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Patrick Marleau Injury Speculation
It looks like it might have been a knee to knee with about four minutes left in the first period. He did not take a shift after that during the first twenty. Looking at the replay, it seems like this might be more of a case of playing it safe considering he took some solid strides directly afterwards. He missed the rest of that period, and although he did come out for the second, it must have been bothering him.
In terms of handling it, I wouldn't be adverse to him sitting the rest of the season provided he is ready for the playoffs. Although the first seed is important, Patty's health obviously takes an extreme priority.
[Update 12:32 AM]: David Pollak has more.
Very open game to start this one off.... Thornton just muffed a great pass by Patty.... Sharks turning the puck over in the neutral zone, but Phoenix is on the same boat. Once again HP's infamous ice conditions come out to play- people slipping, pucks bouncing, you know the drill... I like what the defense is doing at the blueline- doing a very good of standing people up and restricting entrance to the zone.... First power play had a handful of good chances.... Tides turned a bit in the last five minutes, with Nabokov making some solid saves he should, and will, make....
Nice power move to the net by Kurt Sauer to put the 'Yotes up one. McGinn's been making a case for getting on the playoff roster all year long, but needs to cut that angle off. Can't give anyone that much space.... Jody Shelley has some of the best hands in the NHL today.... Cavanagh with a nice goal to net his first career NHL goal. Congrats sir.... Funny thing about the last three goals- coming into the game, all three players had combined for one goal this season.... Mentioned this before in the Nashville recap, but let's reiterate- JR works very well on that first line. He was involved in generating a cycle all period and has got the hands and scoring touch to play with Patty and Joe.... Nice to see Moen get involved a scrap while wearing teal. Randy and Drew mentioned it went back to the hit on March 17th Winnick put on Boyle.... Fedoruk was right to defend Jovo Cop, and I disagree with Randy when he said that Shelley didn't deserve a penalty. He saw his numbers all the way, and although he held up on his hit, that's a dangerous play to make along the boards. In my book you hand out coinciding minors and quell any further retribution. Notice how Doan took a run at Murray around the nine minute mark.... All four lines are rolling well this period- McLellan's done a good job of giving that bottom line more ice time lately....
Teams are really going to be faced with a conundrum when deciding which San Jose forward pairing they're going to throw their shutdown line against come playoffs. Common sense obviously says the first, but a healthy second should warrant serious consideration. I wouldn't be surprised for Milanaire, Pavs, and Cloweverfield to see roughly a third of their shifts against top pairings.... Sweet move by McGinn to generate a scoring chance halfway through the period- nice creativity and vision to bounce the puck off the sideboards, nice speed to beat Jovonovski in the race to the puck, and nice backhand to almost put it home.... Semenov is a premier whipping boy for Sharks fans, and rightfully so- dude makes some killer errors defensively (ever notice how he'll play solidly one game then follow it up with a complete stinker?). That being said, I wouldn't mind him getting some power play time with Blake out. That stick has a lot of pop, and he's been putting it on net lately. Thoughts on Boyle, Ehrhoff, Vlasic, and Ehrhoff holding down that role on the blueline for the time being?.... The last half of the third tilted towards Nabokov, and it seemed as if the Sharks let up on the pedal a bit....
FTF Star Of The Game
All in all a solid effort tonight.