The San Jose Sharks got some good news regarding the status of star defenseman Erik Karlsson, who will miss his second straight game Sunday with a strained groin. Head coach Peter DeBoer confirmed that Karlsson is suffering from the same strained groin injury that kept him out for nine straight games in January and February. However, the injury won’t require surgery, according to NHL.com’s Eric Gilmore.
“It’s a version of the same injury,” DeBoer said after receiving the latest medical test results on the 28-year-old defenseman. “I don’t anticipate it being long term. No surgery, nothing like that. But we’re going to be obviously extra cautious and make sure.”
Karlsson is a key piece to the Sharks’ success this year as they try to overtake the Calgary Flames for the top spot in the Pacific Division. Karlsson has three goals and 45 points in 52 games, but has only played four games since Jan. 16. He re-injured his groin on Feb. 23 against Columbus. DeBoer said that all Karlsson needs is time, but there is no timetable on how long he’ll be out.
- With the Buffalo Sabres falling further and further back in the playoff race, the Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington suggests the team send forward Tage Thompson to the Rochester Americans to allow him to gain confidence while the AHL squad battles it out for the Calder Cup. Thompson, acquired from St. Louis as part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade, has been with the Sabres all season, but has appeared in just 56 games and has just seven goals and 11 points. The only problem is that with Vladimir Sobotka injured, the team may not be willing to let Thompson go down as well.
- It looks like Alexis Lafreniere of Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL, the top candidate for the 2020 NHL draft, continues to show that he deserves the number one pick eventually. Lafreniere is the seventh 17-year-old within the last 15 years to record a 100-point season, according to TSN’s Gord Miller. He joins an impressive list, including Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Drouin, Nikolaj Ehlers, Claude Giroux and Jonathan Huberdeau.
- The Star’s Kevin McGran writes that the Toronto Maple Leafs have seen an increase in energy from their fourth line ever since the team recalled forward Trevor Moore. He picked up an assist Saturday on a goal by Nic Petan, while Tyler Ennis and Frederik Gauthier each have scored goals as well since Moore’s recall. The team has four players in three spots and it looks like the team will rotate them to keep that energy going.