The moment you may or may not have been waiting for is here: Martin Havlat will make his season debut when the San Jose Sharks take on the Los Angeles Kings tonight at the Staples Center. He has yet to play a game this season, as he’s been sidelined following a major surgery to repair an issue with his pelvic floor.
He’ll get the call for the Sharks tonight though.
On San Jose duty this a.m. Martin Havlat will make his season debut vs. LAK. Long Beach-product Matt Nieto (hand) is out, as is Boyle/Burns.
— Curtis Zupke (@curtiszupke) October 30, 2013
Where will Havlat fit in with a lineup that has been remarkably dangerous without him?
While he was brought to San Jose to be a top-six forward, he hasn’t performed like one in his time with the club. Could the surgery clear up a nagging issue that will allow him to start finding the back of the net like he used to?
It’s odd, but Havlat is going to have a hard time bringing the same kind of presence to that ice that Matt Nieto had been bringing. The kid was visible on nearly every shift, was starting to gain confidence as a shooter and was all about the hustle.
No one has ever accused Havlat of being all about the hustle.
Still, this is a guy that has scored some goals in the NHL. If he can even scratch the surface of his former self, Havlat makes the Sharks a more dangerous and deeper hockey team down the stretch. He’ll be especially important tonight as Nieto, Brent Burns and Dan Boyle still on the mend with their respective injuries.
If you’re looking to see Havlat in person, you can find Sharks vs. LA Kings tickets here.