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Deep Blue Sea: Healthy roster awaits Sharks in Denver

Plus, an update on the NHL All-Star Game, the Senators’ COVID Protocol troubles and more in today’s news and notes.

Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks shoots on goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at SAP Center on October 28, 2021 in San Jose, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Following a 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets last night, the San Jose Sharks will now look forward to getting their players off of COVID Protocol and back on the ice.

As of now, it looks like the Sharks will be getting seven of their players, along with head coach Bob Boughner, back with the team on Saturday ahead of their game against the Colorado Avalanche.

The seven players currently in COVID Protocol are Erik Karlsson, Jake Middleton, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Matt Nieto, Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier and Radim Simek.

With these additions, the Sharks will be getting their bottom-four defensive core, and pieces of their bottom-six back to the line up. But that leaves the harder decisions: who exits the line up?

The Sharks went 3-2-1 during the time since the COVID outbreak, but have struggled offensively and with defensive consistency, especially during the last couple of games.

I think of the seven replacement players, Nick Merkley, Ryan Merkley and Jaycob Megna made the biggest impact during their audition with the Sharks. For the time being, however, Ryan Merkley confirmed he will be heading down to the Barracuda.

Nick Merkley seems to have impressed the coaching staff, even getting a look on the first line with Logan Couture and Jonathan Dahlen late in last night’s game. It’ll be interesting to see if he keeps a spot with a healthy roster.

One big thing to come from the return of these players is the power play, which has struggled heavily and now ranks 15th in the NHL at 21.1 percent. The team has missed Karlsson and Labanc on the second unit where they were lethal weapons. They’ve also missed Timo Meier on the first line with Couture and Dahlen. The offense should certainly get better for the Sharks going forward.

No matter what happens and who gets sent down or stays up, Sharks fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the core players return and fresh bodies hit the ice for a team that has shown signs of exhaustion lately.

News & Notes

  • Sharks lose to Winnipeg Jets, now eagerly await return of players in COVID protocol [East Bay Times]
  • Sharks News & Rumors: Eklund, Dahlen, COVID Situation & More [The Hockey Writers]
  • Next Wave Report: November 10 [NHL.com]
  • Wilson entrance into Hockey Hall of Fame worth the wait [NHL.com]
  • Brent Burns’ recent play reminiscent of SJ Sharks veteran’s Norris Trophy-caliber years [East Bay Times]

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