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Deep Blue Sea: Sharks practice gives insight into tonight’s line up

Plus waiver new, the NHL’s response to the Chicago Blackhawks and more in today’s news and notes.

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Winnipeg Jets v San Jose Sharks  SAN JOSE, CA - OCTOBER 30: Nick Bonino #13 of the San Jose Sharks looks to make a pass against the Winnipeg Jets in a regular season game at SAP Center on October 30, 2021 in San Jose, California. Photo by Amanda Cain/NHLI

The San Jose Sharks have been hit with a slew of players (and head coach Bob Boughner) on the NHL’s COVID Protocol list, which leaves some question marks over who will be game-ready for the next few days and weeks. As players are added and released from the protocol list, the line up will fluctuate — it’s a fluid situation that will test the Sharks’ system.

On the bright side, having the San Jose Barracuda just down the street (or, rather, in the same arena and practice facility) means that AHL and NHL players are operating on the same systems and culture, which shows in the ease of which AHL players are able to slot into the line up.

On the down side, it may be awhile before we see a few players. Some players are symptomatic and one can assume that Erik Karlsson and Jake Middleton may be among those experiencing symptoms, as they were absent from practice, Friday, Oct. 29 (the day before players were placed on the list), because they didn’t feel well.

John Maclean, who stood in for Bob Boughner behind the bench in the Sharks’ win on Friday, led Monday’s practice. Among those in practice who had been absent for the Oct. 30 game were Andrew Cogliano (released from COVID Protocol) and Logan Couture. Couture had also missed the Oct. 29 practice along with Karlsson and Middleton because he wasn’t feeling well, but after testing negative twice he was back on the ice for practice yesterday.

As players move back and forth from the COVID Protocol list, some AHL players who had been called up to fill in will filter back down to the Barracuda. Still, yesterday’s practice lines give us an indication who we might see in tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. All defensemen who had been called up for the Oct. 30 game were present in practice, and the lines were as follows:

Couture — Meier — Leonard
Hertl — Barabanov — Eklund
Bonino — Cogliano — Balcers
Weatherby — Pederson — Gadjovich — N. Merkley

Defenders on the ice:

Burns, Ferraro, Hatakka, Meloche, R. Merkley, Megna

News & Notes

  • Sharks COVID outbreak not over: Labanc added to Protocol [SJ Hockey Now]
  • An update on Sharks players & staff regarding the NHL’s COVID-19 Protocol [NHL]
  • Sharks get two forwards back, but lengthy list of absent players remains [The Mercury News]

Blood in the Water

  • Caufield assigned to AHL by Canadiens [NHL]
  • Akim Aliu’s lawyer: NHL’s view of investigation ‘utterly lacking in the truth’ [The Athletic]
  • Rangers’ Adam Fox, reigning Norris Trophy winner, agreed to historic seven-year contract extension [CBS Sports]
  • Blackhawks postpone tribute night for Hossa after Beach investigation [NHL]
  • The NHL’s official response to Blackhawks scandal is disappointing [The Hockey News]
  • Canadiens’ Cedric Paquette suspended 2 games for boarding Trevor Zegras [CBC Sports]
  • Golden Knights’ injury list gets more ridiculous with Karlsson out [NBC Sports]
  • Scott Sabourin placed on waivers [Pro Hockey Rumors]

Scores & Recaps

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On the Schedule