Barring a setback, Brent Burns will play for the San Jose Sharks tonight when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Talk about an epic boost. San Jose hasn’t been the same team since Burns was injured (something that’s been well documented here at Blades of Teal, among other outlets) and he’ll be a boon to a top line that has struggled to replace him on any level.
— Brodie Brazil (@brodiebrazilCSN) November 21, 2013
What Burns means as a player can’t be stressed enough for the Sharks. When he’s gone, it trickles down the lineup and has a negative impact on lines one through four. It forces head coach Todd McLellan to shuffle up his otherwise perfectly balanced lines, and makes players take on roles that maybe they aren’t fit for or most comfortable with.
That’s no matter now though. The struggle is over and the Sharks have managed to make it through quite a long stretch without arguably the most important player on their roster. It’s expected that Burns will resume his spot on the top line with Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl, and the rest of the lines will fall into place accordingly.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) November 21, 2013
And a quick video of McLellan talking to the press earlier today about whether or not Burns will go tonight.