Yet another San Jose Sharks skater can be added to the list of injured for a team that needs all hands on deck to catch the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL Pacific Division. It was revealed to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area at practice Sunday, March 3 that Martin Havlat is day-to-day with a lower body injury.
Most NHL teams deal with injuries throughout any season. What has been unusual for the Sharks is that theirs began before the season.
Both Jason Demers and Brent Burns began the season on injured reserve (IR). Current San Jose winger Tim Kennedy wound up buried in the minors because an injury kept him from the opening-night roster. Justin Braun barely got back in time for the start of the season.
Health issues have also persisted throughout 2013: Dan Boyle missed two games for illness, Andrew Desjardins spent time on IR, Burns got into the lineup but was soon back on the list and Tommy Wingels was added to it on Tuesday according to his Yahoo Sports profile.
Then there was the word Sharks general manager Doug Wilson gave to Kurz Friday. Late in a piece in which he diverted conversation from the team's scoring woes to injuries, he revealed that part of Ryane Clowe's struggles are health-related:
Ryane Clowe...has been dealing with an issue. Ryane is a courageous guy. There’s a fine line playing hurt and playing injured, and his frustration level is, he can’t quite get to places. He’s probably good enough to play, but he’s getting frustrated because he can’t do the things he wants to do.
Wilson's comments about Clowe came with the usual "no excuses" caveats, but for him to turn the focus that way suggests significant frustration. He said he expects to be past these problems "in the near future" but eluded to the difficulty in evaluating the team in the interim. He cannot assess what needs to be done and cannot trade injured players who cannot perform as well as he needs them to.
There is a good chance that Havlat will be out for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver. At this point the team would not commit to him coming to Canada with the team. This could mean both T.J. Galiardi and Andrew Desjardins, who seem to be the odd-men out of late, will take to the ice.