Forget being a talking head on ESPN, I know what Erik Karlsson is going to be post-career – a stand-up comedian. Karlsson’s already known for his dry sense of humor and quick wit but there’s truly nothing like a triumphant return to the ice to bring out the best in him in his post-game media availability — watch it here.
After weeks of recovery following forearm surgery, Karlsson’s first game back went as smoothly as possible considering the time away.
“Everything feels good, you just have to get used to the breathing a little bit. Recovery was fine and all that, and I’m expecting to feel a lot better on Saturday,” Karlsson said.
Clearly, the coaching staff felt that Karlsson was feeling good too because he totaled around 25 minutes of ice time
“Yeah, way too much,” Karlsson said, with a grin. “But it is what it is. No, it was great – I felt fine and the game had a good flow to it.”
Karlsson jokes that 25 minutes was "way too much" for his first game back 😅 pic.twitter.com/uEF7A4dyYb
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) March 11, 2022
Karlsson had more to offer on what he thought about the game.
“We had a lot of power plays obviously, and a lot of penalty kills, so that changes the flow a little bit. Overall I didn’t think it was a terrific game but I didn’t think it was a horrible game.”
One such moment was Karlsson’s trick shot-worthy impossible pass to Alex Barabanov.
“I just blindly did it,” Karlsson said with a hint of sarcasm, before adding genially. “No, we had a similar situation right at the end of the second, and he peeled off and I told him that to go there, and if it hits you – I’m going to shoot it hard, and you never know. And we connected right after so it was nice.”
Not every moment of the Sharks’ overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings was as swoon-worthy as that. The Trevor Moore shorthanded goal was…well, I’ll let Karlsson explain.
“Yeah, it was a little bit of a clusterfuck,” Karlsson said.
“We just had a power-play before and I think we were a little bit mentally tired. We made some bad decisions with the puck, and the LA Kings stopped their feet and we didn’t, and they got a great chance from it and they scored,” he expanded.
“That [second] unit got it back for us,” Karlsson allowed, “So I’d like to say no harm done. But it’s unfortunate and it shouldn’t happen, [although] sometimes it does. We score some penalty-kill goals too sometimes, and that’s the way it is.”
But the highlight of his post-game came when the beans were spilled that Jake Middleton said that being on the power play unit – he spelled Karlsson and Brent Burns – was easy.
“Yeah, he says it’s an easy job,” Karlsson laughed. But even when he’s giving a teammate a hard time, Karlsson never passes up an opportunity to talk up his teammates, especially to the media.
“Who knows, maybe he’ll take a spot in the future. But you know, good on him, he’s a guy you can put in most situations and you know what you’re going to get. He doesn’t get credit a lot for his hockey IQ and his skill with the puck. He’s a smart player and he’s an easy player to play with.”
It’s clear that on and off the ice the San Jose Sharks are thankful for Karlsson’s return, if not just for his jokes and honesty.
Last night’s press conference was shades of last season’s “Not even close” merriment:
At San Jose Hockey Now…
In Other Sharks News…
Tomas Hertl is rumored to be on the trade block, so here are five potential places he may land. [Sportsnet]
Jake Middleton is being scouted ahead of the trade deadline. [Sportsnet]
Reflect on what exactly the Sharks will miss from Hertl if he isn’t re-signed to the Sharks. [The Mercury News]
Alex Barabanov is hopeful for a contract offer from the Sharks. [Yahoo Sports!]
Ryan Dzingel is placed on waivers by the Sharks [TSN]
Around the NHL…
Dallas Stars sign former Shark Joe Pavelski to a one-year contract extension. [NHL]
Gabriel Landeskog speaks his mind on NHL officiating after a tough game. [Yahoo Sports]
Jack Eichel says Sabres fans ‘Wish I was still here’, after being booed in return with Knights. [CBS Sports]
Marc Staal is set to his 1,000 NHL games milestone. [The Athletic]
Willie O’Ree joins new ownership group for the Premier Hockey Federation’s Boston pride. [ESPN]
Maxim Mamin’s last shot could be with the Florida Panthers.
When is it the right time to worry about the Colorado Avalanche?
Trade rumors lead to questions about Jake Debrusk possibly staying with the Boston Bruins.
Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan on the NHL trade deadline experience.
Marc Staal is willing to move on from the Detroit Red Wings if given the right opportunity.
Washington Capitals hosted a PWHPA showcase (and it was amazing).
Philadelphia Flyers extend Rasmus Ristolainen’s contract in hopes of a bounceback season.
More injuries for the Vegas Golden Knights, plus Jack Eichel dissing Sabres fans.
One year from Anders Lee’s devastating injury, the New York Islanders’ captain reflects.
Teams are reportedly in on trading for Montreal Canadiens’ Joel Armia.
Tyler Toffoli was a bargain pickup for the Calgary Flames.
The Vancouver Canucks have a lot to get done before the trade deadline hits.
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