In a bit of insult added to injury, the San Jose Sharks will have to accept that Ivan Barbashev will be in the lineup again tomorrow night. The St. Louis Blues forward will not receive any supplementary discipline for his hit on Tomas Hertl. Greg Wyshynski of ESPN tweets that the Department of Player Safety could not determine if the head was a main point of contract, or whether the force of the hit was enough to warrant suspension. Barbashev came across the middle and made contact with Hertl, who ended up missing the third period after being removed from the game.
The Sharks were embarrassed on home ice last night in a 5-0 loss that saw Hertl, Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi all leave due to injury for large chunks of the game. Micheal Haley and Evander Kane both also received misconduct penalties, leaving the Sharks’ bench extremely short to end the game. The team now faces a do-or-die situation in St. Louis tomorrow night and could be without several top players.
Still, the Sharks have shown in these playoffs that they’re not easy to defeat even when things look dire. The team scored four times on a five minute major against the Vegas Golden Knights in game seven of the first round and managed to hold on to an early lead in game seven of the second round against the Colorado Avalanche. Those long series may be taking their toll on the group physically, but also may have prepared them for this elimination game tomorrow night.