to be media,” Labanc said. “But for me right now, my biggest focus is to make the playoffs with the Sharks. That’s the focus in the locker room. That’s what we all want to do. We’re not letting all the rumors get to us. We’re just getting ready for the game and getting ready to do our job.”

Meanwhile, Erik Karlsson is probably not in any danger of getting traded, both because of his immense contract and his no-movement clause. But he’s certainly been through the Deadline wringer as the prominent name circulated during the 2018 Trade Deadline.

“I remember when my name was on that list, it’s not fun,” Karlsson recalled. “Not having certainty about what’s going to happen, not being able to plan for your future, just living day by day, sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to do. We already live in a world like that. So to have it even more uncertain, sometimes can weigh on you.”

Karlsson noted that the San Jose Sharks locker room hasn’t really been affected by the trade rumors – but they know what’s out there.

“In today’s world, it’s easy to see what’s been written, what’s not. And even if you don’t look, you still find a way to hear about it. That’s just the way it is,” Karlsson offered. “But playing in the market that we do, it’s not something that is always around us. So I feel like it hasn’t really been a big topic in the locker room as of yet.”

Around the NHL

Why is Dubnyk a polarizing figure to Avalanche fans? (Colorado Hockey Now)

Ilya Sorokin’s mental toughness leading to success. (NYI Hockey Now)

Nolan Patrick being “shopped hard”? (Philly Hockey Now)

Tampa Bay is going for the repeat: They’ve acquired David Savard for a first. (NHL)

3 players that Vegas should NOT trade for. (Vegas Hockey Now)

Can Pens add Alex Iafallo? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

What’s Florida perspective on adding Brandon Montour? (Florida Hockey Now)

Has Boston’s already-thin blueline lost Matt Grzelcyk once again? (Boston Hockey Now)

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