When an athlete gets hurt, you can sometimes tell how badly he or she is hurt by their reaction when they get back to the bench.
Based on that premise, Evander Kane and the San Jose Sharks looked like they were in big trouble when Kane took a Brent Burns’s blast off the ankle.
— TEAL TOWN USA – A San Jose Sharks Podcast (@TEALTOWNUSA) April 15, 2021
Kane struggles to bench, then throws his stick down when he sits down. In a lot of pain, going into room hobbling
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) April 15, 2021
But lucky enough, Kane hobbled out of the locker room to begin the second period and managed to finish the game.
It got me thinking though: When it comes to injuries, the San Jose Sharks have been pretty fortunate this season.
Erik Karlsson missed a few games because of a groin injury. Tomas Hertl and Marcus Sorensen were out because of COVID protocol; only Hertl actually had the coronavirus. Timo Meier, Radim Simek, Devan Dubnyk, Dylan Gambrell, Rudolfs Balcers, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic have suffered minor injuries. Matt Nieto has been out indefinitely for the last three weeks and counting with a lower-body injury.
So that’s a long list of names, but it doesn’t really amount to much in the big picture. Per NHL Injury Biz, as of Apr. 10, the San Jose Sharks have suffered the least man games lost in the West:
St. Louis Blues 202
Colorado Avalanche 179
Minnesota Wild 175
Anaheim Ducks 171
Los Angeles Kings 124
Arizona Coyotes 86
Vegas Golden Knights 74
San Jose Sharks 47
San Jose’s worst injury is Matt Nieto’s lower-body issue at 14 games and counting this year. Of the Sharks’ core players, Hertl’s six-game COVID absence is the most long-term.
This is in stark contrast to last year, when San Jose lost Hertl, Karlsson, and Logan Couture to season-ending injuries.
Of course, the San Jose Sharks haven’t done a lot with their good luck. After last night’s 4-1 loss to the Ducks, they’re 18-20-4. They’re four points out of a playoff spot, 10 of their next 14 games against the best of the West, Colorado, Vegas, or Minnesota. They’ve lost four of their last five, all against cellar-dwellers Los Angeles and Anaheim.
What does this say about the Sharks? They’re under .500 – and they’ve been relatively healthy.
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