TAMPA, Fla. – When it rains, it pours.
Already missing top centers Logan Couture and Mikael Granlund, and off to a 0-5-1 start, the San Jose Sharks have now lost winger Alexander Barabanov for an extended period of time.
“It’ll be a while,” head coach David Quinn told San Jose Hockey Now this afternoon at Amalie Arena. “I don’t have a hard date, but it’ll be a while.”
Barabanov suffered an upper-body injury near the end of Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers. He left the game after, in succession, getting struck high by a Mike Hoffman shot, cross-checked by Gustav Forsling, and kneed in the back by Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
A source has told SJHN that Barabanov has suffered a broken finger.
Quinn confirmed that Barabanov will miss Thursday night’s showdown with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and that the San Jose Sharks would have a more definite timeline for the 29-year-old winger later today.
It’s a huge blow not only for the Sharks, but for Barabanov, who is a pending UFA.
Since he made his Sharks debut on Apr. 26, 2021, Barabanov is fourth among San Jose forwards, behind only Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, and Logan Couture, with 93 points in 153 games.
“A guy that we’re counting on to be one of our top-six forwards, contribute offensively,” Quinn said of Barabanov, who has struggled to start this season with zero points through six games. “When you’re missing him, a guy like that, three guys like that, throw him in the equation with [Couture] and Granlund?”
Safe to say, this won’t help the San Jose Sharks snap their six-game winless streak. They’re the only team in the NHL without a win so far.
As of now, according to Quinn, the Sharks have no plans to recall anybody in Barabanov’s stead. Givani Smith is the lone healthy extra forward traveling with San Jose. They could slide him in, or opt to use an 11 forward-seven defense line-up against the Lightning.
The Sharks wrap up their five-game road trip on Saturday against the Washington Capitals.
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