SAN JOSE — Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Melker Karlsson were full participants in the San Jose Sharks’ practice this morning, while Tommy Wingels participated in some drills. Barclay Goodrow was sent down to the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda for the second time since Friday morning in a corresponding move.
Vlasic joked that he missed the third period of Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks because his skates blew up and he “didn’t have another pair,” but said that he was okay today.
“I’m not going to dwell on what happened two days ago,” the defenseman said. “I’m okay today. I felt good at practice.”
Karlsson, who has not played since he left the Sharks’ Nov. 12 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning with a left ankle injury, said he also felt better and would be good to play tomorrow, if called upon by the coaching staff. They have not made any decisions about tomorrow night’s lineup against the Arizona Coyotes, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said.
“We’ll see how everyone feels tomorrow,” DeBoer said. “It was nice to have bodies back at practice today. I want to make sure guys don’t wake up tomorrow all of a sudden [and feel] really sore because of something that went on today, so we’ll hold off until tomorrow morning to decide who’s in and who’s out.”
Wingels, meanwhile, remains day-to-day, according to DeBoer. His injury is not serious, DeBoer said.
Vlasic skated alongside his usual defense partner Justin Braun, while Melker Karlsson rotated in on the fourth line with Matt Nieto, Ryan Carpenter, and Micheal Haley. Wingels did not skate on a line, as he was the only player in an orange jersey to indicate that he was not a participant.
Time with Sharks “critical” to DeBoer’s evaluation of Carpenter, other prospects
While Karlsson, Wingels, and Tomas Hertl have all missed time with injuries lately, DeBoer’s been able to get extended looks at players he may not have seen otherwise.
Kevin Labanc was recalled prior to those aforementioned injuries, but has remained with the club since his initial call-up. Since Hertl was placed on injured reserve a week ago, Daniel O’Regan and Ryan Carpenter have played in the fourth line center role, while Barclay Goodrow did not play in his brief recall.
As brief as those call-ups may be, they are very important to DeBoer’s evaluation of the Sharks’ prospect pool.
“There’s always a balancing of what they’re doing at the American league level, but obviously their auditions with us are critical,” DeBoer said. “[Ryan Carpenter] came up, [and] I thought had a good training camp. Played well the other night, he gets another opportunity. [Kevin] Labanc had a good training camp, same thing.
“Those guys have both followed it up with good play at the American league level, but to be honest, I don’t see enough American league games. My memories of these guys are when I’m standing there coaching them, and that goes a long way.”
Melker Karlsson, who briefly played with Carpenter in the AHL 2014-15, reflected on his own experience trying to impress the coaching staff in his first call-up. A less-is-more approach worked for him, he said.
“I just thought it was real fun to go up here and play,” Karlsson said. “I felt the first game that I could do this. I tried to [use] my speed out there and my body, and it worked, and I’m glad for that.”
Carpenter is “a little more competitive” and “a little less in awe of the situation” than he has been in previous stints with the team, according to DeBoer. With Hertl on long-term injured reserve, the Sharks are still looking for a regular fourth line center as Chris Tierney centers the third line in his absence. Carpenter is a detailed player that the coaches can trust, Karlsson said.
“I think coach can put him out there, and [he] knows what he’s going to do,” Karlsson said.
Quote of the Day
Pete DeBoer benched Mikkel Boedker in the third period of San Jose’s Saturday loss to Anaheim. Boedker skated on the third line with Chris Tierney and Kevin Labanc today, and DeBoer explained afterwards the decision to bench Boedker on Saturday and the reaction he hopes to see:
I would hope he’s pissed off. It’s always a last resort as a coach. You run through some different ways to try and get the player going, so to speak. And overall, I’ve got to be honest with you, and this is the same conversation I’ve had with him: I don’t care about goals or points. It’s if the compete starts to slip, I have a problem. I just felt at that point in the game, Labanc was moving and had a good edge to his game and deserved to play. I’m sure he’ll bounce back.