After undergoing successful knee surgery on Tuesday, rookie sensation Tomas Hertl could be out anywhere from three to nine months. That's the most pressing, but far from the only, injury concern the Sharks are currently dealing with up front. In addition to Hertl, Marty Havlat remains out with a lower-body injury, Raffi Torres is still on the shelf recovering from ACL surgery and Tommy Wingels will miss his second straight game tonight after a collision during Sunday's win over Anaheim.
That's four top-nine forwards the team is without and while Bracken Kearns' two-game goal-scoring streak has been a nice surprise, San Jose's 6-3 loss to the Ducks on New Year's Eve suggests the franchise understandably doesn't have the organizational depth to cope with their loss of forward talent. San Jose's bottom six is a wasteland at this point and was responsible for three of the four even-strength goals Anaheim scored on Tuesday. While tonight's opponent, the last-place Oilers, aren't exactly world-beaters, the Sharks will need their top players to single-handedly carry them to victory. With so many useful weapons out of commission, the supporting cast just isn't anywhere near what it was earlier in the season.
|13-24-5, 31 points
||25-9-6, 56 points|
|7th in Pacific
||2nd in Pacific